The University of Auckland
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Now We Are 12: Experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and young people's wellbeing. Snapshot 6

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In Aotearoa, the COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with greater depression and anxiety compared to population norms and worry about COVID-19 has been correlated with anxiety, depression, and stress. However, few studies have examined the wellbeing of young New Zealanders. Internationally, several studies have reported the negative effects of the pandemic on young people’s wellbeing. The impact of the pandemic has also widened existing inequities for New Zealand young people and their families. The overall burden of disease has not been equitable, with Māori and Pacific people overrepresented in infection and mortality statistics.

Concerns have been raised about the potential effects of COVID-19 on New Zealand children’s wellbeing. Longitudinal studies like Growing Up in New Zealand can provide unique, timely evidence of the health burden associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Growing Up in New Zealand has previously reported on “Life during Lockdown” for the cohort at the start of the pandemic in 2020. The 12-year data collection wave (DCW) was completed from September 2021 to the end of July 2022 by 4624 young people, of which, 4500 were residing in Aotearoa, New Zealand. During this time, the Delta and Omicron outbreaks occurred, and there were varying restriction levels across Aotearoa. In this report, we explore the association between ethnicity, gender and deprivation and worry due to COVID-19 and how this relates to young people's wellbeing.

The supplementary document included in this file contains additional information, tables and graphs not included in the main report.


Crown funding managed by the Ministry of Social Development



Growing Up in New Zealand: University of Auckland

Spatial coverage

New Zealand

Temporal coverage: start


Temporal coverage: end


Data Collection Wave

DCW 12 (12-years)