Natural disasters and neighbours’ support

Natural disasters have an enormous effect on the collective psyche of a community. This survey explored the changes people experienced with their relationships to their neighbours and communities following the catastrophic 2019/20 Summer Bushfire season in Australia.

Mental Health, Neighbours, Socialising, Society

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Trusting your neighbours

People’s perceptions of their neighbourhood affects the way in which we conceptualise belonging. In turn, this can mediate loneliness in communities. This survey explored people’s sense of belonging and trust within their neighbourhoods as a possible antidote to the loneliness epidemic.

Loneliness, Neighbours, Society

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Workplace Christmas Parties

Although many think workplace Christmas parties can be a great way to celebrate and socialise, they can also be a cause for concern. This survey explores people’s experiences with workplace Christmas celebrations and busts some myths about how much they are really enjoyed.

Christmas, Socialising, Work

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Social Media’s Effects on Relationships

This survey explored the impact social media has had on people’s relationships with their significant other, family and friends and the techniques people had used to monitor its usage.

Children, Family, Internet, Romantic Relationships

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Parenting Difficulties

Parenting is complicated. This survey explores people’s experiences with parenting, supporting their children, understanding their needs and disciplining them.

Children, Family, Mental Health

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Children’s Contact Services

This survey explores what people know about, and their opinions on, Children’s Contact Services. These are centres which allow separated parents to have contact with their children in a safe environment.

Children, Disputes, Family, The Family Court

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Politics and Relationships

Dating someone with different political views to you can be challenging. Explaining to relatives why they shouldn’t vote for that person can be exhausting. This survey looks at how people navigate these political discrepancies with their loved ones.

Disputes, Family, Romantic Relationships, Society

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Pet Therapy

This survey explores people’s reasons for owning a pet, the theurepatic benefits of pet ownership and opinons about the efficacy of using pet’s in therapy services.

Loneliness, Mental Health, Society

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Contemporary views of marriage

Is marriage still necessary? This survey explores the benefits and disadvantages of modern marriage

Family, Romantic Relationships, Society

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Conflict between neighbours

Conflict between neighbours is more common than we might think. We explore tactics people use to overcome these experiences.

Disputes, Neighbours, Socialising, Society

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Attitudes to celebrating Valentine’s day

Valentine’s Day is a popular celebration of love, but do you and your partner feel the same way about it? We asked our respondents to share their thoughts on this divisive holiday.

Romantic Relationships, Society

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Finances and Relationships

Despite financial stress playing an important part in relationship breakdown, this survey suggests many don’t discuss their finances and many don’t care to.

Disputes, Romantic Relationships, Society

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Social isolation at Christmas time

Christmas can be a time of stress and loneliness for some. This survey explored if and how people felt socially isolated at this time of year.

Christmas, Family, Loneliness, Mental Health, Society

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Relationships with ageing parents

Relationships with parents change over time, especially as they age and the caring responsibilities shift. This survey looks at people’s attitudes towards their ageing parents and the conflicts that arise from this.

Children, Disputes, Family, Society

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Alcohol use and relationships

This survey examined the frquency and reasons for alcohol consumption among respondents and their partners and the potential harms this had caused.

Disputes, Family, Mental Health, Romantic Relationships

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Hearing the voices of children in family disputes

Protecting the rights and interests of the children in is an important aspect of the system set up to assist famililies resolve the legal aspect of family relationship issues. This survey looked at people’s opinions on children’s involvement within this system and the qualifications of those assisting families through this process.

Disputes, Family, Society, The Family Court

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Loneliness and neighbourhood identification

This survey utilises five questions measuring psychological distress. It measures this against perceptions of neighbourhood identification to see well-being affects how people relate to their community.

Loneliness, Mental Health, Neighbours, Society

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Recognising and responding to poor mental health

Mental health discussions have been centred in the last few decades. However, this survey reveals that people’s ability to recognise their, and other’s, poor mental health and access healthcare services to support this remains a inaccessible to many.

Family, Friends, Mental Health

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Families and how to define them in modern society

Society’s concept of a family has changed a lot over time. As families begin to be characterised by increasing diversity, this survey explores people’s perceptions of family and what events change these perceptions.

Family, Society, The Family Court

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The effects of partnering on friendships

This survey examines how partnering and separation affects close friendships, with the aim of better understanding how the wellbeing of people experiencing relationship breakdown might be negatively impacted by changes in their core friendships.

