Results from national survey in Norway

Ungdata is a survey administered to young people in middle and high schools across Norway who responded to questions about different aspects of their lives.

A fourth edition since Ungdata’s launch in 2010 has been published. It is providing an updated overview of the situation of adolescents in Norway for the period 2014-2016.

Ungdata represents collaboration between seven regional competence centers in the field of substance abuse (KoRus) and the Norwegian Research Institute for Welfare Research (NOVA) at the University College of Oslo and Akershus (HiOA).

The results of the Ungdata surveys are currently being used by many municipalities in Norway as knowledge base for local preventive youth work and in efforts to improve the public health situation.

In essence, this analysis confirms the picture that Ungdata previously provided. Today's teenagers appear to be a well-behaved, active and homely young generation, but many also experience some concerns and stress in everyday life.

The report also documents some important development features. The ties between adolescents and parents have been further strengthened in recent years, and the propriety of the youth generations since the millennium continues to increase. Youth are increasingly happy with their parents and more experience their parents having an overview of their everyday life and friends. One reason for this is that youth spend more time at home instead of out with friends, but they are spending rather more time on digital communication. The trend towards propriety continues to increase and youth are increasingly focused on school, higher education and fewer drink alcohol and smoke. Behaviour problems have also reduced with a decrease in crimes, threats, bullying and violence and the majority feel safe in their environment.

Although the majority are doing well, there are some negative developments related to a decrease in well-being, friendship and loneliness among girls. While most are content with their health, a good portion of youth are struggling with different health problems such as aches and pains, as well as symptoms of stress, worry and anxiety. The younger girls are especially at risk for these types of problems and the use of prescription medicine is high (1/4 weekly use). Another trend that is exclusive to girls is a tendency that more and more girls lack close friends, feel lonely and excluded and are struggling with psychological problems.

In many areas there are many similarities between youth in upper secondary schools and younger kids. However, as they grow older, young people increasingly orient themselves away from home and organized leisure activities. They also express more dissatisfaction with their local community. The oldest teenagers spend more time with friends outside the home and on social media. While the extent of health problems is levelling off in the transition to secondary school, the use of intoxicants increases significantly.

Over recent years bullying has been in focus, and an enormous effort has been put in place to limit the phenomena. The data show fewer bully than before, but 7% in middle school regularly experience bullying. This percentage decrease with age and in secondary school it is down to 5%. Girls are especially exposed. Both the victims and the perpetrators of bullying score lower on wellbeing and are at higher risk for physical and psychological problems. 

Click here to read in Norwegian.

Click here to read the English summary of the main report.