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The Health and Ageing Research Team staff includes researchers from Massey's School of Psychology, School of Public Health, School of Social Work and School of People, Environment and Planning. The team includes senior researchers, emerging researchers, and postgraduate doctoral, master's and honours students working on projects in ageing research supervised by HART staff.

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Dr Andy Towers staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (06) 356 9099  ext. 83504

Dr Andy Towers

Senior Lecturer

School of Health Sciences

Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching

College of Health

Dr Andy Towers teaches and researchers in the areas of older adults healthy ageing and alcohol consumption. His particular research interests focus on the prevalence and predictors of hazardous alcohol consumption in community-dwelling older adults, alcohol screening for older adults in primary health care settings, and older adult mobility and qualty of life.


Contact details

  • Ph: +64-6-3569099 extn. 83504
    Location: 7.08, Social Sciences Towers
    Campus: Manawatu


  • PhD - Massey University (2010)
  • Master of Arts - Massey University (2001)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - Massey University (2000)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Alcohol use and abuse in older adults

Health trends & determinants across older adulthood

Patterns and determinants of exercise uptake

Emotions across the lifespan

Research Opportunities

  • Older adult alcohol consumption & health  (On going) The 'Health and Ageing Research Team' (HART) at Massey University are an award winning research group who have 5 waves of data on the health and wellbeing of ageing New Zealanders. We are very keen to explore and model (1) the predictors of heavy alcohol consumption across waves,, (2) the predictors of change in alcohol consumption in New Zealanders as they age, (3) the degree of alcohol consumption in the presence of comorbid health conditions and medication use, and (4) patterns of healthcare utilisation related to different drinking patterns.


Health and Well-being

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Aged Health Care (111702):
Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106):
Medical And Health Sciences (110000): Preventive Medicine (111716): Primary Health Care (111717):
Psychological Methodology, Design and Analysis (170110): Psychology (170100): Psychology And Cognitive Sciences (170000):
Public Health and Health Services (111700):
Social and Community Psychology (170113)


Older adults alcohol use

Hazardous drinking

Older adults health & quality of life

Research methods

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 2 5
Team Member 0 1

Completed Projects

Project Title: Quantifying the rates, health outcomes and factors underpining hazardous drinking in older New Zealanders

Older adults are at serious risk of morbidity and mortality due to alcohol use, but they are also one of the least researched and least understood populations of drinkers worldwide. Using a new measure of older adult hazardous drinking developed by researchers at UCLA - the Alcohol-Related Problems Survey (ARPS) - Dr Towers will explore hazardous drinking in older New Zealanders and the factors underpinning drinking risk in this population. Over 800 people in the New Zealand Longitudinal Study of Ageing completed the ARPS in 2012. In collaboration with colleagues from the School of Medicine (UCLA), the Centre for Addiction Research (University of Auckland), and the School of Psychology (Massey University), Dr Towers will use this data in conjunction with linked historical data from the on-going longitudinal study of ageing to assess the (1) rate of older adults drinking despite the presence of chronic ill health and medication use, (2) degree to which the ARPS identifies hazardous older drinkers that traditional alcohol screens miss, and (3) the key social, economic and demographic factors leading to hazardous drinking in older New Zealanders.
Read Project Description Hide Project Description

Date Range: 2013 - 2013

Funding Body: Massey University

Project Team:

Research Outputs


Carryer, J., Weststrate, J., Yeung, PHY., Rodgers, V., Towers, A., & Jones, M. (2017). Prevalence of key care indicators of pressure injuries, incontinence, malnutrition, and falls among older adults living in nursing homes in New Zealand. Research in Nursing & Health.
[Journal article]Authored by: Carryer, J., Jones, M., Rodgers, V., Towers, A., Yeung, P.

Consultancy and Languages


  • 20 October - 26th October 2012 - Health Promotion Agency
    Reviewer for the HPA's report: “Alcohol and older people: A descriptive analysis of changes in alcohol use in older New Zealanders from 2004 to 2009.”

Supervision and Teaching

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
CoSupervisor 2 1


147.203 Measurement in Rehabilitation

147.302 Alcohol & Drug Use

147.704 Alcohol & Drug Rehabilitation

250.333 Health & Ageing

Current Doctoral Supervision

CoSupervisor of:

  • Eddie Barnard - Doctor of Clinical Psychology
    The Combined Use of Alcohol and Alcohol-Interactive Medication in Older New Zealanders and The Potential Moderating Role of Depression
  • Brendan Stevenson - PhD
    Measuring Maori Identity and Health: Maori Differentiated Cultural Cohorts

Completed Doctoral Supervision

CoSupervisor of:

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