Australian Institute of Family Studies

Melbourne, Australia

Australian Institute of Family Studies

Melbourne, Australia
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Vasiliadis S.,Australian Institute of Family Studies | Thomas A.,Australian Institute of Family Studies
International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction | Year: 2017

This study applied a holistic, strength-based lens to better articulate the impetus for, and processes of, informal recovery from gambling problems. Two research objectives framed the parameters of the study: to explore (a) the process by which gamblers move from recognition of a gambling problem to action for recovery and (b) the experiences, perceptions and contextual factors that shape the features of this process. Narrative telephone interviews were conducted with adult residents of Victoria, Australia. Thirty-two adult participants (22 males and 10 females) were recruited from the general community. All participants were self-identified as recovering or recovered from gambling problems. Participants primarily used informal recovery strategies, rather than professional services or support groups. The impetus for informal recovery was identified broadly as either (a) dissonance between desired and actual self-image and goals, (b) an uncontrollable adverse event, or (c) confrontation and decisive action by others affected by the individual’s gambling involvement. The impetus, process and goals of recovery were best described by pathways that were distinguished by agency in recovery: externally directed and self-directed. The application of a strength-based lens helped to illuminate the role of agency in informal recovery. A proposed pathways framework may inform strength-based informal recovery strategies for gamblers and affected others, and therapeutic approaches. The pathways, which have not been articulated in previous gambling recovery literature, generally cohere with pathways articulated in the alcohol and substance recovery literature. © 2017 The Author(s)

Scott D.,Australian Institute of Family Studies | Siskind V.,Center for Accident Research and Road Safety
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2016

The second year of life is a time of rapid developmental changes. This paper aims to describe the pattern of unintentional injuries to one-year old children in three-month age bands to better understand the risks associated with developmental stages and, therefore, identify opportunities for proactive prevention. Injury surveillance data were used to identify children admitted to hospital in Queensland, Australia for an unintentional injury from 2002–2012. Falls were the most common injury, followed by burns and scalds, contact injuries and poisonings. Falls and contact injuries remained roughly constant by age, burns and scalds decreased and poisonings (by medications) increased. Animal-and transport-related injuries also became more common, immersions and other threats to breathing less common. Within the falls and contact categories falls from play equipment and injuries due to contact with persons increased, while falls down stairs and catching fingers in doors decreased. The pattern of injuries varies over the second year of life and is clearly linked to the child’s increasing mobility and boldness. Preventive measures for young children need to be designed—and evaluated—with their developmental stage in mind, using a variety of strategies, including opportunistic, developmentally specific education of parents; and practitioners should also consider potential for lapses in supervision and possible intentional injury in all injury assessments. © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

McKenzie K.,Queensland University of Technology | Scott D.A.,Australian Institute of Family Studies
BMC Public Health | Year: 2012

Background: While child maltreatment is recognised as a global problem, solid epidemiological data on the prevalence of child maltreatment and risk factors associated with child maltreatment is lacking in Australia and internationally. There have been recent calls for action to improve the evidence-base capturing and describing child abuse, particularly those data captured within the health sector. This paper describes the quantity of documentation of maltreatment risk factors in injury-related paediatric hospitalisations in Queensland, Australia. Methods: This study involved a retrospective medical record review, text extraction and coding methodology to assess the quantity of documentation of risk factors and the subsequent utility of data in hospital records for describing child maltreatment and data linkage to Child Protection Service (CPS). Results: There were 433 children in the maltreatment group and 462 in the unintentional injury group for whom medical records could be reviewed. Almost 93% of the maltreatment code sample, but only 11% of the unintentional injury sample had documentation identified indicating the presence of any of 20 risk factors. In the maltreatment group the most commonly documented risk factor was history of abuse (41%). In those with an unintentional injury, the most commonly documented risk factor was alcohol abuse of the child or family (3%). More than 93% of the maltreatment sample also linked to a child protection record. Of concern are the 16% of those children who linked to child protection who did not have documented risk factors in the medical record. Conclusion: Given the importance of the medical record as a source of information about children presenting to hospital for treatment and as a potential source of evidence for legal action the lack of documentation is of concern. The details surrounding the injury admission and consideration of any maltreatment related risk factors, both identifying their presence and ruling them out are required for each and every case. This highlights the need for additional training for clinicians to understand the importance of their documentation in child injury cases. © 2012 McKenzie and Scott; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Siskind V.,Queensland University of Technology | Scott D.,Australian Institute of Family Studies
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health | Year: 2013

Objective: To describe unintentional injuries to children aged less than one year, using coded and textual information, in three-month age bands to reflect their development over the year. Methods: Data from the Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit was used. The Unit collects demographic, clinical and circumstantial details about injured persons presenting to selected emergency departments across the State. Only injuries coded as unintentional in children admitted to hospital were included for this analysis. Results: After editing, 1,082 children remained for analysis, 24 with transport-related injuries. Falls were the most common injury, but becoming proportionately less over the year, whereas burns and scalds and foreign body injuries increased. The proportion of injuries due to contact with persons or objects varied little, but poisonings were relatively more common in the first and fourth three-month periods. Descriptions indicated that family members were somehow causally involved in 16% of injuries. Our findings are in qualitative agreement with comparable previous studies. Conclusion: The pattern of injuries varies over the first year of life and is clearly linked to the child's increasing mobility. Implications: Injury patterns in the first year of life should be reported over shorter intervals. Preventive measures for young children need to be designed with their rapidly changing developmental stage in mind, using a variety of strategies, one of which could be opportunistic developmentally specific education of parents. © 2013 The Authors.

