Måste vi verkligen prata om meningen med livet? : En kvalitativ studie om existentiell hälsa och andlig utveckling bland barn och unga
Sammanfattning: The Convention of the Rights of the Child has become Swedish law as of January 1st 2020. The convention raises every childs’ right to development, of which spiritual development is one part. The matter of spirituality and existential questions has had a marginalized role in Swedish research. The interest is however increasing. The poor mental health amongst children and young people in Sweden is, according to reports, a growing problem. Some researchers connect the increasing problems in mental health to individualization, some connect it to deficiencies in the handling of existential or spiritual questions among youth. This study sets out to explore what spiritual health and development could imply. Persons that work with children and youth in a religious (Christian) setting were considered to have possible angles of input, as well as an approach, concerning spiritual development and health. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with eight child- and youth leaders from different Christian traditions. The results were analysed using Antonovskys’ “a Sense of Coherency”, socialization theory and Giddens’ structuration theory. The most important findings in this study were that the interviewees problematized the idea that a secular worldview is neutral, and that this “neutral” approach is viable for helping children and youth in spiritual matters. Furthermore, they raised the importance of community and a common framework to have a space and a way to handle spiritual and existential themes. The language used by the child- and youth leaders on the topics of the study was considered to be essentially different from the language for mental health that exists in society.
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