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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/73911

Type: Journal article
Title: Jurisdictional, socioeconomic and gender inequalities in child health and development: analysis of a national census of 5-year-olds in Australia
Author: Brinkman, Sally Anne
Gialamas, Angela
Rahman, Azizur
Mittinty, Murthy Narasimha
Gregory, Tess Anne
Silburn, Sven
Goldfeld, Sharon
Zubrick, Stephen R.
Carr, Vaughan J.
Janus, Magdalena
Hertzman, Clyde
Lynch, John William
Citation: BMJ Open, 2012; 2:e001075
Publisher: BMJ Group
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 2044-6055
School/Discipline: School of Population Health and Clinical Practice : Public Health
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Sally A. Brinkman, Angela Gialamas, Azizur Rahman, Murthy N. Mittinty, Tess A. Gregory, Sven Silburn, Sharon Goldfeld, Stephen R. Zubrick, Vaughan Carr, Magdalena Janus, Clyde Hertzman and John W. Lynch
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: Early child development may have important consequences for inequalities in health and well-being. This paper explores population level patterns of child development across Australian jurisdictions, considering socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. DESIGN: Census of child development across Australia. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Teachers complete a developmental checklist, the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI), for all children in their first year of full-time schooling. Between May and July 2009, the AEDI was collected by 14 628 teachers in primary schools (government and non-government) across Australia, providing information on 261 147 children (approximately 97.5% of the estimated 5-year-old population). OUTCOME MEASURES: Level of developmental vulnerability in Australian children for five developmental domains: physical well-being, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills and communication skills and general knowledge. RESULTS: The results show demographic and socioeconomic inequalities in child development as well as within and between jurisdiction inequalities. The magnitude of the overall level of inequality in child development and the impact of covariates varies considerably both between and within jurisdiction by sex. For example, the difference in overall developmental vulnerability between the bestperforming and worst-performing jurisdiction is 12.5% for males and 7.1% for females. Levels of absolute social inequality within jurisdictions range from 8.2% for females to 12.7% for males. CONCLUSIONS: The different mix of universal and targeted services provided within jurisdictions from pregnancy to age 5 may contribute to inequality across the country. These results illustrate the potential utility of a developmental census to shed light on the impact of differences in universal and targeted services to support child development by school entry.
Rights: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license.
RMID: 0020122109
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001075
Appears in Collections:Public Health publications
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