What will our eight-year-old’s reveal?

02 July 2019
Growing Up in New Zealand study participant, Georgia Kitchen
Growing Up in New Zealand study participant Georgia.

The Growing Up in New Zealand team is currently hard at work collating the hundreds of thousands of pieces of data gathered from the field when the cohort children were eight-years-old.

Findings from the 2018 eight-year data collection wave are due to be published early next year and principal investigator, Professor Susan Morton, says it’s always exciting to see what the children will reveal about life as a young person in 21st Century New Zealand.

“This time of life represents a key milestone in child development and this is the first time we’re hearing what children themselves are saying.  It is such an exciting time and will reveal much about how children understand and experience life in New Zealand,” she says.

Professor Morton says before the data can be analysed it needs to be comprehensively “cleaned” to ensure the correct data is in the correct place.

Following this rigorous process, the research team looks for and interprets patterns of information and draws conclusions as they go.

Professor Morton says the areas focused on are partly informed by interactions with more than 15 Government agencies via a policy forum.

“This process allows us to have two-way conversation and hear what different Government departments require from a policy perspective. This informs what we include in our published reports and what we look at in collection waves.  Our reports are written with current policy needs in mind,” she says.

In the analysis of the eight-year old data collection wave, the research team will consider how many of the following activities relate to the children’s wellbeing in middle childhood:  

  • Screen time use and activity
  • Nutrition and dietary patterns
  • Sleep patterns
  • Relationships with peers and family members
  • Academic progress and engagement in learning
  • Health and Development
  • Experience of school

Check out some of Growing Up in New Zealand’s previous reports here.