Pacific Health Research Symposium 2020: A Pacific update on NZ’s largest longitudinal child development study

Pacific Health Research Symposium 2020: A Pacific update on NZ’s largest longitudinal child development study

Ground-breaking research into the wellbeing of New Zealand youth that will be conducted over 20 years is providing valuable insight into the aspirations of Pacific children.

The Growing Up in New Zealand research is the country’s largest contemporary longitudinal study of child development and is being conducted by the University of Auckland.

6853 children in the context of their families and the NZ environment are involved in the study, which has been following their lives since birth between 2009-2010 and will continue until they are 21 and beyond.

The children are visited by the researchers every three years to gather vital information to build a picture of what it’s like to be a child growing up in contemporary New Zealand. The research has released their recent findings of the children at eight years old. Twenty percent, or 1200 participants, identify as Pacific Islander.

Professor Susan Morton, the principal investigator of the research, says they have gained valuable insight into Pacific families.

“Our findings show that the Pacific children involved in the research are well loved and well supported. But on the challenging side, they are often living in areas of high deprivation and their families have fewer financial resources to provide all the things they would like to for their children.

We want to use this information not to just say what’s going wrong but what we can do to enable Pacific children to be as happy and as well as they can be.”

Professor Morton will be presenting at the inaugural Pacific Health Research Symposium on Monday 30 November. It’s an event where renowned researchers will talk about their studies that are impacting Pacific communities and a chance for participants to present their work, discuss projects and foster new collaborations.

The theme is “Collaboration for Better Pacific Health” and the event is a partnership between the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) and the University of Auckland, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.  Associate Professor and senior PMA member, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, DMS, MPH, FAFPHM, FRNZCGP, will be hosting the symposium.

Professor Morton has twenty full time researchers working on her study. She says the group of Pacific Island children involved have reached an age where identity is important.

“Some of the new findings coming out of the study looking at the children at eight years old show that they are getting a real sense of who they are.

Their identity is emerging, and they are understanding who they are and what their culture means to them.”

What: Pacific Health Research Symposium

When: Monday 30 November 2020

Time: 9am – 4pm

Venue: South Auckland Campus (University of Auckland) – Te Papa Ako o Tai Tonga – 6 Osterley Way, Manukau

To register please click Here.

#pmafamily #pacifichealthRS

Date: Friday 27 November 2020