Research Projects Using Growing Up Data

Parental Health and Children’s Psychosocial and Cognitive Development: New Evidence from the Growing Up in New Zealand Study

Publication Date:
Lead Organisation:
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course
Lead Researcher:
Janeen Baxter, Jack Lam, Juliana Silva Goncalves, Yanshu Huang, Andrew Sporle, Paula Pereda-Perez, Tori Diamond, Tom Elliot
Access Type:
Primary Classification:
Psych and Cog
Secondary Classification:
Family and Whanau

Chronic illnesses and disabilities are complex and long-lasting, affecting daily living, including parenting. We will examine the influence of parental chronic illness and disability on the psychosocial and cognitive development of children in early and mid-childhood using the Growing Up in New Zealand (GUiNZ) longitudinal study. We will also investigate the pathways through which parental chronic illness and disability influences child development, including socioeconomic factors and socioemotional interactions in the family.

We will conduct these analyses on the general population of children in GUiNZ as well as specific groups, such as vulnerable children supported by our partner Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Children (OT), and Māori and Pasifika children. A key component of the analyses will be to examine how access to government subsidies and social services, can support families with chronic illness and disability and explore potential barriers for social support uptake. The project will also trial a methodological innovation designed to promote Indigenous data sovereignty in New Zealand and consisting of a trans-Tasman collaboration between researchers at the University of Queensland and the University of Auckland. This will expand capacity for future trans-Tasman collaboration in research and training of postgraduate students and build capacity of New Zealand Indigenous students. Given current COVID-19 related travel restrictions, we have developed creative solutions for maximising GUiNZ utilisation for government policy development that build on our existing strong collaborative partnerships with researchers in New Zealand.