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4714.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2008 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/10/2009   
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GLOSSARY

Ability to raise $2,000 within a week in an emergency

The household spokesperson's perception of whether they or other members of the household could raise $2,000 within a week in an emergency. The reason for raising the money was left open to interpretation, with the object being to determine whether people thought their household had access to, or the ability to amass, these resources within a week for something important. An example might be to pay for an emergency operation and the money could have been obtained from any source such as savings or a loan. See also Household spokesperson.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages

Languages in the Australian Indigenous Languages group of the Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL).

Aboriginal people

People who identify or are identified as being of Aboriginal origin. May also include people identified as being of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin. See also Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people.

Age standardisation

A method of removing the influence of age when comparing populations with different age structures. Where appropriate, estimates in this publication are age standardised to the age composition of the total estimated resident population of Australia as at 30 June 2001. The age standardised rate is that which would have prevailed if the studied population had the standard age composition. For more information refer to the Technical Note.

Alcohol consumption risk level

Two measures of alcohol consumption risk levels were derived from the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS). The first measure, reported in this publication, was based on a person's reported usual daily consumption of alcohol and the frequency of consumption in the 12 months prior to interview. The second was based on the largest quantity of alcohol consumed in a single day during the two weeks prior to interview. Relative risk levels, as defined by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in 2001, are as follows:

Consumption per day
Relative risk
Males
Females

Low
Less than 50 mls
Less than 25 mls
Moderate
50-75 mls
25-50 mls
High
Greater than 75 mls
Greater than 50 mls



It should be noted that risk levels as defined by the NHMRC are based on 'usual' levels of alcohol consumption. The second measure of alcohol consumption risk in the NATSISS did not take into account whether the largest quantity of alcohol consumed in a single day during the previous fortnight was more, less, or the same as usual. The results for the second measure are not reported in this publication.

Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL), 2005-06

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) developed the Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL) for use in the collection, storage and dissemination of all Australian statistical and administrative data relating to the languages spoken in Australia. In 2005 the classification was reviewed and improvements to language coverage, in particular for Australian Indigenous Languages, were made. The structure at the Australian Indigenous languages broad level was changed substantially, and a further 115 Australian Indigenous languages separately identified and included.

Child

A person of any age who is a natural, adopted, step or foster son or daughter of a couple or lone parent, usually resident in the same household, and who does not have a child or partner of his/her own usually resident in the household.

Child care

Both formal and informal care provided for dependent children. Child care questions were only asked of respondents with dependant children aged 0-12 years, within the household. See also Formal child care and Informal child care.

Clan, tribal group or language group

A group of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people who share a common language and/or clan or tribal membership. The NATSISS attempts to measure a person's affiliation with such groups by asking each respondent whether they identify with a tribal group, language group or clan.

Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) program

The CDEP program enables participants (usually members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities) to exchange unemployment benefits for opportunities to undertake work and training in activities which are managed by a local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community organisation. Participants in the program are classified as employed in the 2008 NATSISS.

Core activity restriction

A limitation in the performance of one or more core activities such as self-care (eating, washing, dressing, toileting); mobility; or communication. The 2008 NATSISS determined those who ever needed help or supervision with these tasks. Those with a profound (always needs help or supervision) or severe (sometimes needs help or supervision) level of core activity limitation were determined. It did not determine those with a moderate (has difficulty but does not need assistance) or mild (uses aid(s) to assist with core activities) level of core activity limitation. See also Disability status/Long term health condition, Profound/severe core activity restriction and Unspecified limitation or restriction.

Cultural events, ceremonies or organisations

See Involvement in cultural events, ceremonies or organisations.

Current daily smoker

A person who was smoking one or more cigarettes (or cigars or pipes) per day, on average, at the time of interview. See also Smoker status.

Disability status/Long term health condition

A disability or restrictive long term health condition exists if a limitation, restriction, impairment, disease or disorder, has lasted, or is expected to last for six months or more, and restricts everyday activities. Based on this information, those with profound or severe core-activity restrictions in the performance of one or more core activities, such as self-care, mobility and communication were determined. The severity of restrictions for others with a disability or long term health condition were not determined and have been classified as having an Unspecified limitation or restriction. See also Core activity restriction.

