4725.0 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth, Apr 2011
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/05/2012 Reissue
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FAMILY AND COMMUNITY: CONNECTIONS WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
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. The terms 'youth' and 'young people' 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).
Strong family connections and the support of friends can be a foundation of good social and emotional wellbeing among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people (Endnote 1).
In 2008, the majority (88%) of young people were able to get support from someone outside their household in times of crisis. The most common sources of support for young people were family members (79%) and friends (70%). Most young people also reported having family and/or friends outside the household who they could confide in (88%).
Young people living in non-remote areas were more likely than those in remote areas to report having family and/or friends outside the household that they could confide in (91% compared with 76%). However, youth in non-remote areas were less likely to have daily face-to-face contact with family and friends than youth in remote areas (48% compared with 71%) and were more likely to have used other forms of daily contact in the last three months, such as phone (50% compared with 34%) or internet (27% compared with 8%).
Nearly half of all youth (49,400 or 48%) had helped or provided support to someone outside the household in the last four weeks. Help was most commonly provided to relatives (64%) and friends (50%). The most common types of help provided were domestic work or home maintenance (51%), providing transport or running errands (43%), emotional support (41%) and unpaid childcare (24%).
A higher proportion of young females than young males had given help to someone outside their household (51% compared with 44%).
PARTICIPATION IN COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES
In 2008, 89% of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had participated in sporting, social or community activities in the previous three months. The most common types of activities included:
3.1 PARTICIPATION IN SPORTING, SOCIAL OR COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES BY REMOTENESS, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth aged 15–24 years—2008
Source: 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey
HAVING A SAY IN FAMILY AND COMMUNITY ISSUES
Over two-thirds (69%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people felt that they could have a say all or most of the time with their family and friends on important issues. Rates were higher among young people living in non-remote than remote areas (72% compared with 57%).
Young people were less likely than older people to have input into important community issues. Around one in six young people (17%) reported being able to have a say in community issues all or most of the time compared with 29% of people aged 25 years and over.
TRUST IN LOCAL SERVICES
Among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in 2008:
Overall, young people living in remote areas were more likely than those in non-remote areas to have trust in the local police (57% compared with 49%), the local hospital (76% compared with 64%) and the local school (80% compared with 64%). Similar proportions of young people in non-remote and remote areas reported trust in their local doctor.
1. Williamson, A. B., Raphael, B., Redman, S., Daniels, J., Eades, S. J. & Mayers, N. (2010) ‘Emerging themes in Aboriginal child and adolescent mental health: findings from a qualitative study in Sydney, New South Wales’ Medical Journal of Australia (eMJA). MJA 2010; 192 (10) <www.mja.com.au>