Restricted Childhood, Interrupted Youth
15 Sep 2023
How did the Covid-19 pandemic impact the lives of youth in the Nordic region? In this in-depth report, we dive into the pandemic's impact on education and leisure for children and young people in the Nordic region. This publication gives a research overview and report on the rights of Nordic children and youth in the spheres of education and leisure during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This study explores perspectives related to children’s and young people’s varied experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic, their learning results as well as their possibilities for meaningful leisure activities. Building on a previous report, this report examines research on to what extent children and young people have been informed about and included in decisions that affect their lives in these central life spheres. The research highlights concerns about children’s mental health, wellbeing, and learning experiences during the pandemic. Some positive effects were noted, but disparities existed among different groups. Notably, vulnerable populations were more adversely affected. The report identifies gaps in research and emphasises the need for long-term studies to understand the pandemic’s lasting impact on children and youth.
- Covid-19-related research has up till now mainly focused on children and young people’s wellbeing and learning.
- There is less research on the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic for their right to be heard and to participate in social and leisure time activities.
- Studies of the short-term effects has raised concerns regarding children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
- Some positive short-term effects have been observed, like some students felt less stressed. But there are considerable differences across demographic groups.
- Findings show significant differences in the pandemic’s impact on various groups. Vulnerable children and youth have been affected more negatively.
- Gaps in research literature identified: There is a need for long-term studies, studies that focus on vulnerable groups, studies that investigate the broader impacts on lived social lives, and on influence.
The report is written by researchers Alix Helfer, Viola Särkiluoto and Sinikka Aapola-Kari from the Finnish Youth Research Society as well as Jakob Trane Ibsen from Vive – The Danish Center for Social Science Research. The report is published by the Finnish Youth Research Society and commissioned by The Nordic Welfare Centre.
25 Sep 2023
15 Sep 2023