FSD3432 PROMEQ: Health and Well-being of Young People not in Employment or Education 2017-2018

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  • Kivijärvi, Antti (Finnish Youth Research Society)
  • Aaltonen, Sanna
  • Mäki-Opas, Tomi (University of Eastern Finland. Department of Social Sciences)
  • Vaarama, Marja (University of Eastern Finland)
  • Forma, Leena (Tampere University)
  • Partanen, Jussi
  • Klavus, Jan (Tampere University)
  • Rissanen, Pekka (Tampere University)


health services, health status, participation, public services, social inequality, social services, social skills, social support, trust, well-being (health), youth unemployment, youth work

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The data consist of two surveys aimed at young people not in employment, education or training (NEET). The surveys charted the young people's social participation, mental and physical well-being, and use of social and health services. Main themes in the surveys included living conditions, quality of life, social relationships, use of social and health services, lifestyle, and social media use. The baseline survey was conducted at the beginning of the research (questionnaire A, variables marked with a) and the second survey six months after the baseline survey (questionnaire B, variables marked with b). The respondents were randomly assigned into test and control groups based on the baseline survey. The test group participated in online group discussion that covered topics such as loneliness and hobbies. The group discussions were held on the heimo.co website and led by youth work professionals. The respondents in the control group were offered conventional targeted youth work services. All in all, four moderated discussion groups were organised for nine weeks in collaboration with the departments of youth services in three cities in Finland.

The data were collected as part of the Inclusive Promotion of Health and Wellbeing (PROMEQ 2016-2019) research project, which studied population groups that need special support. The aim of the PROMEQ project was to develop and demonstrate novel models of promotion of health and wellbeing. Survey data from the other target groups of the project as well as combined data from all surveys are also available at FSD (FSD3433-FSD3436).

The surveys included many scales and questions used in other studies. Questions were selected, for instance, from the Finnish Youth Surveys, as well as the Regional Health and Well-being Study (ATH) and Welfare and Services in Finland (HYPA) surveys conducted by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). Most questions included in the baseline survey were repeated in the follow-up survey.

First, the surveys charted the respondents' living conditions, income, loans, and need for financial aid or food assistance. The respondents' health, well-being and quality of life were examined with questions on, for example, how satisfied the respondents were with their health, how much they had enjoyed life in the past two weeks, how safe and secure they felt in their everyday life, and whether they had enough energy and drive for their daily life. Satisfaction with different spheres of life was also surveyed with questions regarding, for example, quality of sleep, capacity to work, relationships, and support received from friends.

Social relationships and trust were examined next. The respondents were asked whether they often felt lonely and whether they were often in contact with their friends, partner, or family. Questions also focused on the respondents' sociability and feelings of belonging (e.g. whether they felt they were a part of a friend group, had much in common with people around them, and could find company when they wanted to, or whether they felt left out and isolated). The respondents' participation in group activities and use of social media were charted. Questions on social media use included, for instance, how often the respondents read or commented on posts by other people and how often they posted on social media themselves. Trust in other people and various institutions, such as public health care, the judicial system, and municipal decision-making, was then examined. The respondents' opinions on their own opportunities in life were also surveyed (e.g. whether they thought they had good or bad opportunities to strive for happiness in life and to act according to their conscience).

Next, the respondents' use of social and health services was surveyed. The respondents were asked whether they had visited a doctor or other health or social services professional or received services that promote employment in the past 12 months. Additionally, the respondents were asked whether they had bought medication, met with a youth employee, or been otherwise in contact with social and health care employees or youth employees in the past 12 months. Questions also focused on basic social assistance, the respondents' satisfaction with the availability of various social and public services (e.g. library, indoor exercise and youth services), and their participation in group activities promoting health and well-being (e.g. weight management groups, AA, NA). Finally, the respondents' lifestyle was examined with questions focusing on their exercise, eating, and drinking habits.

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's gender, year of birth, marital status, household composition, housing tenure, highest level of education, economic activity and occupational status, and household income.

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