Parents' employment affects kids

CHILDREN'S participation in sport or dancing largely depends on the socio-economic status of their parents.

Almost two-thirds (63%) of Australian children aged 5 to 14 years participated in organised sport or dancing at least once in the 12 months leading to April, 2009.

But an Australian Bureau of Statistics report, released on Tuesday, found when compared with a two-parent family with one parent employed, participation was 18% more likely when both parents were employed, 13% less likely when neither parent was employed and 20% less likely for children from unemployed single-parent families.

Girls were 5% less likely than boys to participate.

Spending more than 40 hours a fortnight watching TV, DVDs or videos is also associated with lower participation in organised sport or dancing.

But, contrary to popular belief, children who do their homework also participate in organised sport or dancing.

The ABS found there was a positive association between doing homework and participating in sport, noting the latter could "foster character traits that prove valuable in academic work"



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