Thursday, October 08, 2020

Almost complete disregard of fathers

MSD has today released a study into child self-control using data from the Growing Up in New Zealand Study. The development of self control is important because, " ...children with high self-control in their early years have better educational achievement, less involvement with the criminal justice system, and better physical and mental health throughout life."

My interest is always in family background - the structure of it and extent of benefit dependence.

I can find just one reference to the fact that children have two parents. It appears as one of the factors which promotes development of self-control being "warm rather than hostile couple relationships."

Father is never mentioned. Mother comes up 69 times.

Paternal is never mentioned. Maternal comes up 78 times.

In a footnote I found this:

2 It is important to note that partner reported data was not used in any of our analysis as more data was available from the mothers, however the effects reported are likely to be similar for either parent.

That seems a rather broad assumption. 

'Parenting practices' looks only at maternal behaviours.

At the conclusion, as per normal practice, 'limitations' are acknowledged.

 Another limitation is that in this study we validated our index against maternal reports of child behaviours on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and did not explore the role that partners may play in the development of self control. Further validation of the indices is required from partner reported data and subsequent data collection waves as the children age.

Stunning. The exercise "...did not explore the role that partners may play in the development of self control."

Or, as importantly, the lack of.

Monday, October 05, 2020

Cheerleading for Labour with half-truths

Ex Labour MP Chris Carter, as part of Heather Du Plessis-Allan's political panel, insists that things just aren't as bad as people think.

He keeps saying "9,000 new jobs were created in August."

I had a look at Statistics NZ for the source.

Filled jobs were up 9,147 to 2.2 million in August 2020 compared with July. While the number of filled jobs in most industries remained similar to last month’s, for education and training it was up 7,409.

Much of the first half of the school and academic year was hampered by COVID-19, and it may be that filled jobs were down because of this, particularly for jobs outside of core teaching staff.  

Filled job numbers are usually lower in August than in March by a few thousand, but this year the difference was over 30,000 jobs.

'30,000 fewer jobs' doesn't sound as good as '9,000 new jobs.'