4714.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014-15  
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APPENDIX 1: DATA COMPARABILITY WITH THE 2008 NATSISS


Introduction

1 This Appendix summarises differences between the 2014–15 NATSISS and the 2008 NATSISS. The summaries focus on differences in survey design and data collection, the addition and removal of data items, and conceptual changes to data items.

2 Differences in the survey design, questionnaire and context of this survey should be taken into account when making comparisons to the 2008 NATSISS.

3 More information on the 2014–15 NATSISS sample design, survey methodology, content, definitions and classifications is provided in the Explanatory Notes and the Glossary. A full list of data items from this survey and a copy of the survey questionnaire have been released with this publication and are available via the Downloads tab.

4 This Appendix includes the following sections:


Comparison to the 2008 NATSISS — survey design

5 Table 1 below presents the survey design elements of the 2008 and 2014–15 NATSISS.

Table 1. Survey design — 2008 and 2014–15 NATSISS


2008 NATSISS
2014–15 NATSISS

Collection method
  • Computer-assisted interview (CAI). In remote areas a paper back-up of the questionnaire was available in case of technical difficulties.
  • Computer-assisted interview (CAI).

Questionnaire
  • Selected persons and proxies in remote and non-remote areas were given the option of using prompt cards. The respondent could read directly from the cards or the card may have been read aloud by the interviewer.
  • Consistent with 2008.
  • In non-remote areas, selected persons aged 15 years and over were provided with a self-enumerated substance use paper form.
  • In non-remote areas, selected persons aged 15 years and over were able to complete the substance use form using the interviewer's laptop via computer-assisted self enumeration.
  • Personal interview for persons aged 15 years and over (where consent was not given for persons 15–17 years, an interview was not conducted).
  • Consistent with 2008.
  • A proxy interview was conducted for children aged 0–14 years, people unable to complete the survey due to injury or illness and people who did not have sufficient English skills (an interpreter may have been used).
  • Consistent with 2008.
  • A household spokesperson aged 18 years and over provided household information, including: community facilities, bedrooms, telephone/IT access, transport, household facilities, maintenance, tenure, financial stress and income.
  • A household spokesperson aged 18 years and over provided household information, including: bedrooms, transport, household facilities, maintenance, tenure, financial stress and income. In remote communities, a community facilitator provided information relating to available community facilities. In remote non-community areas, the household spokesperson provided this information.

Scope
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons (all ages) who were usual residents of private dwellings in Australia.
  • Consistent with 2008.

Sample design
  • For selected households in discrete remote communities and outstations: one Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person aged 15 years and over and one child aged 0–14 years.
  • For selected households in non-remote and remote non-community areas: up to two Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander persons aged 15 years and over and up to two Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children aged 0–14 years.
  • For selected households in remote areas: one Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person aged 15 years and over and one Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child aged 0–14 years.

  • For selected households in non-remote areas: up to two Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander persons aged 15 years and over and up to two Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children aged 0–14 years.

Exclusions
  • Non-Indigenous persons
  • Non-Australian diplomats, diplomatic staff and members of their household
  • Members of non-Australian defence forces stationed in Australia and their dependents
  • Overseas visitors
  • Consistent with 2008.

Sample size
  • 13,307 persons (7,823 adults and 5,484 children)
  • 11,178 (7,022 adults and 4,156 Children)

Response rate
  • 82% of households.
  • 80% of households.

Enumeration period
  • August 2008 to April 2009.
  • September 2014 to June 2015.

Main output units
  • Persons
  • Households
  • Consistent with 2008.


Comparison to the 2008 NATSISS — content

6 Content changes between the 2008 NATSISS and 2014–15 NATSISS were determined following an extensive consultation phase with key stakeholders. While new content was able to be added, there was an objective not to impose additional burden on respondents. To ensure this, new content in the 2014–15 NATSISS was offset with content omissions. In some cases, data items have been revised in order to meet user needs.

7 In order to meet these emerging data needs, not all data items are comparable between the 2008 and 2014–15 NATSISS. Changes made to the 2014–15 NATSISS for all new, removed or revised data items are summarised below. Additional information is also provided for any conceptual differences compared to the 2008 NATSISS to ensure users are aware of limitations when comparing specific data items between the surveys.

