SPARC’s ongoing Life Chances Study began in inner Melbourne in 1990 with 167 babies and their parents. Since then, stages of the study have focused on different issues, from services for young children to experiences of school and finding a job.

Stage 13

Stage 13 will explore how the experience of becoming and being a parent may be influenced by socioeconomic circumstances, gender and policy context.

Stage 12

Stage 12  focused on economic security and life chances as the participants approach 30.

Stage 11

Stage 11 (24 to 28-year-olds) focused on experiences of post-compulsory education and training and the labour market.

Stage 10 

Stage 10 (21-year-olds) examined varying experiences of the transition from school to work.

Stage 9 

Stage 9 (18-year-olds) examined paths from leaving school to further education, training and employment.

Stage 8½ 

Stage 8½ explored the stories of the eight young people in the study who had left school aged 14 to 16.

Sections of this report may also be downloaded separately:

  • Part 1 of Stories of early school leaving (PDF, 178 KB) includes the method, findings, discussion and references.
  • Part 2 of Stories of early school leaving (PDF file, 265 KB) presents the eight young people's stories at length.

Stage 8 

Stage 8 (16-year-olds) and Stage 7 (15-year-olds) explored engagement with school and work and future plans.

Stage 6 

Stage 6 (11 and 12-year-olds) focused on the children’s progress as they were completing primary school. For the first time, the children’s own perspectives were included.

Stage 5

Stage 5 (6-year-olds) examined how changing family circumstances affected children’s health, development and progress in school.

Stages 1–4 

Stages 1–4 of the Life Chances study examined services for mothers, babies and infants, as well as exploring the parents’ employment and the experiences of migrant parents and their children.

Overview publications and films/videos

  • Janet Taylor 2014, Life chances: stories of growing up in Australia, Federation Press, Annandale, NSW. Order from Federation Press or visit BSL library
  • Janet Taylor and Malita Allan 2013, Now we are 21: an overview of the longitudinal Life Chances Study (PDF, 506 KB)
  • Life Chances: turning 13, turning 18 (DVD, 2010) distributed by Film Projects
  • Life Chances (video, 1995) produced by Film Projects Pty Ltd