Social and emotional outcomes of Australian children from Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
Article first published online: 2 JAN 2012
© 2012 The Authors. ANZJPH © 2012 Public Health Association of Australia
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume 36, Issue 2, pages 183–190, April 2012
How to Cite
Priest, N., Baxter, J. and Hayes, L. (2012), Social and emotional outcomes of Australian children from Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 36: 183–190. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2011.00803.x
- Issue published online: 4 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 2 JAN 2012
- Submitted: August 2010 Revision requested: September 2010 Accepted: August 2011
- mental health;
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 cross-sectional 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 English-speaking peers. They are also more likely to be exposed to risk factors for poor child mental-health outcomes within their family and neighbourhood environments.