EXTERNALLY FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS
Aboriginal Families Study
The Aboriginal Families Study is a prospective mother and child cohort study investigating the health and wellbeing of 344 Aboriginal children and their mothers living in urban, regional and remote areas of South Australia.
The study is being conducted by the Intergenerational Health Group at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in partnership with the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.
The study was developed in response to gaps in the available evidence to inform health policy and services and was preceded by extensive statewide consultation with Aboriginal communities. We have been guided by an Aboriginal advisory group under the auspices of the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia since 2007.
Major areas of focus include:
- maternal health and wellbeing
- children’s health, wellbeing and development
- engagement with health services
- connections to family, community, culture and language.
The aim of the study is to investigate the health and wellbeing of a cohort of Aboriginal children and their mothers. This includes a focus on social determinants of health including family violence.
Prospective birth cohort of 344 Aboriginal children and their mothers recruited in the first year after the birth. The cohort was recently followed up around the time that the study children were entering primary school. Our recent follow-up includes assessment of women's experiences of intimate partner violence using a culturally adapted version of the Composite Abuse Scale.
Preliminary findings from the 5 to 8 year follow-up were released in March 2021. We are currently analysing and reporting data from the second wave of follow-up. These include questionnaires completed by mothers and carers of the study children, and data from child activities designed to assess children's cognitive, speech and language development.