Projects / Youth
Peer crowds in New Zealand

In 2016, the AOD Provider Collaborative led a group of health and social agencies to contract Rescue: The Behaviour Change Agency to research the socio-cultural peer groups in New Zealand youth and young adult populations. The aim was to better understand youth culture, peer crowds, and how these peer crowds used alcohol.

Overall, four teenage peer crowds and five young adult peer crowds were identified.

The research found that smaller non-mainstream peer crowds experienced the greatest burden of alcohol harms compared to the mainstream peer crowd. These peer crowds were; ‘Hip hop’ teens, ‘Popular’ teens, ‘Hip hop’ young adults and ‘Partier’ young adults. The ‘Alternative’ teen peer crowd is also of interest as other countries have found that they have some of the highest risks of mental health concerns. In addition, the peer crowds with the highest burden of alcohol harm reported that they did not see mainstream campaigns and services as relevant for them.

You can explore the findings of the Peer Crowd research project below:

Next Steps

Rescue Agency’s research report made several recommendations for potential next steps:

  1. Simplify and promote alcohol help-seeking.
  2. Target and engage peer crowds which carry the greatest burden of alcohol related harm.
  • Youth co-design project
  • Service and stakeholder co-design project
  1. Gather representative data to learn and evaluate.

New initiatives are currently being undertaken by several different agencies within Counties Manukau, as well as nationally, based on these recommendations.