Youth with neurobiological diagnoses

The NEUROLIFE project maps experiences with and perspectives on living conditions, social participation, and public services among youth and young adults with neurodevelopmental diagnoses. The most salient neurodevelopmental diagnoses in this research are ADHD, Autism and Tourette's Syndrome. A disproportionate number of young adults with these diagnoses struggle mentally, physically, socially and financially, and today’s public services are only able to contribute to a limited extent to remedy such burdens. 

More and more people in the target group are uncomfortable with, and react to the pathologising that comes with the standard label "neurodevelopmental diagnoses". The project will therefore largely use the more recent terms of neurodiversity and neurodivergent (ND). In this way, we hope to help reduce the type of stigma that results from terms like "illness", "disorder" and "deficiencies". The project looks at how norm-breaking functional differences are related to discrimination in a society structured by the neuromajority / neurotypicals (NT).
The NEUROLIFE project asks the overarching question: What makes some neurodivergent young adults live good lives today? Furthermore, we ask: how can public services internalise knowledge about who is living a good life and why, in a way that makes the contribution/actions of the public services more appropriate? The project will be based on a broader theoretical discussion of what it means to live a good life, and an exploration of the social processes and mechanisms that helps some people live good lives and not others. 

The project also seeks to be methodologically innovative, and will in particular examine opportunities to achieve a broader participation from the target group by developing information gathering methods that suit different parts of this community. The project includes three work packages with different data sources. Work package 1 explores variations in living conditions and public service experiences through qualitative interviews and focus groups. In work package 2, we analyse data from public registers to look at education, work situation and service use, while in work package 3 we use a survey to learn more about the conditions under which young neurodivergents in Norway, Sweden and Denmark might live good lives.


  • Prosjektleder:

Project period

  • Start:
    August 2021
  • End:
    December 2025

Commissioned by

  • Research Council of Norway


  • Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge
  • Aarhus Universitet
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

Sustainable development goals