4901.0.55.001 - Children's Participation in Sport and Leisure Time Activities, 2003 - 2012 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/12/2012   
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1 This publication contains results from the 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2012 Surveys of Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, conducted throughout Australia as supplements to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). Respondents who were in scope of the supplementary surveys were asked further questions.

2 The aims of the surveys were to: identify characteristics of children who participated in organised sport, cultural activities and selected activities undertaken for recreation and leisure; identify characteristics of children who attended selected cultural venues and events; monitor the use of the internet by children; and identify children who have a mobile phone. The focus on activities outside of school hours is to elicit information on activities that are more likely to be undertaken by children by choice rather than those that are part of the school curriculum.

3 The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) contains information about survey design, sample redesign, scope, coverage and population benchmarks relevant to the monthly LFS, which also apply to supplementary surveys. It also contains definitions of demographic and labour force characteristics, and information about computer assisted and telephone interviewing which are relevant to both the monthly LFS and supplementary surveys.


4 The scope of the surveys was children aged 5-14 years who were usual residents of private dwellings except:

  • children of certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from censuses and surveys
  • children of overseas residents in Australia
  • children of members of non-Australian defence forces stationed in Australia
  • children living in Indigenous Communities (excluded for operational reasons).


5 The coverage of the surveys was the same as the scope except that the following populations were not enumerated for operational reasons:
  • children in households where all persons aged 15 years and over were members of the Australian permanent defence forces
  • children in households where all persons aged 15 years and over were out on scope for the LFS for any other reason.

6 The estimates in this publication relate to persons covered by the survey. In the LFS, coverage rules are applied which aim to ensure that each child is associated with only one dwelling, and hence have only one chance of selection in the survey. See Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for more details.


7 Information was collected from any responsible adult in the household who was asked to respond on behalf of the children in the household. In each selected household, information on cultural, sporting and selected recreational activities was sought for a maximum of three children. In households with four or more children aged 5-14 years, three children were randomly selected for the survey. For the additional children in these households only selected demographic information was collected.

8 Data were collected on children's cultural and sporting activities undertaken outside of school hours over a 12 month period. Data on the frequency of participation relates to the 12 months before interview, while data on the number of hours of participation refers to the last two weeks of school (the most recent two school weeks prior to the interview, including weekends and public holidays). School weeks are weeks during the school term (i.e. not school holidays) including weekends and public holidays. Data were also collected on children's participation in selected recreational activities during the last two weeks of school.

9 Supplementary surveys are not always conducted using the full LFS sample. Since August 1994 the sample for supplementary surveys has been restricted to no more than seven eighths of the LFS sample.


10 All sample surveys are subject to error which can be broadly categorised as either sampling error or non-sampling error.

11 Sampling error is the difference between the published estimates, derived from a sample of children, and the value that would have been produced if all children in scope for the survey had been included.

12 Non-sampling error may occur in any collection, whether it is based on a sample or a full count such as a census. Sources of non-sampling error include non-response, errors in reporting by respondents or recording answers by interviewers, and errors in coding and processing data. Every effort was made to reduce the non-sampling error by careful design and testing of the questionnaire, training and supervision of interviewers, follow-up of respondents, and extensive editing and quality control procedures at all stages of data processing.


13 Information recorded in these surveys is essentially ‘reported’ by respondents and hence may differ from that which might be obtained from other sources or via other methodologies. This factor should be considered when interpreting the estimates in this publication.


14 The Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities Survey was conducted in 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2012 as supplements to the Labour Force Survey. Computer assisted telephone interviewing was introduced during 2003 and while information was collected using a paper form for the majority of households in 2003, computer assisted interviewing was used for all survey interviews in the 2006, 2009 and 2012 surveys. This change in the methodology is not expected to impact on the comparability of the data between the surveys.

15 Changes between the 2003 and 2006 surveys are described in 'Comparability with previous ABS surveys' of the Explanatory Notes (paragraphs 13-20) in Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, April 2006 (cat. no. 4901.0). Changes between the 2006 and 2009 surveys are described in 'Comparability with previous ABS surveys' of the Explanatory Notes (paragraphs 12-13) in Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, April 2009 (cat. no. 4901.0). Changes between the 2009 and 2012 surveys are described in 'Comparability with previous ABS surveys' of the Explanatory Notes (paragraphs 23-27) in Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, April 2012 (cat. no. 4901.0).


16 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated, without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.