Child support and perceptions of fairness dataset

Author Identifiers

Pamela Henry

Scopus: 35185016000

Collection Type



Faculty of Business and Law

School or Research Centre

Sellenger Centre for Research in Law, Justice and Social Change / School of Law and Justice


Edith Cowan University owns the rights to this collection.

Contact Dr Pam Henry to determine access conditions.

Pam Henry: pamela.henry@ecu.edu.au


Edith Cowan University Research Online


Edith Cowan University


The dataset consists of quantitative and qualitative data supporting a research project relating to perceptions of fairness in the Australian Government’s Child Support Scheme. The primary data source is survey data which has been manipulated into family vignettes based on the participants’ perceptions of fairness in relation to payment of child support. Data was collected from a national sample of 1879 participants (53.7% female; n= 1009 and 45.6% male; n= 857). Demographic data collected from participants included: age, sex, marital status, presence of biological children and if present, whether those children reside with the participant, number of unions, presence of subsequent children born to a new union, presence of stepchildren and if present, whether those stepchildren reside with the participant, and whether the participant currently pays child support. Quantitative data has been coded into PASW and qualitative data has been entered into question-ordered matrices in MS Word format. The online tool, Research Now, was used to manipulate the data. The funding was provided internally by Edith Cowan University.

Research Activity Title

Perceptions of fairness in relation to payment of child support

Research Activity Description

This research project is investigating perceptions of the Australian government’s Child Support Scheme. The aim was to determine whether public perceptions of fairness relating to the principles on which the Child Support Scheme is based, are influenced by post-separation family type, the residential parents’ compliance with access orders and an individual’s desire to cease paid work and raise children in the home. The study utilised a 9 x 2 x 2 x 2 experimental research design. The four independent variables that were manipulated within the study were: post divorce family type (9 levels); compliance with access orders (2 levels); residential parent stays at home (2 levels); non-residential stepparent stays at home (2 levels). The dependent variables included: percentage of gross income recommended as child support; qualitative explanations for judgements of fairness in relation to the recommended child support amount; ratings of fairness for all members of the post separation family; qualitative explanations for judgments of fairness for all members of the post separation family. The research was conducted within Edith Cowan University’s Sellenger Centre and was funded by the University.

Start of data collection time period


End of data collection time period




Access Rights

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