Two NGO-Run Youth-Centers in Multicultural, Socially Deprived Suburbs in Sweden—Who Are the Participants?


Objective: Leisure-time is an important part of young people’s lives. One way to reduce social differences in health is to improve adolescents’ living conditions, for example by enhancing the quality of after-school activities. Multicultural, socially deprived suburbs have less youth participation in organized leisure-time activities. This study explores who the participants are at two NGO-run youth-centers in multicultural, socially deprived suburbs in Sweden and whether socio-demographic, health-related, and leisure-time factors affect the targeted participation. Methods: The study can be seen as an explanatory mixed-methods study where qualitative data help explain initial quantitative results. The included data are a survey with youth (n = 207), seven individual interviews with staff, and six focus-groups interviews with young people at two youth-centers in two different cities. Results and Conclusions: The participants in the youth-centers are Swedish born youths having foreign-born parents who live with both parents, often in crowded apartments with many siblings. Moreover they feel healthy, enjoy school and have good contact with their parents. It seems that strategies for recruiting youths to youth-centers have a large impact on who participates. One way to succeed in having a more equal gender and ethnicity distribution is to offer youth activities that are a natural step forward from children’s activities. The youth-centers’ proximity is also of importance for participation, in these types of neighborhoods.

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Geidne, S. , Fredriksson, I. , Dalal, K. and Eriksson, C. (2015) Two NGO-Run Youth-Centers in Multicultural, Socially Deprived Suburbs in Sweden—Who Are the Participants?. Health, 7, 1158-1174. doi: 10.4236/health.2015.79131.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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