Growing Up in New Zealand welcomes funding announcement

15-May-2018 7:28 AM

Growing Up in New Zealand has welcomed today’s announcement from the Minister for Social Development, the Honourable Carmel Sepuloni, that it will restore funding of more than $1.9 million to the child development study.

Growing Up in New Zealand has welcomed today’s announcement from the Minister for Social Development, the Honourable Carmel Sepuloni, that it will restore funding of more than $1.9 million to the child development study.
Growing Up in New Zealand Research Director, Associate Professor Susan Morton of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland, says the new funding will make it possible to invite every participant family and child to take part in the study’s current Eight Year Data Collection Wave.
“Our families have given us such valuable insights into their lives to date, and have been so generous with their time throughout the study, so I’m delighted and excited that we now have this opportunity to continue engaging with every child.”
Last year the study’s funding was reduced, creating uncertainty about the number of children and families Growing Up in New Zealand could interview for the current Eight Year Data Collection Wave.
More than 6,800 families make up the study cohort and their ethnic diversity makes the study internationally unique.
Dr Morton says the cohort is broadly generalisable to the New Zealand child population and the announcement has come at a milestone stage of the study.
“Up until now, we’ve been gathering information about the children via their parents, but during the current collection we’re hearing the children’s voices directly for the first time. It will give us real insight into their lives in this crucial stage before they approach and enter adolescence.”                                                                                                                  
Last month marked 10 years since the study’s inception. Over that time, New Zealand’s contemporary longitudinal study has conducted more than 90,000 interviews and collected more than 50 million pieces of data, helping inform government policy to give children the best start in life.
Growing Up in New Zealand has provided information across areas as diverse as paid parental leave, immunisation, poverty and material hardship, family housing and mobility, household safety, bullying, participation in Early Childhood Education, and pre- and post-natal depression among fathers.
“The beauty of longitudinal information is that it keeps growing in value,” Dr Morton says. “Each data collection provides a snapshot of a point in time but when we piece it together with what we’ve collected before and will collect in the future, it helps us to understand the development pathways children follow and what works to give them the best possible foundation for a happy, healthy future.”
As well as forging ahead with the Eight Year Data Collection Wave across the full cohort, Growing Up in New Zealand will work with the Ministry of Social Development to make the study’s data more accessible and useable to a wider range of researchers. This will help realise its full value and support policy to improve the lives of New Zealand children and families now and into the future.
The study’s Eight Year Data Collection Wave started in July last year and, to date, around 2000 children have participated. With the newly available funding, interviews will now continue with the remaining cohort children until the end of 2018.
Growing Up in New Zealand’s newest report will be released mid-year, and findings from the Eight Year Data Collection Wave are due to be released around the end of 2019.
The ultimate intention of the study is to follow the cohort until the age of 21.
For further information visit www.growingup.co.nz


ends
Growing Up in New Zealand (GUiNZ) is a longitudinal study of New Zealand children designed to get quality information about them and their families and so find ways to improve their lives. It is tracking almost 7,000 children born between April 2009 and March 2010 and their families.
The study is based at the University of Auckland’s Centre for Longitudinal Research – He Ara ki Mua, which provides an academic hub of expertise in life course epidemiological approaches to population health issues.
The Centre draws together academics from across the Faculties of Medical and Health Sciences, Science, Business and Education, working on cross-disciplinary research projects and has the capacity to provide evidence to inform policy development across sectors to optimise population health and wellbeing.
For more information, please contact:
Janine Kendall
Communications Manager, Growing Up in New Zealand
janine.kendall@auckland.ac.nz
09 923 9750 or 0275 910 979

Topic: Science

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