Digital technology is an integrated part of life for today’s youth. Studies have shown that they, in the face of diverse challenges during the transition from childhood to adulthood, appreciate access to health information via the Internet. Therefore, it is of importance to find out more about young people’s thoughts and wishes on the matter. The study’s aim was to deepen the knowledge of young peoples’ views on the Internet’s role in promoting their health and well-being.
– The results also show that youths are well aware of the negative aspects of the Internet, such as unreliable sources and people communicating under false colours, says Hildur Gunnarsdóttir.
This creates ambivalence in young people’s attitudes towards the Internet and its role in promoting health and well-being.
– Yet despite this ambivalence, young people view the Internet as a natural part of their lives and an important source for social support and health information, continues Gunnarsdóttir.
Health personnel and other adults should therefore focus on strengthening the positive aspects and minimizing the negative in order to offer access to health information and social support in ways that suit youths. Among reliable sources mentioned by the youths were www.umo.se (web-based youth clinic) and www.bris.se (Children’s Rights in Society).

Supervisor: Senior lecturer Ulrika Hallberg, Nordic School of Public Health

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