New data items in the 2014–15 NATSISS Back to top

8 The following data items were introduced to the NATSISS in 2014–15:

Household level data items

Dwelling characteristics
    • Dwelling structure
    • Satisfaction with services provided by public housing service provider

Facilities and costs
    • Satisfaction with services provided by public housing service provider
    • Whether alcohol is allowed to be drunk in community
    • Whether job services / training provider available in community
    • Whether household living in house of an acceptable standard

Household smoking
    • Frequency of smoking inside the house

Geography
    • Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) Region

Person level data items

Access to services
    • Services has most problems accessing (maximum 3)

Language and culture
    • Whether currently receives income from selected cultural activities
    • Current sources of income from selected cultural activities

Unfair treatment
    • Whether unfair treatment in last 12 months because Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander
    • Types of unfair treatment in last 12 months because Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander
    • Most recent situation treated unfairly in last 12 months because Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander

Childhood unfair treatment and bullying at school
    • Whether ever bullied at school
    • Whether ever treated unfairly at school because Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander

Patient experience
    • Whether seen doctor in previous 12 months for own health
    • How often doctor(s) listened carefully in last 12 months
    • How often doctor(s) showed respect for what was said in last 12 months
    • How often doctor(s) spent enough time with person in last 12 months

Maternal health
    • Whether proxy answering for child is birth mother

Long-term health conditions
    • Whether has been diagnosed with a long-term health condition
    • Type of diagnosed long-term condition
    • Number of selected long-term conditions diagnosed
    • Whether has been diagnosed with a mental health condition
    • Comorbidity Renal
    • Comorbidity Musculoskeletal
    • Comorbidity Chronic lower respiratory

Social and emotional wellbeing
    • Overall life satisfaction

Nutrition
    • Whether fruit and vegetable consumption met recommended guidelines (2003)
    • Whether vegetable consumption met recommended guidelines (2013 Guidelines)
    • Whether fruit consumption met recommended guidelines (2013 NHMRC guidelines)
    • Whether daily fruit and vegetable intake meets NHMRC 2013 guidelines

Health risk factors
    • Lifetime (long-term) alcohol risk (2009 NHMRC guidelines)
    • Single occasion (short-term) alcohol risk (2009 NHMRC guidelines)

Community strength
    • Whether cared for a person with disability, long term health condition or old age in last 4 weeks

Perceptions of community leadership and change
    • Whether thinks community has strong leadership remote only
    • Whether feels that leaders in this community have time to listen and give advice remote only
    • Whether thinks changes in past 12 months have made the community better or worse remote only
    • Changes in last 12 months that have made the community better remote only

Social contact
    • Whether participated in organised sport or physical activities in last 12 months adult
    • Types of organised sport or physical activity participated in last 12 months adult
    • Number of organised sports or physical activities participated in last 12 months adult

Social networks
    • Frequency of other than face to face contact with family or friends outside household
    • Whether can confide in any family or friends outside the household
    • Number of friends or family outside the household can confide in
    • Frequency of voice call contact with family or friends outside household
    • Frequency of text messaging contact with family or friends outside household
    • Frequency of video link contact with family or friends outside household
    • Frequency of web based chat contact with family or friends outside household
    • Frequency of post contact with family or friends outside household
    • Frequency of email contact with family or friends outside household
    • Frequency of other form of contact with family or friends outside household

Education
    • Level of current study
    • Field of current study
    • Main field of highest educational attainment

Employment
    • Whether has paid leave entitlements non-remote only
    • Whether has paid leave entitlements remote only
    • Whether usually works shiftwork non-remote only
    • Whether usually works shiftwork remote only
    • Whether engaged in work and/or study

Permanent place to live
    • Whether ever experienced being without a permanent place to live
    • All situations ever experienced because did not have permanent place to live
    • All reasons for ever being without a permanent place to live
    • Whether ever experienced homelessness
    • Most recent experience of being without a permanent place to live
    • Reasons for most recent experience without a permanent place to live
    • Number of times without a permanent place to live
    • Whether most recent experience without a permanent place to live was homelessness
    • Time since most recent experience of homelessness
    • Whether experienced homelessness in last 10 years
    • Length of time of most recent experience of homelessness
    • Whether sought assistance from service organisation(s) during most recent experience of homelessness
    • Type of service organisation(s) contacted during most recent experience of homelessness
    • All reasons did not seek assistance from service organisation during most recent experience of homelessness
    • Whether service organisation(s) was / were of assistance during most recent experience of homelessness

Information technology
    • Whether accessed internet at home in last 12 months
    • Frequency of internet access at home in last 12 months
    • Types of government services accessed via the internet for private purposes in last 12 months

