Iuventa / Výskum mládeže / Data catalogue / 2007 / Free time and active citizenship of young people, Youth Council of Slovakia

Free time and active citizenship of young people, Youth Council of Slovakia

Research identification sheet ID: DAYR 021

Authors: Ondrej Gallo, Peter Lenčo, Youth Council of Slovakia (RMS), Bratislava
Period of data collection: October – November 2007
Methodology: face to face interview by standardized questioner
Research sample: 834 young people from the age of 13 to 27 years old
Data collection: Agency of Social Analyses ASA, plc, Bratislava


The aim of the research was to identify how young people spend their free time and what possibilities for participation in social and political life of local community they have.

The research showed that young people have approximately four hours of free time per day in average. Young people spend the most of their free time by relaxing and meeting friends. Communication technologies and internet play increasing role in young peoples´ free time activities. Young people are relatively autonomous when choosing their free time activities. The level of independence is decreasing when young people start their own family. The network of facilities and possibilities for free time activities is relatively good in the whole country, but they are only half-used by young people. The young unemployed people with 7,2 hours of free time per day are the most risky group and require more attention to be paid.

Participation of young people in social and political life of local community seems to be very low. In average half of young people chose the answer “I do not know” in the terms of possibilities for participation in the life of local community. Around half of young people between the ages of 13 to 27 do not know whether in their neighbourhood are any active NGOs (46.9%), low threshold facilities and open clubs (47.2%), pastoral centres or youth ministries (39.3%). Organizations and facilities for young people are less known by young people living in the cities (55.8%) than in the villages (32.7%). 5% of young people declare their membership in children and youth organizations. 4.9% of young people declare membership in other NGOs. 11.1% of young people are members of religious or faith based organizations. Regarding to the number of young people who declare their membership in these organizations considerably more young people participate in their activities. 12.8% of respondents take part in children and youth NGOs activities. In case of other NGOs it is 12% and in case of religious or faith based organizations it is also 12% of respondents. High number of young people is organised in sport organizations. Nearly 26% of respondents declare their membership in this type of organizations.

Young people have positive attitudes towards the work and activities of children and youth organizations however, they are afraid of being organized and tied by formal membership.

Recommendations from the research:

For children and youth organizations

  • To pay special attention to young unemployed people and try to involve them more into their activities;
  • To improve the communication strategy about organization and their activities towards children, young people, parents and the public in general;
  • To help young people to recognise and to name the positive aspects of their participation in youth activities for their self-development;
  • To ensure that members of the children and youth organizations know, that the organization is open to new members and participants and they are allowed to bring their friends and peers;
  • To pay special attention to programs involving the whole family;
  • To strengthen organization’s identity by ensuring that young people know that they are members of NGO;
  • To implement approaches in youth work that address better non-organised youth, such as low threshold facilities and open clubs;
  • To empower young people and adults with skills needed for good participation and cooperation.

For further research

  • To supplement quantitative data with qualitative research in order to better understand causality of how young people spend their free time;
  • To identify suitable strategies for informing young people about possibilities to participate in social and political life of local community in their free time
  • To provide detail mapping of activities provided by children and youth organizations in the field of informal education, participation and volunteering.

Data file availability: not available for public

Research tools accessibility: not available for public

Quotation: Free time and active citizenship of young people. CYS 2007

More information: closing report (1.21 MB)