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Important Strategies for Youth Centers to be Health-Promoting Settings
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden. (Med kraft och vilja - Forskning om idéburna organisationers ANDT-förebyggande arbete)
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden. (Med kraft och vilja - Forskning om idéburna organisationers ANDT-förebyggande arbete)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5093-4958
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden. (Med kraft och vilja - Forskning om idéburna organisationers ANDT-förebyggande arbete)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0185-0851
2015 (English)In: Health Science Journal, ISSN 1791-809X, Vol. 10, no 1, 13Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Adolescence is a time that offers many opportunities for good health. It is also when the foundations for future patterns of adult health are established. Leisure time is a significant part of young people’s lives, and is often spent together with peers, it could therefore be a crucial arena for helping adolescents develop their full potential and attain the best possible health in the transition to adulthood. Since many young people spend their leisure time at youth centers they can play an active role in health promotion and be a health-promoting setting.

This study aims to explore different strategies at two NGO-driven youth centers in multicultural, socially deprived suburbs in Sweden, and to determine what factors are important for making the youth centers health-promoting settings.

Method and findings: The study includes data from seven individual interviews with staff and six group interviews with youth at two youth centers. The groups consisted of three to five members with different ages (13–17 years), ethnicities, experiences and number of years at the center, totally 26 young people. An inductive qualitative content analysis was performed to analyze the interviews. The two youth centers studied are located in suburbs of two top-ten (by population) cities in Sweden. Both suburbs are characterized by apartment blocks and a high proportion of people with immigrant backgrounds and lower socio- economic status. The results show that youth centers can be health-promoting settings when their strategies include some important factors, both in theory and in daily practice.

Conclusion: To be a health-promoting setting a youth center needs to be open and inclusive towards its target groups, foster supportive relationships, emphasize youth empowerment, and integrate family, school and community into its strategies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Athens, Greece: Technological Educational Institute of Athens , 2015. Vol. 10, no 1, 13
Keyword [en]
Youth center, leisure time, health promotion, settings, NGO, strategies
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-48465OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-48465DiVA: diva2:905555
Funder
Public Health Agency of Sweden
Available from: 2016-02-22 Created: 2016-02-22 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Leisure-time youth-center as health-promotion settings
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Leisure-time youth-center as health-promotion settings
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Leisure time is an important part of young people’s lives. Despite this, leisure-time settings have hitherto had only a minor role in setting-based health-promotion initiatives. Improving adolescents’ quality of leisuretime activities can reduce social differences in health, thus youth-centers can be appropriate settings for promoting health. However, young people with immigrant backgrounds participate less in organized leisure-time activities.

The overall aim of this study is to explore young people’s leisure time as their health-promotion setting in two NGO-run youth-centers in multicultural, socially deprived suburbs in Sweden.

This study took a practice-based approach using a mixture of methods in close collaboration with the youth-centers. Data collection was done through surveys with young people (n = 207) and interviews with young people and leaders (n = 16). Study I, about who participates in youthcenter activities, used an explanatory mixed method. Study II, about the youth-centers’ strategies, used an explorative qualitative method with an inductive content analysis.

This study shows that youth-centers have great potential to be a healthpromotion setting if their strategies include some important factors, both in theory and in daily practice. To be a health-promotion setting, a youthcenter needs to be open and inclusive for its target group, foster supportive relationships, emphasize youth empowerment, and integrate family, school, and community in its strategies.

Local knowledge about young people's backgrounds, needs, interests, and motivations to attend youth-center activities – as well as good contact with young people's families – is important because it can increase participation in leisure-time activities for young people in multicultural and socio- economically disadvantaged neighborhoods and can thus help to reduce social inequalities in health.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University, 2016. 74 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Care Sciences, ISSN 1652-1153 ; 66
Keyword
Youth-center, Leisure-time, Health-promotion, Settings, NGO, Strategies, Participation, Multicultural Suburbs, Policy
National Category
Other Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-51612 (URN)
Presentation
2016-06-15, Prismahuset, P236, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-08-09 Created: 2016-08-09 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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