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4725.0 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth, Apr 2011  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/05/2012  Reissue
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Contents >> Health


HEALTH

This article is part of a comprehensive series released as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth.


Note: In this section, the term 'children' refers to people aged 0–14 years unless otherwise stated. Information was provided by the parent or guardian or, where they were not available, by a close relative or other household member with responsibility for the child. The terms 'young people' or 'youth' refer to people aged 15–24 years. Data presented are from the ABS National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2008 (cat. no. 4714.0) and the National Health Survey 2007–08 (cat. no. 4364.0).

KEY MESSAGES

Among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 0–14 years in 2008:
  • the majority (79%) were reported to be in excellent or very good health, 18% were reported to be in good health and 4% were reported to be in fair or poor health
  • those in excellent or very good health were more likely than those in fair or poor health to have a carer who was also in excellent or very good health (53% compared with 32%)
  • 9% had ear or hearing problems, 7% had eye or sight problems and 30% had teeth or gum problems.
Among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people aged 15–24 years in 2008:
  • 58% assessed their health as excellent or very good
  • 35% had a disability or long-term health condition
  • 39% were current daily smokers
  • 36% reported binge drinking in the previous fortnight
  • 19% reported problems accessing one or more health services.

The health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people affects their capacity to enjoy life and to meet family and community responsibilities. As much of intergenerational learning occurs through a process of observation, imitation and participation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth may also be influenced by the health-related behaviours of their parents and elders, and in turn, may act as role models for younger children in their families and communities.

The Framework for Measuring Wellbeing: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2010 (cat. no. 4703.0) identifies health as a major domain that contributes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing.

Topics covered in this article include:

This section contains the following subsection :
      Children's health
      What young people said about their health
      What young people did about their health
      Young people's access to health services
      Other resources about health

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