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DemoSoc Seminar by Belinda Hewitt

DemoSoc Seminar by Belinda Hewitt



On Tuesday, 6, Prof. Belinda Hewitt from the University of Melbourne, will present a new DemoSoc Seminar titled:

Stability and change in household composition and the general health of Australian Indigenous children and mothers: Evidence from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC)


Date: 06/11/18

Time: 11.00 h

Place: 20.183



Family life is an important social determinant of health, but to date little or no empirical research has examined links between family and household structure and Indigenous Australians health.  Different family types and household structures provide different levels of emotional, social, economic and instrumental support individual family members, which in turn influences their health and wellbeing.   This study is amongst the first to examine the associations between household composition and general health of Indigenous Australian children and their mothers over time.  The study analysed survey panel data on 1,487 Indigenous children and 1,482 mothers using 8 waves of the Australian Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC).  Our measure of family and households comprised 8 categories differentiating between couple and lone parent households.  Our dependent variable was self-rated health, ranging from 1) Excellent, to 4) Poor.  Our descriptive analysis show that the majority of households comprise children who live with their parents, only 5-10% live with a non-parent carer, although this increases as children get older.  Most households have more than one child.  Having other adults in the household was more prevalent in lone parent households than couple households.  The results indicated that, compared to couple households with no other children, mothers and children living in large complex households had poorer health and children in households with other dependent children had poorer health.  We find little evidence of poorer health amongst mothers in lone parent households. There was no evidence that change in household composition was associated with health.  Results underscore the importance of household composition for Indigenous health, but importantly in ways that are subtly different from non-Indigenous populations.