Ten Going On Sixteen: A profile of young
New Zealanders in the transition years
A three year study (2006 and 2008) from Victoria University
followed three cohorts (ages 10,12 and 14 in 2006) of 1800 New Zealand young people, surveying their relationships with families, friends, schools and communities, and assessing their responses to various measures of health and wellbeing.
The research was designed to test the hypothesis that “connectedness” – to
family, peers, school and community – is predictive of subsequent health and wellbeing of young people. The hypothesis was confirmed, with “connectedness to family and school” most strongly predictive of subsequent happiness, self worth, good physical and mental health, educational achievement and a strong sense of identity.
Over the course of the research, the researchers surveyed the views of the
young participants on a wide range of topics, from their experiences of peer
pressure through to their views about the future.
The Youth Connectedness Project was the first research project to include the 10 to 12 age group in a comprehensive survey. The inclusion of this younger group along with their older counterparts enables us to see more clearly the differences in attitudes and experiences between younger and older adolescents as well as between the sexes.