Research Projects Using Growing Up Data

How are Samoan children growing up in Samoa and in New Zealand? A Descriptive and Comparative Analysis of Lifestyle Behaviours, Growth, General Health, and Well-being in Two Cohorts

Publication Date:
Lead Organisation:
University of Auckland
Lead Researcher:
Courtney Choy
Access Type:
Primary Classification:
Family and Whanau
Secondary Classification:

How children grow up and where they live influence health and well-being throughout the life-course. Often environmental features and conditions of communities are deeply intertwined with the behaviours and health characteristics of the individuals who live in them. Children are particularly vulnerable to poor socioeconomic conditions of communities, impeding access to safe spaces to play and nutrient-rich produce and consequently, hampering their ability to adopt healthy lifestyles.The objective of this project is to explore the health status and well-being of Samoan children within the GUiNZ cohort and Samoan children living in Samoa within the Ola Tuputupua'e "Growing Up" in Samoa (GUiS) study. This is a unique opportunity to understand the behaviours and socio-environmental factors related to health and quality of life of Samoan children who grow up in different countries. We will focus on anthropometric traits and reported measures of general health to describe the health status and well-being of children. We plan to harmonise the cohort data (not pooling) and generate standardised variables for behaviours (diet and physical activity) and environmental factors (socioeconomic position) by combining appropriate questionnaire items from each cohort dataset. Then, we will describe and compare these factors and their association with child anthropometric traits (including circumferences, weight, height, BMI for age based on WHO standards and references) and other indicators of health and well-being (including psychosocial health) using descriptive statistics and multivariable regression models.The cross-national study will be the first, to our knowledge, to describe and compare the health and well-being of children that identified as Samoan using data from cohorts in the Western Pacific Region. This research is in line with the Healthy Pacific Island vision to understand what features of places are important for good health and well-being across the life course.