School of Psychological Science

Postgraduate Profiles


Janice Wong

Phone: (+61 8) 6488 4857


Start date

Mar 2010

Submission date

Mar 2014

Janice Wong


The relationship between educational and mental health outcomes for Western Australian children: A longitudinal population study


A major determinant of children’s wellbeing is their mental health. In the 2009 report on Australian children’s health issued by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), factors which affect children’s mental health are detailed. Factors include; quality of family functioning, parental educational levels, and mental health status of children’s parents. The importance that the role of good mental health plays in children’s development was only recognised and made a National Health Priority in 1996. However, there is still a lack of recent national data in this area (AIHW, 2009). This is surprising as the lifetime prevalence of the Australian population aged between 16 and 85 years having experienced mental health issues is approximately 45%, with an estimation that around 20% of children in modern communities are affected (Bayer et al, 2007).

Children’s mental health has been established to influence their academic outcomes, which can be predicted by their readiness for school (Farrar, Goldfield & Moore, 2007). Currently, Western Australia is the only state with a comprehensive source of population data pertaining to children’s educational outcomes and their mental health status’ through data linkage, which has combined data from the Departments of Health, Education and Child Protection. With this generation’s children being Australia’s future, this project will investigate the impact of mental health status in West Australian children on their education outcomes.

Why my research is important

Findings resulting from initial investigations will be utilised to examine possible interventions with aim to decrease prevalence of mental health issues and its impact on academic outcomes.


  • Australian Postgraduate Award
  • Stan and Jean Perron Award


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