Children in Iceland Feel Better After Crisis Hit Skip to content

Children in Iceland Feel Better After Crisis Hit

By Iceland Review

Icelandic children are feeling better now than three years ago, according to the results of Ungt fólk, an extensive survey on the well-being of children in the fifth through tenth grade of elementary school (ages ten to 16), presented in a report yesterday.

Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

“Kids spend more time with their parents and parents provide their children and teenagers with more support and pay closer attention to what they’re doing,” one of the report’s authors, Álfgeir Logi Kristjánsson, told Fréttabladid.

“We’re always looking for negative aspects, but our research only shows positive evidence of the behavior and well-being of children,” Kristjánsson added.

“A so-called crisis effect has often been talked about, that the crisis has a negative impact on the well-being of children, but we don’t see it in this research. On the contrary, children obviously feel they are being held more tightly today. More children experienced insecurity during the expansion,” Kristjánsson explained.

Kristjánsson also said that the survey doesn’t indicate that children’s free-time activities have decreased since the crisis hit, which has also been a matter of concern.

The survey is a continuation of a survey undertaken for the Ministry of Education since 1992 by the research company Rannsókn og greining. It is based on extensive questionnaires handed out to elementary school students. The response rate is over 85 percent.

The report presented yesterday is the result of questionnaires handed out to school children in February this year, shortly after the so-called “Pots and Pans Revolution” ended with the collapse of the government. Political instability doesn’t seem to have affected the children.

“We seem to have managed to care properly for our kids; parents spend more time with their children, fewer children feel bad, fewer are lonely, sleep deprived and insecure,” said Margrét Lilja Gudmundsdóttir, another of the report’s authors.

“Also, fewer teenagers had fought with their parents or watched their parents fight when the survey was made,” Gudmundsdóttir added.

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