This page provides an overview of the CMRR's research projects.

Current Research Projects

Youth and adult Asian drinking cultures in New Zealand

This study will examine cultural factors associated with Asian youth and adult alcohol use and provide high quality, culturally specific, information to reduce harm from alcohol among New Zealand Asian sub groups. This study will address the gap in information about the problematic and non-problematic role alcohol plays in different New Zealand Asian sub-groups’ lives and the effect of New Zealand’s mainstream drinking culture on Asian migrant subgroups through the lifespan. The results will enable better targeting of social marketing, inform advice about alcohol-related issues and the Asian population, and support Asian community action to protect Asian youth and adults from drinking and drinking related harm

Funded by: Health Promotion Agency

Researchers: Dr Grace Wong (Principal Investigator), Dr Sari Andajani, Dr Nick Garrett, Dr Roshini Peiris-John

Multi CASI computer based assessment versus pen and paper methods of assessment in a refugee setting

This study is investigating the procedural validation of client acceptability of the Multilingual Computer Assisted Self Interview (Multi CASI) in a refugee population. The research is being conducted through Refugees as Survivors NZ (RASNZ) as part of routine clinical practice. The study is being undertaken in collaboration with STARTTS in Sydney.

Funded by: Refugees as Survivors NZ and the National Institute for Public Health and Mental Health Research, AUT

Researcher: Sue Petrie (Principal Investigator), Sangita Thakur

Past Research Projects

The occupational experiences of North Korean refugees settling in South Korea

For North Korean refugees, settlement in South Korean society is a highly heterogeneous process, associated with social isolation and undermined perception of wellbeing. This qualitative study explored how North Korean refugees navigate within various social circumstances whilst negotiating their identities in South Korea.

Funded by: National Institute for Public Health and Mental Health Research, AUT and the Korea Foundation

Researchers: Hagyun Kim (Principal Investigator), Rhee-Beom Lee, Clare Hocking

A comparative study of immigrant settlement in New Zealand and Canada

Immigration and settlement are complex processes. This pilot study compared how immigrants in New Zealand and Canada engage in everyday activities, a key part of navigating settlement. Findings will further develop theory on settlement processes from an occupational perspective, and inform the construction of policy and services to support immigrants arriving in a new country.

Funded by: National Institute for Public Health and Mental Health Research, AUT and the International Research Award, University of Western Ontario, Canada

Researchers: Shoba Nayar, Suzanne Huot, Debbie Laliberte-Rudman, Clare Hocking

Optimising health: Elder immigrants' participation in community

Older migrants from the Chinese, Indian and Korean communities in Auckland were interviewed in relation to their participation in their community and how they perceive their contributions relate to their health and wellbeing. This issue is important because of New Zealand's growing ethnically diverse ageing population.

Funded by: Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences Contestable Grant

Principal Researchers: Valerie Wright-St Clair, Shoba Nayar


Wright St-Clair, V.A., & Nayar, S. (2017). Older Asian immigrants’ participation as cultural enfranchisement. Journal of Occupational Science 24(1) 64-75. doi:10.1080/14427591.2016.1214168

Project Collaborations

A validation and norming study of the 'Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire' in the New Zealand context

The New Zealand Before School Check (B4SC) programme aims to promote health and wellbeing in preschool children by screening for behavioural, developmental or other health concerns that may affect the child's ability to learn in the school environment. As part of this programme children's emotional and behavioural strengths and difficulties are assessed using an assessment tool: parents/whanau are asked to answer questions from this tool, if their child attends early childhood education/kohanga the child's teacher/kaiako is also asked to answer these questions. There is no information of the validity of this tool in New Zealand. This project aims to evaluate how appropriate the assessment tool is for the New Zealand setting. We will explore this in group and individual interviews with parents/whanau of 4-5 year olds (for the following groups: New Zealand European, Maori, Pacific, Asian and other immigrant parents), teachers/kaikao and providers of the B4SC programme.

Researchers: Paula Kersten (Principal Investigator), Kathryn McPherson, Hinemoa Elder, Shoba Nayar, Alain Vandal, Melody Oliver, Margaret Dudley


Dudley, K.M, Elder, H, Tauroa, R., & Vandal, A. (2015). A systematic review of evidence ofr the psychometric properties of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, International Journal of Behavioral Development.

For more details, visit the Person Centered Research Centre.