Friends, Romantic Relationships, Society

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Community participation

Introduction Social participation has been linked to the wellbeing of individuals, families and their communities in a range of studies, with high levels of community participation found to be associated with better physical and mental wellbeing. Social participation includes participation in both formal and informal groups, including involvement in community activities such as local events […]

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Bullying in schools

Bullying in schools is a prominent issue which effects children across Australia. This survey explores people’s awareness of bullying and the avenues that they might seek help from if faced with the issue in their own relationships.

Children, Disputes, Socialising

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Exposure of young people to pornography

Introduction In 2016 the Australian Institute of Family Studies reviewed contemporary literature relating to young people’s experience of online pornography (AIFS, 2016).  The review found increasing exposure and associated harmful impacts on young people over the past three decades due to a proliferation of violent pornographic material available online, and enhanced opportunity for effortless access […]

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Infidelity

This survey explored the concept of infidelity; what people considered most destructive behaviour, the causes of infidelity, the types of people likely to be unfaithful, and the estimated rate of infidelity in Australia.

Disputes, Romantic Relationships, Society

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Loneliness

Introduction This report presents the results of the third survey in a series that examines the levels of social isolation and loneliness for people accessing the Relationships Australia website. We have previously discussed the research evidence that clearly establishes the importance of social connection to overall wellbeing.  The negative effects of social isolation were first […]

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Online dating

Online dating has become and increasingly popular way to meet new people. This survey explored people’s willingness to date online, what they expected from the experience and the usefulness of the service.

Internet, Romantic Relationships, Society

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Supporting young people leaving out of home care

Introduction Out of home care (OOHC) refers to the care, support and accommodation that is provided by alternate caregivers to young people who cannot live with their own families. Across Australia, formal state support and housing for young people in OOHC ceases at the age of 18 years, and sometimes stops when the young person […]

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Restorative practice

Introduction Restorative practice offers an approach that brings together individuals, families, social networks, services and government, through informal and informal processes, to proactively build relationships to resolve or prevent conflict and wrongdoing.  It can also unite theory, research and practice in diverse fields such as education, health, criminal justice, regulation, social welfare and organisational management.  […]

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Organ donation

Introduction Australia is leading the world in successful donation and transplant outcomes. In 2016, a record number of people received organ transplants from 503 deceased organ donors and 267 living donors. These numbers have been substantially increasing since 2009; however, the availability of organs and tissues continues to be outweighed by the need for transplantation. […]

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Youth Suicide

This survey explored people’s understanding of youth suicide, their views and knowledge about the issue and possible.

Children, Family, Mental Health

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Barriers to help seeking

Introduction Relationships Australia has a keen interest in improving people’s access to, and experience of, services.  In previous online surveys we have explored how people accessing Relationships Australia’s website undertake research to find a counsellor, their experience of counselling, and counselling engagement. The research literature has identified individual and structural barriers that can also impact […]

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Volunteering

Introduction Relationships Australia has previously explored different aspects of community participation in the monthly online survey.  This includes levels of participation in particular activities that are associated with positive wellbeing, and relationships between participation and people’s perception of their local neighbourhood, including whether they feel it is safe and has good local facilities. Where individuals […]

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Corporal punishment

Introduction In April 2016 we explored aspects of corporal punishment in the monthly online survey.  We noted that 37 countries have prohibited corporal punishment in all settings in legislation; however, it remains lawful in Australia for parents to use ‘reasonable’ punishment to discipline children.  The corporal punishment used by parents must be carried out for […]

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Sexting

Introduction Sexting is a term that originated in the media by collapsing the terms sex and texting.  It is generally defined as the digital recording of nude or sexually suggestive or explicit images and their distribution by mobile phone messaging or through social networking platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (Lee et al. 2015).  […]

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Community participation

Introduction Relationships Australia has previously explored different ways people participate socially in their community with a view to understanding how community participation impacts on positive wellbeing.  This interest has been informed by various national and international studies that have confirmed economic and social participation are essential to the success and wellbeing of people, with high […]

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Loneliness

Introduction Previous studies have identified a strong desire for social connection in humans, with the levels and quality of social connection found to be important in shaping development across the life span, particularly in later life. Recent research has shown that emotional closeness in relationships generally increases with age.  However, ageing is normally associated with […]

