The National Youth Council of Serbia has presented the results of the new research Youth Health: The Position and Needs of Youth in the Republic of Serbia, on Friday, December 24, 2021, at the Media Center in Belgrade.
The previous 2020 and 2021 year are the years in which the lives of everyone, including young people, were marked by the COVID-19 pandemic. In that period, we realized that health is not only the absence of disease, but also a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. How young people are a social group with specific problems and needs, the topic of their health needs more attention.
For this reason, the The National Youth Council of Serbia conducted a study entitled Youth Health Research: The Position and Needs of Youth in the Republic of Serbia, which analyzes and maps the perspective and position of young people in health, but also seeks to draw attention to relevant institutions and youth policy actors key recommendations for improving public policies in the area and providing adequate systemic support to young people.
The research shows:
- How young people perceive their own health;
- Young people’s experiences with vaccination and the COVID-19 pandemic;
- What lifestyles do young people lead, as well as how much they take care of their physical and mental health.
In addition to statistical findings, the research also provides specific recommendations on how the health of young people can be improved with the support of institutions.
In the research have participated 1,021 young people from all over Serbia, and it was conducted within the Hello Twenties program with the support of Galenika a.d. Belgrade.
The key findings of the research are:
Health self-assessment and COVID-19
- More than half of the surveyed young people (58%) probably or certainly had COVID-19 infection by the time the research was conducted (August – September 2021).
- 72% of young people state that it is probable or certain that a member of their immediate family or joint household had a COVID-19 infection.
- Slightly less than half of adult youth were vaccinated (48%), while the other half (52%) were not.
- Almost half of all young people (49%) believe that vaccines against COVID-19 are useful in the fight against infection, while the other half of young people (51%) have a negative (19%) or undecided attitude (32%) towards vaccination.
- The most common reasons for negative or unbiased attitude towards vaccination are: distrust in the effectiveness of vaccines (18%); unavailability and unreliability of information (17%), as well as fear of adverse reactions after vaccination (15%).
Lifestyles of young people
- Four out of five young people (80,0%) are occasionally exposed to tobacco smoke during the week, and every third (34,9%) inhales tobacco smoke daily.
- Although two thirds of young people (66,7%) are within the desired values of the body mass index, every fifth young person (20,4%) is overfed.
- The most common reasons given for insufficient physical activity were that exercise was expensive (10%), lack of exercise space (15%), and lack of exercise society (21%), as well as lack of time (51%) and feelings of fatigue (45%).
- The dominant motivation for exercise was “better looks” (38%), awareness that exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle (34%), love of exercise (21%), but also the environment (7%).
Sexual and reproductive health of young people
- The most common reasons why sexually active young people do not use modern contraceptive methods are reliance on traditional methods such as breaking up or avoiding intercourse during fertile days (69,8%), lack of knowledge about sexual and reproductive health (65,4%) and lack of financial funds for the purchase of modern contraceptive methods (29,6%).
- During the previous 6 months, only 26% of respondents used health care services in the field of gynecology or urology (17,8% in the private health care sector and 8,2% in the public sector) while more than half of the surveyed young people stated that they did not need the services of a gynecologist or urologist.
Mental health of young people
- Less than one third of young people (30,7%) had stress levels within normal values.
- More than two thirds of respondents (68,5%) have anxiety.
- More than half of the respondents (51,9%) have symptoms of moderate or severe depression.
- More than a third of the respondents (34,2%) stated that they needed the services of a psychologist/psychotherapist during the last six months, but that they did not talk to a psychologist/psychotherapist.
- More than half of young people (55,3%) state that they rarely or never use social networks as sources of information related to health and related topics.
- Less than a third of young people go to the dentist regularly to check the health of their teeth (28,3%).
You can download the entire research via the following link: https://koms.rs/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Istrazivanje-Zdravlje-mladih-.pdf
Before reporting on the results of this research, please read carefully the Instructions for reading and interpreting the results of the research Youth Health: The Position and Needs of Youth in the Republic of Serbia.
For any additional information, you can contact the KOMS program coordinator, Anja Jokić, on the phone number +381 69 738 443 or on the e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research Youth Health: The Position and Needs of Youth in the Republic of Serbia is conducted by the National Youth Council of Serbia (KOMS) within the program Hello Twenties with the support of Galenika A.D. Belgrade.