Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 June 2012
The end of field trips to Yuendumu and the post-1970 years
The early stages of the Yuendumu Growth Study received research funding from The University of Adelaide. From April 1964, the project received substantial support for a further seven years until March 1971 from a Public Health Service Grant of the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare. The National Institute of Dental Research, Bethesda, Maryland, approved this grant.
Towards the end of the 1960s it was becoming apparent to Barrett and Brown that a decision was needed about whether to continue the yearly visits to Yuendumu after the grant expired or to stop and concentrate more on data analysis. Time was always a precious commodity, and so much of it was required to make the field trips worthwhile. The extensive organisation needed to plan the trips and the costs involved made it increasingly difficult to justify further visits to Yuendumu after the 1971 expedition. They reached the decision to stop the field trips after considering several factors. First and foremost was the vast accumulation of field records awaiting further analysis: 1,717 sets of dental casts representing 446 participants, 1169 sets of radiographs representing 288 individuals, as well as somatometric observations, family histories, photographs, and film and sound recordings.
Table 8.1 indicates the “longitudinality” of the records obtained between 1961 and 1971. For example, the third row shows that 31 children were 6 years of age at first examination.