Restless youth worry researchers

Bookmark and Share

More teenagers are smoking hash and being subjected to violence in Oslo. The results of a new study of youngsters in the Norwegian capital is worrying researchers.

Their findings documented a marked rise in drug use among youth aged 13-19. There’s also been an increase in the numbers of youngsters with behavioral problems, and involvement in violent incidents.

Their study was based on surveys of 25,000 teenagers at all levels of junior high- and high school. Around two-thirds of Oslo’s teenagers responded. After several years of a decline in drug use and behavioral problems, the pendulum is swinging.

“There’s no sign of any clear protest movement against the authorities or any collective youth revolt,” Anders Bakken, a researcher at the Oslo college now known as OsloMet. “But what characterizes today’s youth is that a lot of protest and revolt is carried out individually.”

The researchers are most worried about a much more widespread use of cannabis, especially on Oslo’s more affluent west side. Around 20 percent of Oslo’s teens have been in trouble at school or at home, more are involved in violent episodes, reports of psychological problems are rising, around 3o percent have been sexually harassed, half are stressed by heavy loads of school work and nearly half spent as much as three hours a day staring at screens, mostly using social media. The study was financed by the City of Oslo and the state health directorate.

newsinenglish.no staff