Researchers from The University of Western Australia and its affiliate, Perth's Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, have found the impact of long-term unemployment and separation in a family extends to future generations.
The analysis, looking at the influence of long-term joblessness and separation of grandparents on grandchildren, appears in the Annual Statistical Report 2012 of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, released by the Australian Institute of Family Studies.
Professor Steve Zubrick, from The University of Western Australia, and Kirsten Hancock, senior analyst at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research (TICHR), looked at two particularly disruptive family history events - joblessness and separation - and their impact on the social and emotional well-being and academic achievement of children.
The research showed the effects of joblessness and separation experienced by grandparents extended beyond the outcomes of their own children (the study parents) into the next generation as well (the study children, or grandchildren).
Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) is a major study following the development of 10,000 children and families from all parts of Australia.
The study began in 2004 with two cohorts - families with four-to-five-year-old children and families with newborn babies to one-year-olds. Growing Up in Australia is investigating how a child's social, economic and cultural environments affect their adjustment and well-being.
A major aim is to identify policy opportunities for improving support for children and their families and for early intervention and prevention strategies.