'Starting school' data collection wave launched

16 September 2015
Girl walking to school

With the Growing Up in New Zealand children reaching school age, the study has launched its latest data collection wave to learn more about parents’ and children’s experiences with the move from early childhood education into primary schooling.

The ‘Starting school’ data collection wave started in August and will run until early 2016. It is aimed at all mothers with a child in the longitudinal study.

For the first time, Growing Up in New Zealand will be trialling the collection of this information online through a self-complete questionnaire, rather than via computer-assisted personal (CAPI) and telephone (CATI) interviews which have been the study’s preferred modes of data collection to date.

“Choosing the most appropriate mode of data collection can be challenging, especially in a longitudinal study such as Growing Up in New Zealand with its geographically and ethnically diverse cohort,” says study director, Associate Professor Susan Morton. “Decisions about the mode of collection need to consider participant acceptability and accessibility, as well as overall scientific relevance and associated costs.”

In a recent feedback survey, many Growing Up in New Zealand participants mentioned that they would prefer to complete questionnaires between home visits online rather than over the phone. Parents felt this would allow them more flexibility to complete the questionnaires given their increasingly busy family lives.

“Initial response rates from the Leading Light group and the Main Cohort are very encouraging, and we anticipate using this method of interim data collection more often as the children get older, including with the children themselves in time,” says Dr Morton.

As not all families will be able to complete the interview online, the study will still be offering CAPI and CATI completion if required.

Find more information on our data collection waves