Stable Housing Important for Kids' Development - Study
25 July 2012 at 12:08 pm
New research has found that there are large differences in children's developmental outcomes in Australia, depending on their housing tenure.
Using data from Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, the study found that children whose parents were together and who were living in public housing had lower levels of word recognition and vocabulary and higher rates of emotional or behavioural problems than children living in couple families who owned or were paying off their own home.
For children in families where the parents had separated, those in the eight-to-nine-year age group whose parent owned the home had far lower rates of emotional or behavioural problems than any other group of children in separated families.
The Federal Minister for Housing and Homelessness Brendan O'Connor released the research at the 12th Annual Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) Conference in Melbourne.
The AIFS study – The influence of unstable housing on children's wellbeing and development – explores for the association between unstable housing tenure and housing stress on children's development and wellbeing in Australia.
Minister O'Connor said the report, funded under the Gillard Government's $11.4 million National Homelessness Research Agenda, provides the Government with greater insight into the wellbeing of Australian families and how they are affected by housing stress.
“The new research showing how housing instability affects children's development reaffirms the fundamental need for a safe and stable home for all children,” he said.
"It's important that we understand family dynamics and how environmental changes in the home can impact on the wellbeing of a family.”