Safety, law and justice
    • Main neighbourhood problem

Experiences of violence
    • Number of times experienced physical violence in last 12 months
    • Whether alcohol or other substances contributed to most recent physical violence
    • Number of instances of face-to-face threatened physical violence in last 12 months non-remote only
    • Number of instances of threatened physical violence in last 12 months remote only
    • Whether alcohol / substances contributed to most recent face-to-face threatened physical violence non-remote only


NATSISS data items removed between 2008 and 2014–15 Back to top

9 The following data items were omitted from the 2014–15 NATSISS:

Household level data items

Household information technology
    • Whether any working computers in household
    • Reasons for not having a computer in household
    • Reasons why computer does not work
    • Whether any computers connected to the Internet in household
    • Main reason for not having an Internet connection in household

Person level data items

Child care and events
    • Whether child had a positive experience with the police in last 12 months
    • Whether prefer to use Indigenous formal child care services

Demographics
    • Indigenous status of child's main carer
    • Main language spoken by child's main carer
    • Whether child's main carer has a non-school qualification
    • Highest year of school completed by child's main carer
    • Self assessed health status of child's main carer

Income
    • Whether has a bank or credit union account
    • Type of method used for accessing money
    • Number of types of methods used for accessing money

Language and culture
    • Reasons for participating in selected cultural activities in last 12 months
    • Whether child participated in selected cultural activities with main carer in last week
    • Importance of attending selected cultural events
    • How often attends selected cultural events
    • Level of accuracy of cultural education

Stressors
    • Types of help to assist getting through difficult times

Unfair treatment
    • Whether child bullied or treated unfairly at school because Indigenous
    • Types of perpetrators of bullying
    • Whether perpetrators of bullying are Indigenous
    • Types of perpetrators of unfair treatment
    • Whether perpetrators of unfair treatment were Indigenous
    • Effects of bullying on child
    • Effects of unfair treatment on child

Maternal health
    • Type of health professional child's mother consulted for pregnancy check-ups
    • Number of nights child's mother spent in hospital after birth

Disability
    • Type of educational restriction due to disability
    • Type of employment restriction due to disability

Nutrition
    • Number of days per week child usually eats fruit
    • Number of days per week child usually eats vegetables
    • Age child regularly drank types of milk (weeks) (excluding breast milk)
    • Whether infant ever given solid food
    • Age infant first regularly given solid food

Child sleep
    • Usual sleeping position

Health risk factors
    • Whether ever used substances
    • Type of substances ever used
    • Number of substances ever used

Social contact
    • Whether can confide in any family members outside household
    • Number of family members outside household can confide in
    • Whether can confide in any friends
    • Number of friends can confide in
    • Frequency of other types of contact with family or friends outside household
    • Whether child tends to play by themselves
    • Frequency child plays with children same age
    • Frequency child plays with older children
    • Whether participated in sporting, social or community activities in last 3 months
    • Types of sporting, social or community activities participated in last 3 months
    • Number of sporting, social or community activities participated in last 3 months
    • Proportion of friends of a similar age
    • Proportion of Indigenous friends
    • Proportion of friends with similar education levels

Education
    • Number of days main carer spent doing informal learning activities with child last week
    • Average number of hours main carer spent doing informal learning activities with child last week
    • Whether vocational training was done as part of CDEP

Employment
    • Occupation in main job (ASCO)
    • Industry of main job (ANZSIC 1993) non-remote only
    • Whether current job is fixed term, ongoing or seasonal
    • Whether current job is casual, shiftwork, or full/part-time
    • Whether CDEP participant
    • Whether main job is part of CDEP
    • Duration of CDEP (months)
    • Whether used employment support services in last 12 months
    • Whether needed employment support services in last 12 months
    • Reasons did not use employment support services in last 12 months

Mobility and transport
    • Owners of motor vehicles that can be used whenever needed
    • Owners of motor vehicles that can be accessed in an emergency

Information technology
    • Whether used computer in last 12 months
    • Where used computer in last 12 months
    • Reasons for using computer in last 12 months adult
    • Reasons for using computer in last 12 months child
    • Purpose of Internet use in last 12 months
    • Types of telephones used by household members in past month
    • Whether child usually spends more than 2 hours per day being inactive

Safety, law and justice
    • Feelings of safety at home alone during the day
    • Number of times arrested by police in last 5 years
    • Longest time spent on remand and/or incarcerated (days)

NATSISS data items with revisions between 2008 and 2014–15 Back to top

10 The following data items have been revised for the 2014–15 NATSISS:

Barriers level data items

Data items with revised categories:
    • Barriers to services with most problems accessing
    • Types of selected services has most problems accessing

Additional information: In 2008, Barriers level data referred to all types of services with problems accessing. In 2014–15, this was restricted to a maximum of three services per respondent. Where a respondent reported more than three types of services they had problems accessing, they were then asked which three of these services they had the most problems accessing. Only these three services are represented at the Barriers level.

