Publication Date



Wellbeing, Middle years, Children, Primary school students, Secondary school students, Child development, Disadvantaged, Questionnaires, Surveys, Measures (Individuals), Family characteristics, Child health, Friendship, Educational experience, Neighbourhoods, Material wellbeing, Life satisfaction, Socioeconomic influences, Disadvantaged environment, Poverty, Skills, Qualitative research, Quantitative research


The Australian Child Wellbeing Project was conducted by researchers at the Flinders University of South Australia, UNSW Australia (The University of New South Wales), and the Australian Council for Educational Research. It was funded by the Australian Research Council through a Linkage Grant (LP120100543), and supported by Partner Organisations: the Australian Government Department of Education and Training, the Australian Government Department of Social Services, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.


Compared with the early years and adolescence, young people in their middle years (ages 8-14 years) have received relatively little attention from policymakers other than in the space of academic achievement, where national curriculums have been developed, and a national testing regime is in place. Yet there is growing recognition that this is a critical time when young people experience rapid physical and mental development, in addition to facing a significant transition from primary to secondary school. The Australian Child Wellbeing Project (ACWP) asked young people about their lives and wellbeing during this crucial period. Wellbeing can be seen as comprising a broad range of objective circumstances that young people experience, social relationships that they engage in, and their perceptions of these circumstances and relationships. This summary report focuses on four factors that have emerged as important influences on young people’s wellbeing: hunger and severe deprivation, missing school, experience of pressure from schoolwork, and support networks that protect young people’s wellbeing.

Place of Publication

Bedford Park SA; Sydney NSW; Melbourne Vic


Flinders University; University of New South Wales; Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)