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4725.0 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth, Apr 2011  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/05/2012  Reissue
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Contents >> Family and Community >> Young parents


FAMILY AND COMMUNITY: YOUNG PARENTS

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).

KEY MESSAGES

In 2008:
  • 21% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people were parents or guardians
  • four in ten (41%) young parents were single parents
  • young parents were less likely than non-parents to be fully engaged in work and/or study (23% compared with 62%).

CHARACTERISTICS OF YOUNG PARENTS

In 2008, around 21,300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people (21%) were parents or guardians of at least one Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child. Young females were much more likely than young males to have caring responsibilities for children (32% compared with 9%). Overall, young people living in remote areas were more likely to be parents than those living in non-remote areas (27% compared with 19%).

Among all young parents in 2008, 59% were living with a partner and 41% were single parents. Overall, rates of single parenting were higher among young parents than parents aged 25 years and over (41% compared with 30%). The majority of young males who were parents (96%) were living with a partner, whereas more than half (51%) of young females who were parents were single parents.

Of all young parents in 2008, 35% were living in a multiple family household.

YOUNG PARENTS IN EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATION

Due to caring responsibilities, young parents may have less capacity to work and/or study when compared with other young people. In 2008, young parents were less likely than non–parents to be fully engaged in work and/or study (23% compared with 62%).Young male parents were much more likely to be fully engaged than young female parents (61% compared with 14%).

2.1 ENGAGEMENT IN WORK AND/OR STUDY BY WHETHER A PARENT/GUARDIAN, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth aged 15–24 years—2008
Graph: Engagement in work and/or study by whether a parent or guardian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15–24 years, 2008
(a) Difference between parents and non-parents is statistically significant
(b) Difference between parents and non-parents is not statistically significant
Source: 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey

SPOTLIGHT: TEENAGE PARENTS (aged 15–19 years)

In 2008, around 3,750 (6%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teenagers were parents. The majority of teenage parents (85%) were female, and more than half of all teenage parents (57%) were single parents.

Of all teenagers living in remote areas, one in ten were parents (11%). This was double the rate of teenage parents in non-remote areas (5%).

When compared with teenagers who were not parents, teenage parents were:
  • more likely to not be studying or working (74% compared with 20%);
  • more likely to have experienced one or more personal stressors in the previous year (70% compared with 49%);
  • more likely to be a current daily smoker (53% compared with 26%); and
  • less likely to report excellent/very good self-assessed health (41% compared with 63%).

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