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Exploring young people's experiences of race, gender and socioeconomic status in relation to everyday challenges: A focus group study
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Care Science (VV).
Department of Women's and Children's Health, Faculty of Medicine, Uppsala Universitet.
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA).
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Care Science (VV). (Proheq)
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2024 (English)In: Children & society, ISSN 0951-0605, E-ISSN 1099-0860, Vol. 38, no 1, p. 228-244Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Reports indicate a decrease in youth mental health in Sweden but at the same time research suggests that what is interpreted as mental ill-health could be considered everyday challenges by young people themselves. The distribution of mental health and illness among young people is uneven based on inequities related to factors such as race, gender and socioeconomic status. Sweden in particular is a country with large socioeconomic inequities in youth mental health and in school results, compared to other European countries. The aim of this study was to explore young people's experiences of the role of race, gender and socioeconomic status in relation to everyday challenges. Sixty-five young people aged 13–15 years old were recruited by student health services and participated in focus group discussions at schools in the southernmost part of Sweden. Data were analysed by secondary analysis with deductive qualitative content analysis using Ecosocial theory of disease distribution as theoretical framework. The analysis resulted in one main theme; Navigating inequities to gain and keep social status, with three underlying themes; Guided by social norms, Negative impact in everyday life and Importance of family influence. Participants were aware and critical of norms and expectations related to race, gender and socioeconomic status. Experiences of prejudice and unfairness was both own lived experiences by the participants as well as observed through friends and classmates. Young people spontaneously identify everyday challenges related to race, gender and socioeconomic status, even when not asked directly about these issues. Conforming to sexist, racist and classist, expectations is a way to lose and gain status in a school setting. Many of the inequities discussed related to socioeconomic status and the direct consequences of having or not having money. Young people's everyday experience of inequities is important to consider in youth mental health promotion aiming to tackle health inequities. Further research is needed on those experiences and how this affects mental health.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2024. Vol. 38, no 1, p. 228-244
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Care science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-59106DOI: 10.1111/chso.12718ISI: 000951574600001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85150983307OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-59106DiVA, id: diva2:1748860
Available from: 2023-04-04 Created: 2023-04-04 Last updated: 2024-01-04Bibliographically approved

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Ingvarsdotter, KarinIsma, Gabriella EMangrio, Elisabeth

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Gard, HelenaIngvarsdotter, KarinIsma, Gabriella EMangrio, Elisabeth
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Medical and Health SciencesPublic Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

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