In the 2008 NATSISS, the questions used to ascertain disability status and disability type differed for persons living in remote and non-remote areas. In tables containing disability data, the population is limited to the set of criteria used to identify disability in remote areas, to enable comparable data from remote and non-remote areas to be presented. For more information, refer to paragraphs 106-108 in the Explanatory Notes.

The measurement used in this survey differs from other ABS surveys. The data are therefore not strictly comparable to data from other sources. For more information, refer to paragraphs 106-108 in the Explanatory Notes.

Dwelling

See Private dwelling.

Dwelling requires additional bedroom(s)

An indicator of potential overcrowding based on a comparison of the number of bedrooms in a given dwelling and household demographics such as the number of usual residents, their relationship to one another, age and sex. See also Housing utilisation.

Ear or hearing problems

Persons who had deafness, partial hearing loss, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), runny ears or glue ear (otitis media) and/or tropical ear/swimmer's ear (otitis external). This information was only collected for children aged 0-14 years.

Educational attainment

The highest level of education attained. Includes primary school, secondary school and non-school qualifications. See also Highest year of school completed and Non-school qualification.

Educational participation

Whether or not a person is currently studying at an educational institution. Current study can be on either a full-time or part-time basis.

Educational institution

Includes secondary schools, colleges of technical and further education (TAFEs), business colleges, industry skills centre, universities or other higher education institutions.

Employed

Persons aged 15 years or over who had a job or business, or who undertook work without pay in a family business, for a minimum of one hour, in the week prior to interview. Includes persons who were absent from a job or business and CDEP scheme participants. See also Labour force status.

Employment to population ratio

The number of employed persons expressed as a percentage of the population, excluding persons whose labour force status was unknown. See also Employed.

Estimated resident population (ERP)

The official ABS estimate of the Australian population, based on the Census count (on a usual residence basis). The estimated resident population is compiled at 30 June each census year, and is updated quarterly between censuses. These intercensal estimates of the resident population are revised each time a population census is taken. For more information, see Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0). See also Estimated resident Indigenous population.

Estimated resident Indigenous population

The Indigenous ERP is based on the Census count and adjusted for instances in which Indigenous status is unknown and for net undercount. These adjustments are necessary because of the volatility of counts of the Indigenous population between censuses. For more information, see Experimental Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 1991 to 2021 (cat. no. 3238.0).

Eye or sight problems

Persons who had long or short sightedness (including those who may wear glasses or contact lenses for corrective purposes), blindness, glaucoma (damage to the optic nerve at the back of the eye), cataracts (clouding of the lens), trachoma (a bacterial infection that can lead to blindness if untreated), lazy eye and/or retinopathy (damage to the retina at the back of the eye). This information was only collected for children aged 0-14 years.

Financial stress

Two measures aimed at identifying households that may have been constrained in their activities because of a shortage of money. These measures are the ability to raise 'emergency money' and whether a household ran out of money for basic living expenses in the 12 months prior to interview. Information on financial stress represents the problems of a household, as reported by the household spokesperson. See also Ability to raise $2,000 within a week in an emergency and ran out of money for basic living expenses.

Folate

Folate is a B group vitamin found in a variety of foods. It is also available in tablet form as folic acid. Women of child-bearing age are advised to take extra folate daily as this vitamin is crucial to the healthy development of babies in early pregnancy.

Formal child care

Types of formal child care include before and/or after school care, long day care centres, family day care, occasional care programs and any other formal care excluding vacation care. See also Informal child care.

Highest year of school completed

The highest year of primary or secondary school completed, irrespective of the type of educational institution attended, or where that education was undertaken. This includes people currently studying at secondary or non-school institutions.

Homelands/traditional country

An area of land with which Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people have ancestral and/or cultural links.

Household

Consists of a person living alone, or two or more related or unrelated persons who live and eat together in private residential accommodation. In this survey, each household contained at least one identified Indigenous resident.

