Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Pacific Islands Family Study: Fathers also victims of partner violence

There are a number of longitudinal studies underway in NZ.

The well-known Christchurch Health and Development Study (birth cohort 1977); the Dunedin Multi-disciplinary Study (birth cohort 1973); and Growing Up in New Zealand Study (birth cohort 2009-10) are those that jump to mind.

But today I learned of the Pacific Island Family Study (birth cohort 2000) reported here.

Readers might be interested in some of the findings to date.

Participants: the PIF Study recruited 1,376 mothers of a cohort of 1,398 Pacific infants (22 pairs of twins) born at Middlemore Hospital (a large tertiary hospital) in South Auckland between 15 March and 19 December 2000. An infant was deemed eligible for the study if at least one of their parents identified themselves as being of a Pacific ethnicity and was a permanent resident of New Zealand

Data collection: the PIF Study primarily collects self-reported data through structured interviews with mothers and fathers in their homes and with children in their schools. Children and their families have been visited when the children were aged six weeks, and 1, 2, 4, 6, 9 and 11 years

This one intrigues me  because fathers were less likely to smoke over time but mothers more.

This caught my eye because it shows (as often argued on this blog) that men are also victims of partner violence. At Year 11 of the survey 10% of fathers and 16% of mothers reported being victims of minor physical partner violence; 4% of fathers and 8% of mothers reported being victims of severe partner violence.

Noteworthy is this commentary:

"The PIF findings are consistent with those reported in other New Zealand groups (Magdol et al, 1977), and revealed that mothers were just as likely as fathers to perpetrate and be victims of severe IPV."

Overcrowding is not unusual in PI households but this puts some dimensions on the extent. This prompted me to speculate about the apparent poverty of PI children using the official child poverty measurements which are based on equivalised household incomes. Equivalising means adjusting for numbers of household members. So the more members, the lower the equivalised income will be.

While it is quite true that more members will require more financial resources I am nevertheless reminded that child poverty measurement is based on a constructed household income - not actual household income.

Here's a final observation I also found interesting:

The high percentage of traditional gift giving among Pacific families, and the level of financial stress associated with such practices, may play a role in reducing the financial security for some of these Pacific families. There is growing evidence that younger, New Zealand-born, Pacific people are becoming less committed to traditional gift giving to churches and other cultural obligations. 
That may be a good or bad thing depending on which side of the transfer one stands.


Anonymous said...

The issues around islanders giving to churches to the point of making themselves impoverished is purely cultural as such stupidity is expressly warned against in the Bible where providing for your family is a big deal. That said,it would be sad to see the young abandon religion because of simple ignorance of that rather than a more well considered view. Money grabbing ministers will have much to answer for.


JC said...

The year 11 figures were of interest to me because they are just after the worst of the GFC.

I think there's evidence of some effect but it appears to be minor.