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BRIDGES - Development, adaptation and learning in Europe

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Skolebarn som går opp en trapp
Illustrasjonsfoto: Colourbox.com

Researchers from Norway, Germany and the Netherlands are collaborating on a study focusing on 5 year-olds and 12 year-olds. BRIDGES is examining how social policy issues, the community, school and family influence children's development, adaptation and learning. In Norway, families with Norwegian and Turkish origin are invited to participate.

The Youth, Culture and Competence (Ungkul) programme at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health is the responsible project partner of BRIDGES in Norway. UngKul is an umbrella research programme for several studies related to issues about children, adolescents, culture and mental health.

Turks constitute one of Europe's largest immigrant groups. By studying Turkish children along with children who belong to the majority population in the three countries, we can gain knowledge about the importance of sociopolitical conditions for children's social adaptation and learning. Norway, Germany and the Netherlands are very different when it comes to immigration history and immigration and education policy.

The purpose of the study

BRIDGES began in March 2010 and will continue until 2013. The study has chosen to focus on children who are 5 and 12 years old, because they are facing milestones in their development: the transition from daycare to school, and the transition from primary to secondary school. How they cope with these transitional phases may have consequences for their developmental progress, adaptation and learning. BRIDGES would like to illustrate how politicians, school and family can create conditions so that children can master these critical challenges, and contribute to children's learning and social integration in the community.

The results of the BRIDGES study will be useful for politicians, the school system and parents, as they try to establish developmental conditions that promote learning, well-being and social integration of children and adolescents in a multicultural Europe.


A total of 1,400 families in the three countries will participate, of which approximately 400 are in Norway. The families will be recruited in South Eastern Norway, Stavanger, Trondheim and Bergen.

Families are visited at home once a year over a three year period. Home visits last about two hours. During home visits, information is collected from parents and children through interviews, questionnaires and observations of mother and child playing together.

With consent from the parents, every year we contact each child's daycare / school. The leaders and preschool teachers / teachers provide information about the learning environment and the child's adaptation and learning.

BRIDGES is also known as Social Integration of Migrant Children: Uncovering Family and School Factors Promoting Resilience (SIMCUR) project, which is funded by the NORFACE research programme (New Opportunities for Research Funding Cooperation in Europe).