Household spokesperson

The person nominated as most able to provide information about the household as a whole. This person was not necessarily Indigenous and if Indigenous, may not have been selected for a personal interview.

Housing utilisation

This information is based on the Canadian National Occupancy Standard for Housing Appropriateness, a widely used measure that is sensitive to both household size and composition. The following criteria are used to assess bedroom requirements and households requiring at least one additional bedroom are considered to be overcrowded:
  • there should be no more than two persons per bedroom;
  • a household of one unattached individual may reasonably occupy a bed-sit (ie. have no bedroom);
  • couples and parents should have a separate bedroom;
  • children aged less than 5 years, of different sexes, may reasonably share a room;
  • children aged 5 years or over, of different sexes, should not share a bedroom;
  • children aged less than 18 years and of the same sex may reasonably share a bedroom; and
  • single household members aged 18 years or over should have a separate bedroom.

Indigenous

Refers to people who identified themselves, or were identified by another household member, as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.

Indigenous household

An Indigenous household is a household where one or more of the Usual Residents is Indigenous. See also Indigenous.

Informal child care

Informal child care includes non-regulated care provided by siblings, a parent who does not live with the child, grandparents, other relatives or unrelated people such as friends, neighbours, nannies or baby-sitters, either within the home or elsewhere. Informal care may be paid or unpaid. See also Formal child care.

Informal learning

The active involvement by the primary carer/s in selected activities that support or encourage children's learning activities. The primary carer/s may interact with their child proactively, sharing their educational experiences. See also Informal learning activities.

Informal learning activities

The selected informal learning activities include: telling a story, listening to the child read, helping with homework or other educational activities; watching TV, a video or DVD with the child; assisting the child to draw, write or with other creative activities; playing music, singing songs, dancing or doing other musical activities with the child; playing a game (including board games) or doing sporting activities together indoors or outdoors; and/or taking part in or attending a playgroup with the child. Activities done at school/preschool or that the child engages in independently were excluded. See also Informal learning.

Involvement in cultural events, ceremonies or organisations

Participation in traditional or contemporary Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander cultural events and ceremonies in the 12 months prior to interview. Events include: Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander ceremonies; NAIDOC week activities; sports carnivals; festivals or carnivals involving arts, craft, music or dance; funerals/sorry business; and involvement with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander organisations.

Involvement in sporting, social or community activities

Participation in activities in the 12 months prior to interview including: attending sporting events as a player, coach, spectator, referee or other official; attending a native title meeting; community or special interest group activities; church or religious activities; attending funerals/sorry business or Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander ceremonies or festivals; going to a cafe, bar, restaurant, the movies, theatre or concert; visiting libraries, museums, art galleries, parks, zoos, botanic gardens or theme parks; and watching Indigenous TV or listening to Indigenous radio.

Labour force status

Identifies whether a person is employed, unemployed or not in the labour force. See also Employed, Not in the labour force and Unemployed.

Main language spoken at home

The language a person most commonly uses at home.

Major cities

Geographical areas within the 'Major cities of Australia' category of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Structure. See also Remoteness Area.

Major structural problems

Refers to the general condition of a dwelling and identifies specific structural problems such as rising damp, major cracks in walls/floors; sinking or moving foundations; sagging floors; walls or windows that are not plumb, wood rot or termite damage; major electrical problems; major plumbing problems; and major roof defects. Rising damp was only included as a major structural problem for households in non-remote areas and so has been excluded from figures presented in this publication.

Mortgage

A loan which is secured against a dwelling.

Non-remote

Geographical areas within the 'Major cities of Australia', 'Inner regional Australia' and 'Outer regional Australia' categories of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Structure. See also Remoteness Area.

Non-school qualification

Non-school qualifications are awarded for educational attainments other than those of pre-primary, primary or secondary education. Qualifications include: Certificates, Diplomas, Bachelor degrees, Graduate certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Postgraduate degrees. Non-school qualifications may be attained concurrently with school qualifications. Responses have been coded according to the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0).

