The research project will investigate social factors that may affect the development of mental health among youths from ethnic minority groups and from the majority population, with analyses distinguishing between the genders. Data will be collected in Dr ammen.
Research indicates that perceived discrimination is a threat to minority youths' mental health. We follow up on this research while extending it by using longitudinal data which helps us investigate causalities between perceived discrimination and mental health. We also consider whether the degree of identification with an ethnic group or friendship across ethnic boundaries will moderate the effect of perceived discrimination.
We try to estimate the potential benefit of friendship across ethnic g roups on attitudes between ethnic groups. In addition, we consider friends in one's own ethnic group and friends in other ethnic groups as separate predictors of youth's mental health.
Finally, we consider associations between social identities and sever al dimensions in mental health. We compare ethnic and national identities as predictors and we contrast them with other social identities that may be important for youths.
In addition to tests of variables assessed at an individual level, we include esti mations of potential environmental effects from the school class by using multilevel modelling.
All students in Drammen in grades 8 to 10 are invited to participate in longitudinal assessments with the final assessment after they have left grade 10. Resu lts will be published in peer-reviewed journals. Further, we will provide brief reports and oral presentations for local authorities in the town of Drammen. The initiative for the data collection was taken by local authorities in Drammen and findings in t he project will be used to develop the town's services engaged in preventive work for youths. We expect that results will also prove relevant for preventive work in other multiethnic towns/cities