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The AUT video … first of this year’s languags series.

By Simon Smith of AUT News

The Kiribati instalment in the AUT Pacific language video series – “Adapting to a changing world, shaping resilient futures” – has been released.

The video, produced by Auckland University of Technology, is narrated in I-Kiribati, (with English subtitles) to acknowledge the inaugural Kiribati Language Week in Aotearoa.

It looks at the impact of the involvement of fathers on early childhood behaviour outcomes in Pacific communities, from findings from the Pacific Islands Families Study in 2006.

READ MORE: Pacific father involvement and early childhood behaviourResearch

The research, led by the director of the Pacific Islands Families Study, Associate Professor El-Shadan Tautolo, explored the experiences of 825 Pacific fathers – which was then cross-analysed with quantitative data obtained from their children, who were also part of the study.

A Pacific father himself, of Cook Islands and Samoan heritage, Associate Professor Tautolo, says the paternal impact in a child’s upbringing cannot be underestimated.

“The research provided strong evidence that the more involved Pacific fathers are in raising their children, the more likely their children would exhibit positive behaviour.

The study also observed that where the fathers’ influence was absent or limited, around 30 per cent of Pacific children in the study had significant problem behavioural issues

Highlighted need for fathers
“Often a father’s role in a child’s upbringing may be overlooked, but these findings really highlighted the need for fathers to prioritise their involvement with their kids,” said Associate Professor Tautolo.

“In fact, by encouraging fathers to talk about and share their experiences, we can glean important insight into the factors that impact on their relationships with their children, and find ways to address issues, collectively.”

“It is reassuring that the majority of the fathers who took part in this research had strong involvement with their young ones, and over the years, since the research took place, we have seen these children do well throughout their development.”

This research, which gathers more and more data each year, is critical, as it provides the robust evidence needed to develop targeted support services for Pacific fathers in Aotearoa.

“It shows us that having clear strategies that promote and enable increased father involvement have a high chance of reducing negative child outcomes among our Pacific families.

“Supporting positive fatherhood will help contribute to solutions that provide the best outcomes for Pacific families and for their children,” said Associate Professor Tautolo.

Release dates for the upcoming videos

  • Cook Islands – Sunday, 2 August
  • Tonga – Sunday, 6 September
  • Tuvalu – Sunday, 27 September
  • Fiji – Sunday, 4 October
  • Niue – Sunday, 18 October
  • Tokelau – Sunday, 25 October
  • To watch each video as it is launched, follow the Pacific at AUT Facebook page or follow on YouTube.
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