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Research projects

Understanding of the conditions which may reduce the educational gap between young immigrant and Swedish adolescents

About this project

Project information

Project status



Metin Özdemir

Research subject

Research environments

Sweden is becoming more ethnically diverse due to the influx of foreign-born people and their offspring. Adaptation and integration of these culturally diverse groups into the society is a major concern, and the persistent disparities in education, unemployment, and welfare dependency between the immigrants and natives are imminent threats to the success of the immigration policies and the welfare of the society.

The education gap is perhaps most critical due to its implications for immigrants’ labor force participation, dependency on social services, income, and cultural integration. These gaps might be reduced substantially through knowledge-based practices, but research is limited in providing an understanding of how and why the educational disparities develop. This understanding is essential for addressing the persistent gaps in educational achievement and attainment of immigrant youths. Thus, the goal of the proposed study is to contribute to a broad understanding of the education disparities so that necessary actions, informed by scientific research, can be taken to reduce the gaps.

This goal will be accomplished through 5 subprojects guided by the ecological theory of human development. We will examine influences of different aspects of youths’ everyday life contexts: sociodemographic differences, individual characteristics, parent-youth relationships, peer relationships, and school. We will use data from three longitudinal studies, which have followed over 15,000 youths and young adults from 3 to 6 years. The databases cover ages 13 to 30. The unique features of these ready-to-use databases provide unparalleled opportunities to answer the specific research questions in each subproject. In addition to contributing to the empirical and theoretical questions, the proposed studies will also advance our understanding of the education gap in Sweden, which is necessary for developing practices and policies to address this social issue.

Research funding bodies

  • The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE)