The finding is contained in the fourth volume of results from the Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey, launched in Perth today.
The survey, undertaken by researchers at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, analysed data from more than 5000 children in 2000 families across Western Australia.
Chief Investigator Professor Steve Zubrick said the report "Strengthening the Capacity of Aboriginal Children, Families and Communities" unpacked the reasons why there had been little or no improvement in the health and well-being of Aboriginal children despite a large number of intervention programs.
"What these results clearly show is the successive failure of programs that are simply delivered too little, too late," Professor Zubrick said.
"The programs generally start too late in the child’s development, are delivered for only a short time and are often too broadly targeted to have sustainable impact.
"What's desperately needed is high quality, high frequency early intervention programs that directly increase the capacity of Aboriginal parents and others caring for children – teaching them how to prepare their very young children so that when they start at school, they are ready and able to match it with other children."
Professor Zubrick said that only an intense focus in the early years could begin to break the inter-generational cycle of disadvantage.
"There are just 1800 Aboriginal babies born in WA each year – that makes targeted ‘head-start’ programs to help them onto a strong path for life, a very practical and viable investment."
Associate Professor Colleen Hayward who heads the Institute's Indigenous study group, the Kulunga Research Network, said the survey showed that 60% of Aboriginal children were already significantly behind non-Aboriginal children by the time they started Year one.
"What this shows is that our children are very disadvantaged even before they start school – so action must be taken before they enter the formal education system," she said.
"Aboriginal parents, like all parents, want the best for their children. However many Aboriginal parents have not had a positive experience of early education themselves, so they need support in building the skills to help their children learn effectively.
"We know that early experiences, particularly stress, can affect brain development, so it's critical that we get it right for children from the very start of their lives."
The survey also found that:24% of Aboriginal children have significant emotional and behaviour programs
"Indigenous people in Canada, the US and New Zealand are all faring better than our Aboriginal people – that tells us we can and must take urgent action," he said
Assoc Professor Hayward said the effects of disadvantage were being passed down the generations.
"What's happening is that the Aboriginal adults who are caring for the children are burdened with an enormous number of factors that affect their ability to raise the children," she said.
"There are three adults to every child in the non-Aboriginal population, but in Aboriginal communities there is only one adult per child – and many of those are very young, or constrained by ill-health, high stress and low education levels.
"There is much talk about community development – but that can't happen until there is support and development for the individuals within those communities."
The report makes 23 recommendations to address a broad range of issues including housing, financial strain, stress and how to boost capability within the Aboriginal community.
Tammy Gibbs | EurekAlert!
Illinois researchers researchers find tweeting in cities lower than expected
21.02.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering
Polluted air may pollute our morality
08.02.2018 | Association for Psychological Science
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences