NZ Herald May 23, 2009
It may be uncool to admit it, but more than half of New Zealand teenagers want to spend more time with their parents. Details of a survey of almost 10,000 students at 96 secondary schools, published to mark the start of Youth Week today, show that 54 per cent of students “sometimes” or “hardly ever” get enough time with their mothers. And 61 per cent, sometimes or hardly ever get enough time with their dads. Auckland University researcher Simon Denny, who led the project, said the results shattered the myth that teenagers hate their parents. “This is big stuff, much bigger than it sounds,” he said. “Having a close relationship with a parent is one of the most important predictors of good health and wellbeing for young people.”
The survey found that only 73 per cent of students in 2007 lived in their main home with two “parents”, including step-parents. A further 22 per cent lived with one parent, 3 per cent with grandparents or other relatives and 2 per cent in foster care or independent flats. Twenty-nine per cent of students said they lived in more than one home, usually spending part of the time with each parent. Ninety per cent lived with their mothers in their main homes, 76 per cent with their fathers and 8 per cent also with a parent’s partner or step-parent.