Children and Young Adults

Children and Young Adults

NIHI has extensive experience in undertaking research involving Children and Young Adults.

Examples from across our themes are highlighted below:


The primary aim of this trial was to determine whether a multimedia mobile phone-based depression prevention programme is effective at reducing depressive symptoms at 12 months compared with adolescents receiving a control programme. 1,200 adolescents (Years 9-12) were recruited via participating schools from the Auckland region.


SPARX is therapy in the format of a game designed to help teens with mild to moderate depression and is also effective with anxiety. The target age group is 12-19 however other youth can use it too. SPARX uses CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) to help youth change how they think about things and how they behave which leads to improvements in how they feel. Designed and clinically tested by the Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland, SPARX is fully funded by the Ministry of Health so it is free for anyone to use in NZ.

Te Piripohotanga

This study aimed to determine the efficacy of a family-centred tobacco control program about environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), to reduce health care presentations for respiratory illness in Indigenous infants up to 12 months of age. Families were recruited from Darwin City and the Greater Darwin area in the Northern Territory, Australia and from within the Counties Manukau District Health Board region, New Zealand.


Space2Breathe aimed to ascertain whether provision of an asthma intervention (asthma education in an Early Childhood Education setting in conjunction with a GASP assessment, education and self-management plan [SMP]) to 2 to 5 year old children with diagnosed asthma or a high probability of asthma, and their guardians/caregivers, improves asthma outcomes at 12 months after the introduction of the intervention compared with provision of usual care. Eligible children aged 2 and 4 years 8 months were recruited from participating Waitemata District Health Board Early Childhood Centres.


Kid's Cam aims to examine food environments, specifically, the frequency, duration and nature of children’s exposure to food and non-alcoholic beverage marketing, documenting differences by setting, and exploring ethnic and socioeconomic differences.

Virtual Supermarket

NIHI collaborated with LENSCIENCE and the Nutrition Foundation to educate children about healthy eating using a Virtual Supermarket developed by NIHI researchers


The main objective of this study was to determine the effects of active video games over 6 months on: body mass index (BMI), percent body fat, waist circumference, cardio-respiratory fitness, and physical activity levels in children.


SWITCH aimed to determine the effect of an intervention to reduce screen-based sedentary behaviour on body composition, sedentary behaviour, physical activity and nutrition in New Zealand children and their primary caregiver.


A stepped-wedge randomised controlled trial to determine whether provision of a free breakfast improves attendance, academic performance, nutrition and food security in children attending decile 1-4 primary schools in New Zealand. The study recruited children aged 5-12 years from 20 decile 1-4 primary schools in the North Island (Auckland, Northland, Waikato, and Wellington) who attended a school breakfast programme.