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4720.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey: Users' Guide, 2008  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/02/2010   
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GLOSSARY

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages

Languages in the Australian Indigenous Languages group of the Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL). See the Language and culture chapter for more information.

Aboriginal people

People who identify or are identified as being of Aboriginal origin. May also include people identified as being of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin. See also Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people.

Age standardisation

A method of removing the influence of age when comparing populations with different age structures. Refer to the Survey design chapter.

Alcohol consumption risk level

Two measures of alcohol consumption risk level were produced from this survey, based on the following:

  • a person's reported usual daily consumption of alcohol and the frequency of consumption in the 12 months prior to interview; and
  • the largest quantity of alcohol consumed in a single day during the two weeks prior to interview.

Refer to the Health chapter.

Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL), 2005-06

The Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL) is used in the collection, storage and dissemination of all Australian statistical and administrative data relating to the languages spoken in Australia.

Child

A person of any age who is a natural, adopted, step or foster son or daughter of a couple or lone parent, usually resident in the same household, and who does not have a child or partner of his/her own usually resident in the household.

Child care

Both formal and informal care provided for dependent children, aged 0-12 years. Refer to the Life experiences chapter.

Clan, tribal group or language group

A group of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people who share a common language and/or clan or tribal membership. Refer to the Language and culture chapter.

Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) program

The CDEP program enables participants to exchange unemployment benefits for opportunities to undertake work and training in activities, which are managed by a local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community organisation. In this survey, CDEP participants are considered to be employed. Refer to the Work chapter.

Cultural activities

Includes the following: fishing; hunting; gathering wild plants/berries; making Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander arts or crafts; performing any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander music, dance or theatre; and writing or telling any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander stories.

Cultural events, ceremonies or organisations

Includes the following: Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander ceremonies; NAIDOC week activities; sports carnivals; festivals or carnivals involving arts, craft, music or dance; funerals/sorry business; and involvement with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander organisations.

Disability status/Long term health condition

A disability or restrictive long term health condition exists if a limitation, restriction, impairment, disease or disorder, has lasted, or is expected to last for six months or more, and restricts everyday activities. For more information on the types of restrictions and conditions refer to the Health chapter.

Dwelling

See Private dwelling.

Educational attainment

The highest level of education attained. See also Highest year of school completed and Non-school qualification. Refer to the Education chapter.

Employed

Persons aged 15 years or over who had a job or business, or who undertook work without pay in a family business, for a minimum of one hour, in the week prior to interview. Includes persons who were absent from a job or business and CDEP participants. See also Labour force status. Refer to the Work chapter.

Estimated resident population (ERP)

The official ABS estimate of the Australian population, based on the Census count (on a usual residence basis). The estimated resident population is compiled at 30 June each Census year, and is updated quarterly between censuses. These intercensal estimates of the resident population are revised each time a population census is taken. For more information, see Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0). See also Estimated resident Indigenous population.

Estimated resident Indigenous population

The Indigenous ERP is based on the Census count and adjusted for instances in which Indigenous status is unknown and for net undercount. These adjustments are necessary because of the volatility of counts of the Indigenous population between censuses. For more information, see Experimental Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 1991 to 2021 (cat. no. 3238.0).

Financial stress

Three measures aimed at identifying households that may have been constrained in their activities because of a shortage of money, including:
  • the ability to raise 'emergency money';
  • the existence of cash flow problems; and
  • whether a household ran out of money for basic living expenses in the 12 months prior to interview.

Information was reported by the household spokesperson. Refer to the Income and finances chapter.

Highest year of school completed

The highest year of primary or secondary school completed, irrespective of the type of educational institution attended, or where that education was undertaken. Refer to the Education chapter.

Homelands/traditional country

An area of land with which Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people have ancestral and/or cultural links.

Household

Consists of a person living alone, or two or more related or unrelated persons who live and eat together in private residential accommodation. In this survey, each household contained at least one identified Indigenous resident.

Household income

Based on the sum of the reported personal cash incomes of all household members aged 15 years and over. See the Income and finances chapter.

Household spokesperson

The person nominated as most able to provide information about the household as a whole. This person was not necessarily Indigenous and if Indigenous, may not have been selected for a personal interview.

Housing utilisation

An assessment of potential overcrowding through a comparison of the number of bedrooms in a given dwelling and household demographics such as the number of usual residents, their relationship to one another, age and sex. This measure is based on the Canadian National Occupancy Standard for Housing Appropriateness. Refer to the Housing and mobility chapter.

Income

See Personal income and Household income.

Income deciles

Groupings that result from ranking all persons/households in the population in ascending order according to income, and then dividing the population into 10 equal groups, each comprising 10% of the estimated population. Income decile cut-off amounts for persons and households are provided in the Income and finances chapter.

Indigenous

People who identified themselves, or were identified by another household member, as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.

Indigenous household

A household where one or more of the Usual Residents is identified as Indigenous. See also Indigenous.

Informal learning

The active involvement by the primary carer/s in selected activities that support or encourage children's learning activities (eg listening to them read, helping with their homework, watching TV, a video or DVD). Refer to the Population characteristics chapter.

