15 Jun 2014

Teens taking fewer behaviour risks

1:43 pm on 15 June 2014

New research on the health and well-being of young people has found teenagers are taking fewer risks with their behaviour than they were seven years ago.

The Youth 2012 Health and Wellbeing survey was commissioned by the Ministry of Health and published by the University of Auckland and UniServices.

8,500 students were questioned.

One of the researchers, Theresa Fleming said when the team first looked at the study's results, they thought they had made a mistake because the results were very different to the figures from 2001 and 2007.

The survey showed that in 2012, young people were taking fewer risks in terms of sexual health and driving, were gambling less often and had fewer substance abuse issues.

Dr Fleming said it is important to take note of positive trends and look at what factors have helped in the changes to improve on them in the future.


The study found that young people living in lower socio-economic areas are more likely to feel the negative effects of gambling.

Dr Fleming said the results show that Maori, Pacific and Asian youths reported higher rates of being worried about gambling which was more pronounced in lower socio-economic areas.

She said understanding who is affected by problem gambling is important in knowing how to deal with, and support it.