Not in the labour force

Persons who were not in the categories 'employed' or 'unemployed' as defined. See also Labour force status.

Participation rate

The number of persons in the labour force (ie. employed plus unemployed) expressed as a percentage of the population, excluding persons whose labour force status was unknown. See also Employed, Labour force status, and Unemployed.

Private dwelling

The premises occupied by a household. Includes houses, flats, home units, garages, tents and improvised dwellings. Excludes hostels, hospitals and prisons.

Profound/severe core activity limitation

A limitation in the performance of one or more core activities of self-care, mobility or communication. People who needed assistance to perform one or more of these activities, some or all of the time, were categorised as having a profound or severe core activity limitation. See also Disability status/Long term health condition and Core activity restriction.

Proxy

A proxy is a person who answers survey questions on behalf of the selected person. There are three situations which allow for a personal interview to be conducted using a proxy, who has been identified as suitable to answer questions on behalf of the selected person:
  • where the selected person is aged 0-14 years;
  • where the selected person in unable to complete the survey due to injury or illness; or
  • where the selected person cannot complete the survey due to language problems and an interpreter cannot be organised.

In the 2008 NATSISS, proxy interviews were conducted for all selected persons aged 0-14 years. Wherever possible, the proxy was a parent or guardian. If no parent or guardian was available, then a close relative or other household member who had responsibility for the child provided responses.

Psychological distress (Kessler-5)

The Kessler-5 (K5) measure of psychological distress consists of a subset of five questions from the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale-10 (K10), which was developed in 1992 by Professors Ron Kessler and Dan Mroczek. The K10 is a non-specific psychological distress scale that consists of 10 questions designed to measure levels of negative emotional states experienced in the four weeks prior to interview.

The 2008 NATSISS included five questions from the K10, providing a measure of the social and emotional wellbeing of the Indigenous population. The K5 included:
  • About how often did you feel nervous?
  • About how often did you feel without hope?
  • About how often did you feel restless or jumpy?
  • About how often did you feel everything was an effort?
  • About how often did you feel so sad that nothing could cheer you up?

Responses to the five questions were put together, resulting in a minimum possible score of 5 and a maximum possible score of 25. Low scores indicate low levels of psychological distress and high scores indicate high levels of psychological distress. In this publication scores were grouped as follows:
  • Low/ moderate 5-11
  • High/ very high 12-25

Ran out of money for basic living expenses

A household that had insufficient funds to meet basic household running costs, at any time in the 12 months prior to interview. Basic household running costs include payment for food, utilities (electricity, gas and telephone) or car registration or insurance, credit card repayments, mortgage or rent payments. The frequency of the occurrence of each event or action was not collected. This information was reported by the household spokesperson.

Remote

Geographical areas within the 'Remote Australia' and 'Very remote Australia' categories of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Structure. This term has been abbreviated to 'Remote' in this publication. See also Remoteness Area.

Remoteness Area

Within a state or territory, each Remoteness Area represents an aggregation of non-contiguous geographical areas which share common characteristics of remoteness, determined in the context of Australia as a whole.

The delimitation criteria for Remoteness Areas are based on the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA). ARIA measures the remoteness of a point based on the physical road distances to the nearest Urban Centre. Not all Remoteness Areas are represented in each state or territory.

There are six Remoteness Areas in this structure:
  • Major Cities of Australia;
  • Inner Regional Australia;
  • Outer Regional Australia;
  • Remote Australia;
  • Very Remote Australia;
  • Migratory (not in-scope of the 2008 NATSISS).

For more information, see Australian Standard Geographical Classification, 2008 (cat. no. 1216.0).

Removal from natural family

A person that has been ‘taken away’ from their natural family. Includes the removal, as a child, from natural family as part of government policy, and which may have occurred under old welfare policies as well as more recent ones. 'Family' may include extended family members such as aunts, uncles and grandparents. Interviewers were instructed to exclude persons who had been removed from their family for a period of less than six months and those who had been separated from their family for other reasons, such as family dissolution or traditional adoption.

