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For a youthful and healthy leisure manager


Published in

Diario de Navarra

Pedro Antonio de la Rosa Fernandez Pacheco |

researcher from project 'Education of affectivity and human sexuality' of Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) of the University of Navarra.

Since the pandemic began, we have seen how many young people have made great efforts to respect the rules to ensure their safety and that of their environment. We have applauded initiatives such as the volunteer activities networks to bring food and medicine to the elderly, or the increase in blood donors.

Unfortunately, in addition to these positive stories, the media have reported other news about the shameful behavior of some young people. Some of the images that have stayed with us showed crowded nightclubs while announcing the closure of universities, clandestine parties that exceeded the permitted capacity -and with excess alcohol-, botellones to celebrate the beginning of the school year, etc. Obviously, most of these unfortunate events resulted in public scandal and a not inconsiderable fine.

In the epidemiology of substance use, it has long been known that a sense of invulnerability abounds in young people that encourages them not to avoid - or at least not to consider - the risks of certain behaviors. To this we must add that the brain of a consumer is trained to justify and excuse his or her consuming behavior, going so far as to deny the seriousness of risks that are obvious to non-consumers. Let us hope that the sanction received has helped the protagonists of this news to put their feet on the ground.

It should be noted that these reports represent only the tip of the iceberg of what has happened. Most young people have remained in the privacy of the home during the confinement and have reduced their activity outside the home in the months since, which has also increased digital consumption. A study conducted by my colleagues at group 'Youth in transition' of the ICS has revealed that those who used screens moderately (two hours or less per day) reported greater well-being staff.

With the use of digital devices it happens as with alcohol: if not properly educated, it can lead to abusive behaviors that, even when we are not talking about addictions, can interfere with daily life and be very harmful to the person's development .

This pandemic has shown us the need for all of us to work together to address the challenges we face as a society. It has also highlighted the need to guide youth towards healthy leisure manager , which starts in the family. Fortunately, confinement has brought new opportunities for communication between parents and children. Let's take advantage of these open channels.