Breaking the cycle of intergenerational maltreatment using ‘big data’

This project uses the framework provided by the NSW Child Development Study to address gaps in understanding the extent and causes of intergenerational child abuse and neglect. The study aims to determine patterns of intergenerational maltreatment in child protection data spanning 50 years for parents, and 18 years for their children, and will investigate patterns of contact with justice and health systems, as well as factors contributing to resilience in these families. The project will inform multi-agency efforts to prevent the intergenerational transmission of trauma, as among one of the strongest threats to mental health and wellbeing.

This project leveraged linked population data from the NSW Child Development Study, a longitudinal study of a state-wide population of children (N=~91,000) and their parents, for whom we have linked records from multiple government departments with information from teacher- and child-reported cross-sectional surveys completed at ages 5 and 11 years respectively. This project includes formal partnerships with the NSW Department of Communities and Justice and Gamarada Universal Indigenous Resources.

This project has received funding from the Australian Research Council (Discovery Project Grant DP230101990; 2023 – 26).

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