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Christmas stress

Introduction Last Christmas, Relationships Australia examined the effect of Christmas stress on family relationships in our two-minute online monthly survey.  The questions were developed based on our practice experience and prior research that identifies the Christmas period as a time of high stress for some families. Christmas is the most likely time of the year […]

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Restorative Practices

Introduction According to Braithwaite (2004), restorative justice is: …a process where all stakeholders affected by an injustice have an opportunity to discuss how they have been affected by the injustice and to decide what should be done to repair the harm. With crime, restorative justice is about the idea that because crime hurts, justice should […]

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Mental health stigma

Introduction People experiencing mental ill-health often experience stigma and discrimination.  Discrimination interferes with relationships and connections to family, friends, workplaces, community and culture, and negatively impacts on the recovery process for people experiencing poor mental health. A key element of reducing institutional and individual discrimination is to strengthen community understanding.  Strengthening community understanding helps people […]

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Counselling engagement

Introduction There are many reasons that may explain why some people choose to seek help through counselling and others do not.  There are also many ways to describe how well people engage with counselling services once help has been sought.  Common reasons cited in contemporary studies include a person’s capacity to address their problems, the […]

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Impact of financial problems on relationships

Introduction In the month of August, Relationships Australia’s monthly online survey focussed on the impact of finances on relationships.  The questions for August’s survey were sourced from Relationships Australia’s 2011 Relationship Indicator’s survey, a study which was conducted at regular intervals over a ten year period to 2011 (Woolcott, 2011). Evidence suggests that there is […]

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Attitudes to Homelessness

Introduction According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a person is considered homeless if their current living arrangement: is in a dwelling that is inadequate; or has no tenure, or if their initial tenure is short and not extendable; or does not allow them to have control of, and access to space for social relations. […]

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Chronic pain

Introduction Common effects of chronic pain include: depression, loss of sleep, loss of self-worth, loss of employment and how the sufferer is perceived by their family and peers.  Chronic pain can also lead to social isolation, role tension, reduced sexual activity and feelings of anger, anxiety, resentment, and in some cases, suicide.  Living with chronic […]

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Child safety

Introduction In recent years there have been consistent and alarming increases in the reported levels of child neglect and abuse in Australia.  As a result, child abuse and neglect has become an issue of national concern.  Statutory child protection systems are struggling under the workload and it is widely recognised that new approaches are needed. […]

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Gambling

Introduction Many Australians gamble as a form of entertainment.  This might include an occasional bet on the horse races, buying a lottery ticket, playing the poker machines or a night out at the casino. However, sometimes gambling has a negative impact on people’s lives and this is commonly termed ‘problem gambling’.  Research also indicates that […]

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Community participation

Introduction It has long been known that economic and social participation are essential to the success and wellbeing of people, with high levels of participation linked to better physical and mental wellbeing. While people may choose to participate in many ways and at different levels, research suggests that regular involvement in certain activities are especially […]

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The internet and relationships

This survey delineates the impact internet use can have on our initmaterelationships. The results suggest that technology can have negative and positive impacts on our closest relationships.

Family, Internet, Romantic Relationships

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Domestic Violence

Introduction There is no single national or internationally agreed definition of family or domestic violence.  Historically, commonly held views have been more likely to centre on the physical dimensions of violence.  One such example is the framework used by the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS), where the definition of partner violence is restricted to actions […]

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Family Stress at Christmas time

Introduction For some people the Christmas period can be a time of high stress.  While for many families, Christmas is a time for celebration, relaxing and holidays, it is also the most likely time of the year for many people to experience anxiety and depression, particularly those who are divorced, have experienced a death in […]

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Family stress at Christmas time

Previous research finds that… Studies also show a spike in death rates around Christmas.  However, while there is a greater chance of dying on Christmas day, the day after Christmas or New Year’s Day than any other single day of the year, contrary to popular belief, rates of suicide do not increase at Christmas time. […]

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Ageing transition points: Is there potential for family conflict?

Previous research finds that… There is a range of age-related transition points that may lead to family relationship problems. These include when there is a need to: Make major financial decisions, including retirement and estate planning; hand over the family business or family farm; make end of life decisions, including transition to an aged care […]

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Loneliness and social isolation

In October 2014, Relationships Australia asked visitors to our website to participate in a two minute survey that asked them about loneliness and social isolation. The three questions chosen for the survey form part of the 10-item social support scale that has been collected in all 14 waves of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics […]

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