Horwood L.J.,University of Otago | Fergusson D.M.,University of Otago | Coffey C.,Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | Patton G.C.,Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | And 5 more authors.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence | Year: 2012

Background: This study presents an integrative data analysis of the association between frequency of cannabis use and severity of depressive symptoms using data from four Australasian cohort studies. The integrated data comprised observations on over 6900 individuals studied on up to seven occasions between adolescence and mature adulthood. Methods: Repeated measures data on frequency of cannabis use (not used/

Priest N.,University of Melbourne | Baxter J.,Australian Institute of Family Studies | Hayes L.,VIC
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health | Year: 2012

Objectives: 1) profile the living environments and 2) examine the social and emotional outcomes of Australian children from Indigenous and cultural and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds at school entry. Method: Secondary analysis of crosssectional data collected in Wave 1 of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (n=4,735). Child mental-health outcomes were measured using parent report of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Results: Significant differences in family and neighbourhood characteristics, including parental income, maternal education, maternal parenting quality and neighbourhood safety, were found in children of Indigenous and CALD backgrounds compared to the reference group of Australian-born, English-speaking children. After controlling for family and neighbourhood characteristics, significant differences in parent-reported SDQ total difficulties were found for Indigenous children. Significant differences in emotional difficulties and peer problems subscales were found for children with overseas-born mothers regardless of English proficiency. Conclusions: Children from Indigenous and CALD backgrounds experience poorer mental health outcomes at school entry than their Australian-born Englishspeaking peers. They are also more likely to be exposed to risk factors for poor child mental-health outcomes within their family and neighbourhood environments. © 2012 Public Health Association of Australia.

Vassallo S.,Australian Institute of Family Studies | Lahausse J.,Australian Institute of Family Studies | Edwards B.,Australian Institute of Family Studies
Accident Analysis and Prevention | Year: 2016

The risky driving tendencies of young drivers has been extensively researched, but much less is known about across-time patterns of risky driving behavior and the factors which influence these. This study identified factors associated with stable, increasing and decreasing risky driving trajectories among 751 Australian drivers participating in an ongoing longitudinal study. Five groups were formed on the basis of participants' patterns of risky driving from 19-20 to 27-28 years (i.e., stable low-risk, stable speeding, stable high-risk, increasing and decreasing). Very few participants exhibited a stable high-risk pattern. Characteristics that differentiated the different across-time groups were identified using Multinomial Logistic Regression. The most consistent correlates of risky driving patterns were antisocial behavior, binge drinking and relationship status. Sex, school completion, temperament, civic engagement, and antisocial peer friendships were also correlated with different across-time patterns. The implications of these findings for road safety are discussed. Crown Copyright © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Renda J.,Australian Institute of Family Studies | Vassallo S.,Australian Institute of Family Studies | Edwards B.,Australian Institute of Family Studies
Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health | Year: 2011

Background Few longitudinal studies have examined the links between engagement in bullying and later anti-social behaviour for both males and females. Aims This study aimed to examine the association between adolescent bullying behaviour and subsequent anti-social behaviour, among a community sample of Australian males and females. Methods Regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between bullying perpetration at age 13-14 and anti-social behaviour, criminal violence and contact with police or courts 6 and 10 years later among approximately 800 young adults participating in a 27-year longitudinal study. The analyses controlled for known risk factors for anti-social behaviour at age 13-14 years. Results Moderate significant associations were found between bullying perpetration and subsequent anti-social behaviour. Associations were more powerful for males than females, and for short-term than long-term outcomes. Engagement in bullying remained a significant predictor of later anti-social behaviour and contact with police or courts even after other risk factors were accounted for. Conclusions These findings suggest that bullying in adolescence may be a marker of risk for a continuing pattern of anti-social behaviour, particularly among young males. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Higgins D.J.,Australian Institute of Family Studies
Psychiatry, Psychology and Law | Year: 2010

Determining the veracity of allegations of child abuse raised in post-separation parenting disputes is difficult, because family courts in Australia do not have their own investigatory power or capacity. They rely on evidence brought before them from State/Territory child protection authorities, police, and other experts who may have interviewed and assessed the child/family. This article describes the gap between Commonwealth and State/Territory responsibilities and mechanisms, and data from a recent evaluation of an innovative program designed to bridge this jurisdictional gap: the Family Court of Australia's "Magellan" case-management model. The views of judges and other key stakeholders from the Family Court and intersecting agencies are presented about the evidence that is put forward in family law disputes in which child sexual abuse or serious physical abuse is alleged. It is important to ensure children's best interests are served, even when it is difficult to adduce evidence and distil truth. © 2010 The Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law.

Higgins D.,Australian Institute of Family Studies
Sexual and Relationship Therapy | Year: 2010

The link between living with a disability and an individual's risk of being disadvantaged or discriminated against is clear. However, the focus is often on issues of equity and access to employment and services and the physical health needs of individuals. When focusing broadly on rights, the gender and sexuality of people living with a disability can easily be rendered invisible, or subjugated to other seemingly "higher order" issues. Broader issues of the sexual health, sexual identity and sexual expression of people with a disability needs to also be brought into focus. Drawing on research from Australia and internationally, this paper provides a brief overview of the experience of sexual assault and sexual victimisation, homophobia and gender-based discrimination for people with a disability. Recognising and balancing these complex and sometimes apparently competing self-identities and needs is complex, yet is integral from a human rights perspective. © 2010 Crown Copyright.

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