Growing Up in New Zealand awarded $1.2m by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

28 August 2013

On Wednesday 28th August it was announced that the University of Auckland led Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal study has been awarded $1,237,128 by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment to look at “Who are Today’s Dads?” It is one of only six projects that have been awarded funding within the category of Health and Society.


Who are Today’s Dads?
Growing Up in New Zealand has been awarded funds to explore the importance of fathers for children growing up in New Zealand today. It aims to provide a unique and fuller understanding of the contribution fathers make to the vulnerability and/or resilience of their families, and in particular to the health and wellbeing of contemporary New Zealand children around the time they start school.

The Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal study started before the birth of the enrolled children and this makes the study unique and crucial when understanding the factors that have come into play with respect to their fathers. The participating families make up a diverse cultural and social cohort that is well aligned to the contemporary New Zealand population. The children and their parents have been interviewed 4 times already.

This new study centreing on ‘today’s dads’ will detail the contemporary role of fathers in their children’s lives and determine how current and future policy can be developed to enhance the role that modern fathers can play to contribute to their children’s early development.

The information from this new longitudinal study will help us to understand how child-father relationships have changed over time and whether there are critical periods when paternal influence has the greatest positive effect on a child’s early developmental pathways and later health and wellbeing.


Next stop, the Fathers...

Our home interviewing team are heading out to meet with all the mothers and children over the next 12 months to interview them just prior to going to school. The team are excited that we will also be able to follow up with the childrens dads soon after, as we last saw them when the children were 2 years old.

Further updates on this exciting research opportunity will be made available on our website.