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New study shows what it is like being 12 years old in New Zealand

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A new study shows that some kids in Aotearoa New Zealand are experiencing hardship!

Growing Up in New Zealand has released new research showing that one in five young people have experienced material hardship by the time they’re 12 years old. This means some families don’t have enough money to buy the things they need, like food, housing, and medical care.

But that’s not all! The study also found that some families move in and out of hardship at different times, meaning that some families might be doing well for a while, but then something happens that makes it hard for them to get by.

Dr. Kate Prickett, the lead researcher who led the study, said that it was important to understand what helps with children’s well-being. Longitudinal studies like Growing Up in New Zealand are essential for creating well-informed policies, she said.

The researchers identified four common trajectories of material circumstances across childhood: Material Well-being (78.1% of children), Mostly in Well-being (15%), Increasing Hardship (3.5%), and Persistent Hardship (3.3%). By understanding these areas, experts can work to support families who are struggling and help all children to thrive.

The study also showed that experiences of material hardship are linked with children’s health and well-being, which can affect their long-term health and education.

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