University of Oulu

Varpu Wiens, Helvi Kyngäs, Tarja Pölkki, Issues promoting and hindering girls’ well-being in Northern Finland, Health Promotion International, Volume 32, Issue 4, August 2017, Pages 671–680,

Issues promoting and hindering girls’ well-being in Northern Finland

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Author: Wiens, Varpu1; Kyngäs, Helvi2; Pölkki, Tarja2
Organizations: 1Research unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Institute of Health Sciences, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Oxford University Press, 2017
Publish Date: 2019-10-01


Well-being is a complex concept that includes elements of inequality due to socio-economics, living environment or gender. Every person also encounters unique situations and has different experiences of well-being. This qualitative study aims to describe what issues promote and hinder the well-being of girls aged 13–16 in Northern Finland. A total of 117 girls aged 13–16 living in Northern Finland were asked to write about the issues that hinder and promote their well-being. The girls’ responses were analysed using content analysis. After analysis, two combining categories were discovered: issues hindering well-being were a debilitating sphere of life and negative experiences in life, and issues promoting well-being were positive subjective sensations and favourably perceived conditions. The results of this study indicate that girls’ well-being is connected to their social and physical environment. As the girls’ view of the issues that promote or hinder health are connected and interact with their living environment, there is also a need for health promotion measures to take into account both the individuals and the environment in which they function and live. This view challenges us to see health promotion in a broader way—a way which takes into account structural and political factors, individual consultation and empowerment.

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Series: Health promotion international
ISSN: 0957-4824
ISSN-E: 1460-2245
ISSN-L: 0957-4824
Volume: 32
Issue: 4
Pages: 671 - 680
DOI: 10.1093/heapro/daw006
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 316 Nursing
Funding: This work was supported by Finnish Foundations of Nursing Education to V.W.
Copyright information: © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Health Promotion International following peer review. The version of record [insert complete citation information here] is available online at: