ArctiChildren Conference
Psychosocial Well-being of Schoolchildren in the Barents region
28 - 29 September 2006, Rovaniemi, Finland

International Conference for teachers and other school personnel, researchers and school administrators   

ArctiChildren I –project is a cross-border development and research project on the psychosocial well-being of children and adolescents in the Barents region in 2003-2006. The countries involved in the co-operation are Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden.  The project will continue with phase II in years 2006-2008. 

According to the research results of the project, school children in the Barents region have different health problems. The seriousness of these problems vary in the countries involved. In the North-West Russia the level of abuse of intoxicants among school-aged children is high. Also peer bullying and violence are problems especially in Russia, but also in Finnish Lapland and in the county of Finnmark, Norway. The level of psychosomatic symptoms is worrying in the northern parts of both Finland and Sweden.  In addition to this, loneliness in Sweden and school tiredness in Finland are concerning features among school children. In all countries girls seem to have more psychosomatic symptoms than boys. 

The goal of the ArctiChildren Conference is to discuss about new strategies to increase psychosocial well-being at the schools of the Barents region.

The ArctiChildren Conference has its basis on two theses:

  1. Taking care of children’s health and well-being and investing in these things means caring of the future of the Barents region. Resources are needed both for social and health care as well as medical treatment and for preventative work and health promotion. Any investment in healthy children is an investment in the social and human capital of the Northern communities in the Barents region.
  2. Schools have a significant role in influencing the health and well-being of children, not only through work done by social and health care services, but also through work done by school education.

The program of the ArctiChildren Conference is based on four main themes provided by the four ArctiChildren project countries. Each theme will consist of a keynote lecture and 3-4 other lectures bringing out new approaches of solving the problems of schoolchildren’s psychosocial well-being. Each theme will end with a panel discussion. The themes will include following subjects: violence, peer bullying, school stress, loneliness, tiredness, substance abuse (alcohol, tobacco), liking for school, school atmosphere and social relations.

The conference materials will be in English. Presentations will be given in speakers’ own mother tongue and they will be interpreted into Finnish, Russian and Swedish/Norwegian.

Welcome to the ArctiChildren Conference!