Labour force status

Identifies whether a person is employed, unemployed or not in the labour force. See also Employed, Not in the labour force and Unemployed. Refer to the Work chapter.

Main language spoken at home

The language a person most commonly uses at home. Refer to the Language and culture chapter.

Major cities

Geographical areas within the 'Major cities of Australia' category of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Structure. See also Remoteness Area. Refer to the Population characteristics chapter.

Major structural problems

Refers to the general condition of a dwelling and identifies specific structural problems. Refer to the Housing and mobility chapter.

Mesh block

A mesh block is a geographical unit, consisting of approximately 50 households, compared to approximately 220 households in a Census Collection District (CD). For more information see Information Paper: Draft Mesh Blocks, Australia, 2005 (cat. no. 1209.0.55.001) and Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), Jul 2009 (cat. no. 1216.0).

Mobility

The movement of a person between dwellings in the 12 months prior to the survey. Refer to the Housing and mobility chapter.

Mortgage

A loan which is secured against a dwelling.

Non-remote

Geographical areas within the 'Major cities of Australia', 'Inner regional Australia' and 'Outer regional Australia' categories of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Structure. See also Remoteness Area. Refer to the Population characteristics chapter.

Non-school qualification

Non-school qualifications are awarded for educational attainments other than those of pre-primary, primary or secondary education. Responses have been coded according to the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0). Refer to the Education chapter.

Not in the labour force

Persons who were not in the categories 'employed' or 'unemployed' as defined. See also Labour force status. Refer to the Work chapter.

Personal income

The amount/s of gross weekly cash income (pre-tax) received and the source/s of income. Refer to the Income and finances chapter.

Private dwelling

The premises occupied by a household. Includes houses, flats, home units, garages, tents and improvised dwellings. Excludes hostels, hospitals and prisons.

Proxy

A proxy is a person who answered survey questions on behalf of the selected person. Three situations allowed for a proxy interview, where the selected person:
  • was aged 0-14 years (ie children);
  • was unable to complete the survey due to injury or illness; or
  • could not complete the survey due to language problems and an interpreter could not be organised.

Psychological distress (Kessler-5)

The Kessler-5 (K5) measure of psychological distress, consists of a subset of five questions from the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale-10 (K10), which was designed to measure levels of negative emotional states experienced in the four weeks prior to interview. Refer to the Health chapter.

Remote

Geographical areas within the 'Remote Australia' and 'Very remote Australia' categories of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Structure. See also Remoteness Area. Refer to the Population characteristics chapter.

Remoteness Area

Within a state or territory, each Remoteness Area represents an aggregation of geographical areas which share common characteristics of remoteness, determined in the context of Australia as a whole. Refer to the Population characteristics chapter.

Removal from natural family

A person that has been ‘taken away’ from their natural family. Refer to the Life experiences chapter.

Repairs and maintenance

Work carried out on a dwelling in the 12 months prior to the survey in order to prevent deterioration or to repair or restore the dwelling to its original condition. Refer to the Housing and mobility chapter.

Respondent

An Indigenous person who was selected to participate in the 2008 NATSISS and who completed an interview. See also Proxy. For more information on the selection process, refer to the Survey design chapter.

Self assessed health status

A person’s general assessment of their own health against a five point scale which ranged from excellent through to poor. Refer to the Health chapter.

SEIFA

Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas. A suite of four summary measures which assess different aspects of socio-economic conditions in an area. Refer to the Population characteristics chapter.

Smoker status

The smoking habits of persons aged 15 years or over, based on the time of the interview. Three types of smokers were identified: current smoker, ex-smoker and never smoked. Refer to the Health chapter.

Sporting, social or community activities

Includes the following: attending sporting events as a player, coach, spectator, referee or other official; attending a native title meeting; community or special interest group activities; church or religious activities; attending funerals/sorry business or Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander ceremonies or festivals; going to a cafe, bar, restaurant, the movies, theatre or concert; visiting libraries, museums, art galleries, parks, zoos, botanic gardens or theme parks; and watching Indigenous TV or listening to Indigenous radio.

Stressors

One or more selected events or circumstances which a person considers to have been a problem for themselves or someone close to them in the 12 months prior to interview. Refer to the Life experiences chapter.

Substance use

The use of substances for non-medical purposes. Refer to the Health chapter.

Support in a time of crisis

The existence of a support network outside a person’s household. Such support could be called on in a time of crisis and could take the form of emotional, physical and/or financial help. Refer to the Social capital chapter.

Tenure type

The nature of a household's legal right to occupy the dwelling in which they usually reside. Refer to the Housing and mobility chapter.

Torres Strait Islander people

People identified as being of Torres Strait Islander origin. May also include people identified as being of both Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal origin. See also Indigenous.

Unemployed

Persons aged 15 years and over who were not employed but were actively looking for work in the four weeks prior to interview, and were available to start work in the previous week. See also Labour force status. Refer to the Work chapter.

Usual place of residence

Refers to the place where a person has lived or intends to live for a total of six months or more.


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