3.3 Parental mental health

Children living with a parent with a mental health problem may face additional developmental challenges and health problems, and are more likely to experience a psychological disorder during adolescence or adulthood.

The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey measures mental health using the SF-36, a 36-item survey that measures eight domains of subjective health. Scale scores for each of the eight health domains can be summarised to produce a single measure of mental health: the Mental Health Component Summary (MCS) Score. This indicator presents data for parents with an MCS score of less than 41, which is indicative of a poor level of mental health.

For all indicator displays, where all years of data are comparable over time an ‘All’ category will be provided as an option in the ‘Year’ drop down display. If only a selection of specific years are comparable, these years (e.g. 2017 to 2019) will be provided as an option under ‘Year’ and ‘All’ will not be an option. See the footnotes for this indicator in the supplementary tables hyperlink below for further information.

See the XLS DownloadXLS Downloadsupplementary table for this indicator for further information and footnotes about these data.

Indicator technical specifications

The information below provides technical specifications for the summary indicator data presented in the XLS Downloadquick reference guide.

National Framework Indicator 3.3 Parental mental health: Proportion of parents with children aged 0-14 years who have a mental health problem
  Definition Data source
Numerator

Number of parents who have a mental health problem and have co-residents dependent children aged 0-14 years

Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey
Denominator Number of parents with co-residents dependent children aged 0-14 years Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey

Explanatory notes

The HILDA Survey measures mental health using the SF-36—a 36-item survey that measures eight domains of subjective health. Scale scores for each of the eight health domains can be summarised to produce a single measure of mental health: the Mental Health Component Summary (MCS) Score. An analysis of population averages suggests that an MCS score of less than 41 is indicative of a poorer level of mental health. As such, this indicator reports parents with a 'mental health problem' as those with an MCS score of less than 41.

See the XLS DownloadXLS Downloadsupplementary table for this indicator for further information and footnotes about these data.