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It is the ambition of the research centre for child and youth studies to:

  • Conduct interdisciplinary research aimed to promote social sustainability in the form of increased inclusion and equal conditions in all areas of life for children and adolescents. The research shall also strengthen young people's rights and influence in society, as well as acknowledge the actorship of children and adolescents in various contexts.
  • Respond to current challenges in society in the area above, and the research shall be developed and disseminated both in the scholarly community and in cooperation with regional actors and thus reflect University West's focus on work-integrated learning. The research centre shall be at the frontier of interdisciplinary, practice-oriented research focusing on children and youth.
  • Promote research on children and adolescents at University West as well as cooperate with other similar research environments nationally and internationally with a view to contribute to the development of theoretical and empirical knowledge in the field of child and youth studies that is of local, national and international interest.

Three domains

The work conducted at the centre is divided into three domains.

Development, family and overall conditions

This domain implies a focus on the children, adolescents and their families. The projects carried out concern mainly research on families, family support and parenthood, and the overall conditions of children and young adults in life. This includes research on development, conditions in life, identity and relationships.

The transition into adulthood and parenthood are obvious components of the domain, and so are the parent-child relationship, childrearing and issues related to community support services targeting children, adolescents and families. The domain also includes literary research with a focus on family life and the overall conditions children and young people face in life. All in all, the domain currently comprises 24 projects, including seven PhD projects, of which one was recently completed except for some remaining publication work. Nine of the 24 projects are carried out and funded in collaboration with external parties.

Learning, education and culture

This domain encompasses research focusing mainly on learning in children and adolescents and comprises about 20 projects mainly concerning various aspects of education and teaching, as well as research on schools and the educational sector [A1] as a context. Topics addressed include issues related to education policy more generally, such as development plans and assessments, but the researchers also examine specific school subjects and instructional issues related to them. This also includes research on issues linked to schools and the education sector [A3] as a context and the professional practice therein. Three PhD projects, of which two were recently completed except for some remaining publication work, are underway in this domain. Two projects are carried out in cooperation with external parties.

Leisure, peer relations and health

This domain covers the contexts that children and adolescents are found in and affected by that are not as institutionalising as for example schools, social services and family life. A dozen projects are underway and the main topics addressed are welfare technology and social media as well as health and wellbeing. This includes research on the participation of marginalised groups in various arenas in society, contextual conditions for identity formation, health-related aspects of young people's addiction , relationships and use of medicines. One PhD project is currently underway within the domain. Three projects are carried out with external parties.