Today’s fathers coping well despite the stress

Growing Up in New Zealand has released two further sets of “key findings” from the Who are today’s dads? research project, looking specifically at health and mental health.

The Fathers’ Day release acknowledges the important roles played by fathers, stepfathers, adoptive and foster parents, co-mums, grandparents and everyone who is a father-figure to New Zealand children. The focus on health recognises that dads’ involvement with their children can be affected by their own health and health behaviours.

The Who are today’s dads? project questioned more than 4,000 participants who played father-roles in the lives of Growing Up in New Zealand children, at the time the children were six years of age.

Key findings:

Dads and health show that most participants are in good health. Nine out of ten reported that their health was good to excellent. However, data showed that around half reported having one or more risk factors for cardiovascular disease. These risk factors include being overweight or obese and smoking. They also include having diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. The brochure summarises some of the lifestyle factors that can be modified to reduce these risks factors. Read more

Key findings:

Dads and mental health report that more than half the participants felt they were coping very well with life, though nearly 40 percent said they experienced problems or stresses in their lives.

One in seven participants reported having been diagnosed and/or treated for a mental health problem, including depression or anxiety and/or panic attacks, at some time in their life. Read more

The Who are today’s dads? research project is conducted by investigators at the University of Auckland Centre for Longitudinal Research – He Ara ki Mua with funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Participants in the project represent the diversity of individuals who are father figures to children in the Growing Up in New Zealand study.

Visit Who are today’s dads? study page