Government funding to extend childhood adversities research

May 17, 2019

A grant from the 2018/2019 round of the Government’s Children and Families Research Fund means CSDA can build on its research into the link between childhood adversities and school readiness.

The previous research, funded by the 2017/2018 round of the Children and Families Research Fund, found that:

  • There were family-based protective factors associated with children who do not experience any adversities, despite being at heightened risk of experiencing many; and
  • Children’s performance in school readiness tests at four-and-a-half years of age declined in as the number of adversities experienced increased.

The new study “Mutable factors mediating the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on children’s readiness for school” is led by Professor Rhema Vaithianathan and will be completed by May 2020.

Researchers will use data from the Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal study to investigate how access to, utilisation and quality of, and preferences for, services can help improve school readiness for all New Zealand children and those who have experienced adversities.  The study will focus on social, early care and education, and health services.

“This annual funding supports further investigation of the data gathered through the GUINZ study. Each research project enables us to learn more from the study of children and families and about living in New Zealand today, which is of huge value to decision makers designing policies and initiatives to make New Zealand a great place to grow up,” said Social Development Minister, Carmel Sepuloni.

The fund aims to strengthen evidence that supports the development of policies and initiatives that meet the needs of children and families in New Zealand today.

Growing Up in New Zealand is New Zealand’s largest contemporary longitudinal study of child development. Led by the University of Auckland, the study has followed more than 6,800 children born in 2009 and 2010, and their families, since pregnancy.