A scalable Australian methodology for constructing community-level risk and protective factor profiles for children aged 5-12 years

Ross Homel1, Kate Freiberg, Tara McGee

1Griffith University, Mount Gravatt, Australia

The CREATE-ing Pathways to Child Wellbeing Project is a long-term partnership of researchers with the Commonwealth Department of Social Services, departments of education and human services in New South Wales and Queensland, six non-government agencies, and a multimedia organisation. CREATE builds on Communities That Care and PROSPER, the only two U.S. community collective impact models to have demonstrated effectiveness in community-randomized trials. CREATE works through existing community service and school systems and uses an innovative computer game (Rumble’s Quest) to collect through primary schools community-wide risk/protective factor data from children mostly too young (6-12 years) to complete surveys. The Rumble’s Quest system produces automated, psychometrically valid and reliable school-level reports of children’s overall wellbeing, school attachment, emotion regulation, social-emotional confidence, and quality of home relationships. These reports are aggregated across schools to create a Statistical Area 2 (suburb or town) profile, and then combined with selected government indicators (e.g., family violence rates) and items from the Australian Early Development Census, a triennial universal (98%) teacher assessment of 5-year old children’s developmental status to construct SA2-level scores for 23 child risk/protective factors derived from longitudinal research. We present the methodology and preliminary results for the subset of the 149 SA2s in the two states for which complete data are available.

Ross Homel is the foundation professor of criminology at Griffith University. His research involves the theoretical analysis of crime, violence, and related social problems, and the prevention of these problems through the application of the scientific method to problem analysis and the development, implementation and evaluation of interventions.


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