Household level data items

Household characteristics

Data items with revised populations:
    • Whether any major structural problems
    • Types of major structural problems
    • Whether has a problem with rising damp

Additional information: In 2008, data items relating to structural problems were not comparable between remote and non-remote areas. In 2014–15, 'rising damp' was included in Types of major structural problems in remote areas, meaning that data items relating to structural problems are consistent in remote and non-remote areas.

Facilities and costs

Data items with revised collection method:
    • Types of community facilities available to the household

Additional information: In 2008, community facility information was collected from all remote households. In 2014–15, the information continued to be collected from remote non-community households. However, in discrete communities, the information was collected from a community facilitator. This information was then applied to all households in that community.

Household smoking

Data items with revised concept:
    • Whether anybody ever smokes inside the house

Additional information: In 2008, this referred to household members who smoked inside the house. In 2014–15, this data item refers to any person who smoked inside the house.

Person level data items

Access to services

Data items with revised categories:
    • All types of services has problems accessing
    • All types of barriers to any of services with most problems accessing

Additional information: In 2008, 'Type of barrier to accessing any services' referred to barriers to all types of services with problems experienced. In 2014–15, this was restricted to a maximum of three types of services per respondent and is now 'All types of barriers to any of services with most problems accessing'. In 2014–15, where a respondent reported more than three types of services they had problems accessing, they were then asked which three of these services they had the most problems accessing. Only these three services are represented in the data item 'All types of barriers to any of services with most problems accessing'.

Child care and events

Data items with revised categories:
    • Informal child care providers other than proxy who looked after child last week
    • Informal child care providers other than proxy who usually look after child
    • Main reason attends formal child care

Unfair treatment adult

Data items with revised concept:
    • Most recent situation treated unfairly in last 12 months because Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander
    • Frequency of unfair treatment in last 12 months because Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander
    • Whether avoided situations in last 12 months due to past unfair treatment because Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander
    • Types of situations avoided due to past unfair treatment because Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander

Additional information: In 2008, the above data items referred to questions relating to 'being discriminated against' because a person was of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. In 2014–15, the question module was revised to ask if respondents had experienced specific events related to unfair treatment because they were of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin.

Unfair treatment childhood unfair treatment and bullying at school

Data items with revised concept:
    • Whether child bullied at current school
    • Whether bullying was physical, verbal or through technology
    • Whether attendance at school affected by bullying
    • Whether progress at school affected by bullying
    • Whether child unfairly treated at current school

Additional information: In 2008, respondents were asked if a child was 'bullied or treated unfairly at school' because they were of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. In 2014–15, this question was separated into two questions. The first asked about bullying, whilst the second asked about being treated unfairly at school because a child was of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. Types of bullying was also expanded to include 'through technology'.

Maternal health

Data items with revised categories:
    • Whether alcohol consumed by child's mother during pregnancy
    • Whether tobacco used by child's mother during pregnancy

Additional information: In 2008, these data items included whether or not the child's mother consumed more or less alcohol or tobacco after they found out they were pregnant. In 2014–15, data only includes whether these were consumed.

Disability

Data items with revised concept and populations:
    • Disability status
    • Type of restrictions
    • Disability type
    • Whether has education restriction due to disability
    • Whether has employment restriction due to disability

Additional information: Disability module questions have been revised so that the ABS standard disability question set applied to both non-remote and remote areas, with the only exception being word substitutions in remote areas to aid understanding of concepts. In 2008, the question module in remote areas included simplifications in the detail of questions establishing disability status. Respondents were also not specifically asked whether they had any mental illness for which help or supervision was required. In 2014–15, the question module applied the standard detail and questions in both non-remote and remote areas. Disability status, Disability type and Type of restrictions are comparable between remote and non-remote areas in 2014–15, but are only comparable between 2008 and 2014–15 in non-remote areas. The question order has also changed between cycles, in particular the questions used to ascertain disability status and disability types. In 2014–15, additional questions were also included in order to determine the severity of restriction, such that disability status can be determined to a broader range of levels. In 2008, persons who were not studying or working were classified as having no restriction due to education or employment respectively. However, in 2014–15 all persons aged 15–64 years with a restrictive condition were asked if they had a restriction in either or both of these areas.