Repairs and maintenance

Work carried out on a dwelling in the 12 months prior to the survey in order to prevent deterioration or to repair or restore the dwelling to its original condition. Repairs and maintenance work is usually of a lesser value than renovations, alterations or additions. Types of repairs and maintenance include: painting; roof repair and maintenance, tile repair and maintenance, electrical work and plumbing.

Respondent

An Indigenous person who was selected to participate in the 2008 NATSISS and who completed an interview. In non-community areas, up to two Indigenous adults and two Indigenous children per household were randomly selected after all usual residents of the household were listed. In community areas up to one Indigenous adult and one Indigenous child were randomly selected as respondents. A proxy provided answers on behalf of children aged 0-14 years of age. The collection of information from people aged 15-17 years required parent/guardian permission, if this was not given then the an interview was not conducted. See also Proxy.

Self assessed health status

A person’s general assessment of their own health against a five point scale which ranged from excellent through to poor. Self assessed health status provides an indicator of overall health, reflecting an individual's perception of their physical, mental, social or spiritual health. This measure is dependent on a person's awareness and expectations of their own health and may be influenced by factors such as access to health services and the availability of health information.

Smoker status

Information was collected from persons aged 15 years or over on their smoking habits and the extent to which they were smoking at the time of the interview. Smoking refers to the regular smoking of tobacco products, including manufactured (packet) cigarettes, roll-your-own cigarettes, cigars and pipes, but excluding chewing tobacco and the smoking of non-tobacco products (eg marijuana). Based on this information, people were characterised as:
  • Current smoker - they currently smoke daily, weekly or other regular pattern (but less than weekly);
  • Ex-smoker - they previously smoked daily or had smoked 100 or more cigarettes in their lifetime or had smoked pipes, cigars or other tobacco products at least 20 times in their lifetime; or
  • Never smoked - they had never smoked daily.

Source(s) of support

Family members, friends, neighbours, work colleagues and various community, government and professional organisations that a person has nominated as source(s) of support to them in times of crisis. See also Support in time of crisis.

Sporting, social or community activities

See Involvement in sporting, social or community activities.

Support in time of crisis

The existence of a support network outside a person’s household. Such support could be called on in a time of crisis and could take the form of emotional, physical and/or financial help. See also Source(s) of support.

Teeth or gum problems

Persons who had teeth, who had: cavities or dental decay; tooth or teeth filled because of dental decay; teeth pulled out because of dental decay; an accident that caused breakage or loss of teeth; bleeding or sore gums; and/or any other problems with teeth or gums. This information was only collected for children aged 0-14 years.

Tenure type

The nature of a household's legal right to occupy the dwelling in which they usually reside. In this publication, households may be categorised as owner(s) without a mortgage; owner(s) with a mortgage; renters; and those with 'other' tenure types. Other tenure types include life tenure schemes, participants of rent/buy (or shared equity) schemes, rent-free, other tenure and arrangements that were not stated.

Torres Strait Islander people

People identified as being of Torres Strait Islander origin. May also include people identified as being of both Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal origin. See also Indigenous.

Unemployed

Persons aged 15 years and over who were not employed but were actively looking for work in the four weeks prior to interview, and were available to start work in the previous week. See also Labour force status.

Unemployment rate

Unemployed persons expressed as a proportion of the labour force (ie. unemployed plus employed).

Unspecified limitation or restriction

The severity of restrictions for those with a disability or long term health condition who did not have a profound or severe core-activity restriction, were not determined and have been classified as having an Unspecified limitation or restriction. See also Disability status/Long term health condition and Core activity restriction.

Usual attendance at school

Whether or not children usually attend school. Includes attendance at pre-primary, preparatory, reception, transition, kindergarten, primary or secondary school; children who are homeschooled; children who attend school via correspondence or school of the air; and children who attend special schools for the disabled. This information was reported by the child's proxy and reflects their perception of usual attendance. See also Proxy.

Usual place of residence

Refers to the place where a person has lived or intends to live for a total of six months or more.

Weight of child at birth

Birthweight of selected children aged 0-3 years, in grams, as reported by the proxy. See also Proxy.



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