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young Maori and their families – research to draw on

October 19, 2012

Shane Edwards, Tim McCreanor & Helen Moewaka‐Barnes

Maori family culture: A context of youth development in Counties/Manukau


This paper reports on a study designed to bring the voices of young people directly into the social science literature regarding environmental influences on well‐being. We analyse accounts from young Maori about their families and the roles families play in order to focus on strengths and positive resources for the promotion of youth wellbeing.

Interview data were gathered from 12 females and 15 males, aged between 12 and 25 years, resident in the Counties/Manukau region. Participants who were managing satisfactorily in their lives were purposively selected for diversity of background and circumstances. Our “life story” approach sought narrative accounts of both everyday experiences and the highs and lows of life; data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using discursive methods.

Clusters of themes relating to family environments including relationships with parents, siblings and extended kin groups emerged. Participants provided detailed and nuanced accounts of family cultures; reporting on conflict, caring, gender issues, sensitivity, discipline, levels of guidance and forms of support.”

Kotuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online Volume 2,   Issue 1, 2007, pages 1-15            FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE


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