Nutrition

Data items with revised populations and categories:
    • Number of daily serves of vegetables
    • Number of daily serves of fruit

Additional information: In 2008, number of daily serves of vegetables and fruit applied to children aged 1–14 years. In 2014–15, nutrition was expanded to include all persons aged 1 year and over.

Data items with revised categories:
    • Whether child drinks other types of milk or fluids
    • Types of fluids other than breast milk regularly consumed by child

Health risk factors

Data items with revised categories:
    • Reasons tried to quit or reduce amount smoked in last 12 months

Data items with revised collection method:
    • All substance use data items

Additional information: In 2008, substance use data was self-enumerated in non-remote areas using a paper form. In 2014–15, respondents in non-remote areas completed the interview using a computer-assisted self interview. In 2014–15, remote enumeration for substance use continued to be a computer-assisted personal interview.

Community strength

Data items with revised labels:
    • Level of trust in most people

Additional Information: In 2008 this data item was labelled 'Level of trust generally', however the data items are based on the same question and are comparable between cycles.

Social contact

Data items with revised categories:
    • Types of organised sport child has played in last 12 months
    • Reasons child did not play (further) organised sport in last 12 months
    • Other types of contact with family or friends outside household

Data items with revised question method:
    • Whether participated in sporting, social or community activities in last 12 months
    • Types of sporting, social or community activities participated in last 12 months

Additional information: In 2008, the question relating to Types of sporting, social or community activities participated in last 12 months included a category for 'attended funerals, ceremonies or Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander festivals'. In 2014–15, this category was removed from the question and the output data item instead drew from the question relating to Whether involved in cultural events, ceremonies or organisations, which also included the category of 'funerals, ceremonies or Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander festivals'. This methodological change also affects Whether participated in sporting, social or community activities in last 12 months.

Employment

Data items with revised concept:
    • All data items relating to labour force status
    • Duration of job search

Additional information: In 2014–15, the labour force module was updated to reflect the current ABS standard. Two new questions regarding active steps to find work 'had an interview with an employer for work' and 'taken steps to purchase own business' are included. Additionally, registering with Centrelink as a job seeker is no longer considered an active step to find employment. In 2008, people participating in the CDEP scheme were considered to be employed. In 2014–15, those persons who participated in the Remote Jobs and Communities Program (RJCP) were considered to be unemployed or not in the labour force. See Appendix 3 for further details. In 2008, Duration of job search was labelled as 'Duration of unemployment'. It was based on the responses to the two questions used to derive elapsed duration since the person began looking for work and that since the person last worked for two weeks or more and was assigned to the shorter period of these two elapsed durations. In 2014-15, the last job no longer needed to be of a duration of two weeks or more to break a spell of job search.

Data items with revised categories:
    • Status in employment in main job non-remote only

Data items with revised populations:
    • Whether current job is permanent or temporary
    • Industry of main job (ANZSIC 2006)

Additional information: In 2014–15, the data item Whether current job is permanent or temporary has been separated into two data items; one for remote and one for non-remote. In 2008, Industry of main job only applied to persons in non-remote areas. In 2014–15, this has been expanded to also include people in remote areas.

Income and finances

Data items with revised categories:
    • All sources of personal income
    • Main source of personal income

Mobility and transport

Data items with revised categories:
    • Main reason for last move adult
    • Main reason for last move child

Information technology

Data items with revised question:
    • Whether accessed internet in last 12 months
    • Sites where internet accessed with supplied equipment in last 12 months

Additional information: In 2008, respondents were asked if they had 'used a computer or the internet anywhere' in the last 12 months with separate response options for both computer and internet. In 2014–15, the question was revised to ask if the respondent had 'accessed the internet, whether through a computer, mobile phone or other device' in the last 12 months. The response option related only to internet access. In 2008, respondents were asked where the internet was used. In 2014–15, the question was revised to ask where the internet was accessed using supplied equipment (excluding mobile devices such as phones).

Safety, law and justice

Data items with revised categories:
    • Types of selected neighbourhood / community problems

Data items with revised concept:
    • Level of satisfaction with local government in dealing with main neighbourhood / community problem

Additional information: In 2008, 'Level of satisfaction with local government in dealing with problems' referred to all identified neighbourhood problems. In 2014–15, this was revised to refer to only the main neighbourhood problem identified. Back to top