Youth centers, structured leisure activities, and friends of native and foreign origin: A two-wave longitudinal study
Authors: Olov Aronson, Arne Gerdner
The social integration of adolescents of foreign origin is of much
importance to contemporary Swedish politics, and knowledge is
needed about the associations between different forms of leisure
and social integration. The present study tests the associations
between visits to youth centers and participation in structured leisure
activities, on the one hand, and having friends regardless of origin,
of native origin, and of foreign origin, on the other. Two-wave
longitudinal data from 203 adolescents of foreign origin were collected,
including friendship nominations from 1,185 peers. Crosslagged
panel models were constructed, controlling for relevant confounders.
Visits to youth centers positively predicted the number of
friends of foreign origin, while participation in structured leisure
activities positively predicted the number of friends regardless of origin.
In conclusion, structured leisure activities appear better than
youth centers for promoting the social integration of adolescents of
foreign origin into networks of friends of different origins.
This research is financed by:
Swedish Research Council, FORTE, VINNOVA, Formas
Contact: Olov Aronson