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Impact of perinatal health and socio-demographic factors on school education outcomes: A population study of Indigenous and non-Indigenous children in the Northern Territory

Guthridge, Steven L., Li, Lin, Silburn, Sven R., Li, Shu Qin, McKenzie, John and Lynch, John (2015). Impact of perinatal health and socio-demographic factors on school education outcomes: A population study of Indigenous and non-Indigenous children in the Northern Territory. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health,51(8):778-786.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 11381xPUB54
Title Impact of perinatal health and socio-demographic factors on school education outcomes: A population study of Indigenous and non-Indigenous children in the Northern Territory
Author Guthridge, Steven L.
Li, Lin
Silburn, Sven R.
Li, Shu Qin
McKenzie, John
Lynch, John
Journal Name Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 51
Issue Number 8
ISSN 1034-4810   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84938204110
Start Page 778
End Page 786
Total Pages 9
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Aim
This study investigated the association between early-life risk factors and school education outcomes.

Methods

This is an historical cohort study of 7601 children (61% were Indigenous) born in the Northern Territory between 1999 and 2004. Information was linked, for each child on: perinatal health, student enrolment and National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) Year 3 results. Logistic regression was used to estimate the association between selected risk factors and a NAPLAN result ‘below’ the national minimum standard (NMS) in reading and numeracy.

Results

Indigenous children had much higher odds, than non-Indigenous children, of a result below the NMS for both reading (odds ratio (OR): 8.58, 95% confidence interval (CI): 7.55–9.74) ) and numeracy (OR: 11.52, 95% CI: 9.94–13.35). When adjusted for all other variables, the increased odds were attenuated for both reading (OR: 2.89, 95% CI: 2.46–3.40) and numeracy (OR: 3.19, 95% CI: 2.65–3.84). Common risk factors for Indigenous and non-Indigenous children included higher birth order, maternal smoking in pregnancy and being a boy. There were gradients of decreasing risk with increasing education level of primary care giver and increasing maternal age. Among Indigenous children only, risks increased when living in remote areas, with younger age (<8 years) and low birthweight.

Conclusions

The study highlights that many of the risk factors associated with poor education outcomes among Indigenous children are shared with the general population. The results inform a targeted, cross-agency response to address modifiable early-life risk factors for educational disadvantage. Data linkage, using existing administrative datasets, provides a useful addition to methods that identify priority areas for prevention and early intervention.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1111/jpc.12852   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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