Mental health and life satisfaction among youth with disabilities and experiences of services in the post-pandemic period (D-youth)


1.1.2024 - 31.12.2027

Unit at THL:

Public Health and Welfare & Knowledge Brokers

On other websites:

D-youth, funded by Nordforsk, is a Nordic collaboration project between researchers from Finland, Sweden, Iceland, and Norway. It provides valuable and comprehensive information about a vulnerable group in the Nordic countries - youth with disabilities.


The main aim of the project is to:

  • understand mental health, life satisfaction, and received services among youth with disabilities in the Nordic countries during the post-pandemic period
  • support the equality and rights of youth with disabilities in Nordic schools and societies
  • produce publications, present results at events, seminars, and conferences, communicate the results publicly, and provide knowledge for stakeholders
  • strengthen Nordic cooperation in the research field of disability among Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland.

Particularly our research objective is to

  • investigate the well-being (i.e., life satisfaction, mental health, and access to healthcare and school services) and its changes among youth with disabilities during the post-pandemic period 
  • investigate whether the living conditions and background factors influence their well-being and its changes

As the result of the project

  • we want to develop targeted support for welfare and service systems for youth with disabilities in the Nordic countries
  • we also want to make recommendations to mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic and similar crises on mental health, life satisfaction, and access to services among youth with disabilities.


We use mixed methods to provide deeper insight into the phenomenon: 

  1. The quantitative research is based on analyzing population and register-based data from Finland and Norway.
  2. We will deepen our understanding of this phenomenon by the qualitative research including interviews and focus groups conducted in Norway, Iceland, and Sweden. 

Implementation and stakeholder involvement

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) have partners from three other countries: Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, where the university researchers are involved as partners.

At THL the project is implemented by the departments of Public Health and Welfare and Knowledge Brokers, along with these following units and unit-teams:

Department of Public Health and Welfare

Department of Knowledge Brokers

Stakeholder involvement

The project implementation will be carried out in cooperation with Valteri Center for Learning and Consulting, Helsinki, Finland (Operates under the Finnish National Agency for Education).

Two disability organizations are involved in the project:

  • Finnish Disability Forum and their working group Children and Youth with Disabilities
  • Norwegian Association of Youth with Disabilities. 



NordForsk Project number 155419.

NordForsk Research area:
Welfare among Children and Young People in the Post-Pandemic Nordics (NordForsk)

Contact Information

Steering Committee

Minna-Liisa Luoma
PhD, Associate Professor, project leader and team leader, Finland
Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare
[email protected]

Marja Holm
Dr. / Key researcher, Finland
Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare
[email protected]

Vegar Bjørnshagen
Dr. / Team leader, Norway
Oslo Metropolitan University

Veronica Lövgren
Adj. Prof. / Team leader, Sweden
Umeå University

Snæfríður Þóra Egilson
Prof. / Team leader Iceland
University of Island


NordForsk logo


In collaboration with

Logo for the Oslo metropolitan university in Norway


Logo for the university of Island


Logo for the university of Umeå in Sweden


Logo for the Norwegian Association of Youth with Disabilities