Britt Af Klinteberg

Britt af Klinteberg

Professor emeritus

Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Department of Public Health Sciences
Visiting address Sveavägen 160, Sveaplan
Postal address Institutionen för folkhälsovetenskap 106 91 Stockholm


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2017. Christina Sophia Lloyd, Britt af Klinteberg, Valerie DeMarinis. Archive for the Psychology of Religion/ Archiv für Religionspsychologie 39 (2), 165-203

    Increasing rates of psychiatric problems like depression and anxiety among Swedish youth, predominantly among females, are considered a serious public mental health concern. Multiple studies confirm that psychological as well as existential vulnerability manifest in different ways for youths in Sweden. This multi-method study aimed at assessing existential worldview function by three factors: 1) existential worldview, 2) ontological security, and 3) self-concept, attempting to identify possible protective and risk factors for mental ill-health among female youths at risk for depression and anxiety. The sample comprised ten females on the waiting list at an outpatient psychotherapy clinic for teens and young adults. Results indicated that both functional and dysfunctional factors related to mental health were present, where the quality and availability of significant interpersonal relations seemed to have an important influence. Examples of both an impaired worldview function and a lack of an operating existential worldview were found. Psychotherapeutic implications are discussed.

  • 2017. Britt af Klinteberg (et al.). Personality and Individual Differences 118, 71-76

    The objective was to outline results from our scientific studies on the associations among childhood behavior, adult personality, and biochemical factors in smoking habits. The studies consisted of: (1) follow-up of young criminals and controls, subdivided into risk for antisocial behavior groups, based on childhood rating levels of a projective test; and adult smoking habit groups; and (2) a large group of young adults examined on the same inventories. Personality in terms of KSP and EPQ-I scale scores, controlled for intelligence, indicated that the high and very high risk groups displayed significantly higher self-rated impulsiveness, anxiety, and nonconformity, as compared to the low risk group. Further, the very high risk group subjects, found to be overrepresented among subjects with heavy smoking habits, displayed lower mean platelet MAO-B activity and higher thyroid hormone levels than the low risk group. Thus, the higher the childhood risk for antisocial behavior, the clearer the adult personality pattern making subjects more disposed for smoking appeared; and the higher smoking habits, the stronger the relationships with biochemical measures. Results are discussed in terms of possible underlying mechanisms influencing personality and smoking habits.

  • 2016. M. Väfors Fritz (et al.). Journal of Forensic Science & Criminology 4 (2)

    The role of psychopathic tendencies and intelligence on Quality of life (QoL) ratings in different male offender groups was explored. Participants were 199 Swedish males with a history of criminality at age 11-14 and matched controls from the longitudinal project Young Lawbreakers as Adults. Based on registered crimes prior to 15 years and up to 34 years of age, four criminal groups were yielded: non-criminals (NC); adolescence-limited (AL); persistent (P); and adult-onset (AO). The QoL construct consists of the following dimensions: Self-perception, Psychological health, Family, Children, Education, Work, and Finances, all self-rated at age 38-41 when also psychopathic tendencies were clinically assessed using the Psychopathy Check List (PCL). The P group reported lower QoL in all dimensions compared to the NC and AL groups and lower QoL regarding Family and Education than the AO group. When controlling for psychopathic tendencies, the group differences in QoL regarding Self-perception and Children was no longer significant. Generally, individuals with higher IQ scores rated higher QoL than individuals with lower IQ scores. IQ however did not explain the divergence in QoL between offender groups. Psychopathic tendencies are suggested to overtake the importance of group belonging regarding the QoL dimensions of Self-perception and Children.

  • 2016. Ulla Beijer (et al.). Journal of Interpersonal Violence

    The aims of this study were to investigate the type and extent to which women with substance abuse problems have been exposed to male violence during their lifetime, and to examine possible differences between women with a residence (WR) and homeless women (HW). The total sample included 79 women (WR, n = 35; HW, n = 44; M age = 47.8 years). Of the total sample, 72 women (91%) had experienced different kinds of male violence, 88% from former partners, and 26% from male friends or acquaintances. Of the 72 women, 71% further reported “Countless occasions of violent events,” and 36% had been forced to commit criminal acts. Abused women who had been forced to commit criminal acts were significantly more frequently found to be homeless, have reported parental alcohol and/or drug problems, have witnessed domestic violence in childhood, have been victims of sexual violence, have used illicit drugs as a dominant preparation, and have injected illicit drugs. Almost half of the abused women (46%) met criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), where HW showed an almost 4-time higher risk (RR 3.78) than WR. In conclusion there is a particular vulnerability in women with substance abuse to male violence, which has an important impact on their health status. Thus, from a public health perspective, it is suggested that for those women who have experienced male violence, treatment protocols need to include both assessing and addressing the impact of such experience in relation to substance abuse as well as concomitant health concerns.

  • 2016. Johan Isaksson (et al.). European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 266 (8), 771-773

    Early onset of conduct disorder (CD) with callous-unemotional traits has been linked to low levels of dopamine β-hydroxylase (DβH), an enzyme involved in dopamine turnover. The C1021T polymorphism in the DβH gene is a major quantitative-trait locus, regulating the level of DβH. In this study of juvenile delinquents from Northern Russia (n = 180), the polymorphism at -1021 was associated neither with early-onset CD nor with psychopathic traits. Association was found between psychopathic traits and early-onset CD, ADHD and mania.

  • 2016. Christina Lloyd, Britt af Klinteberg, Valerie DeMarinis. International Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences 1 (1)

    Increasing rates of psychiatric problems, like anxiety, worry, and anguish among Swedish youth–especially among females, are considered a serious public mental health concern. To explore psychological and existential vulnerability and needs among female youths with mental ill-health concerns, a qualitative in-depth interview study was done with a sample comprised of ten females on the waiting-list at an outpatient psychotherapy clinic. In relation to everyday life, critical events, and ultimate concerns, two areas were explored: Emotion regulation and Existential meaning-making, and their interrelations were examined. Results indicated that these areas appear to be strongly related processes in this sample, possibly due to frequent experiences of relational losses and disruptions. Such experiences, if not repaired, might fuel existential issues like fear of death, loneliness, and alienation, increasing the vulnerability for mental ill-health. Psychotherapeutic implications were discussed.

  • 2015. Ulla Beijer (et al.).

    The objective was to investigate to which extent two groups of women with substance abuse problems were exposed to male violence; women with a residence (WR, n= 35) and homeless women (HW, n= 44). The sample thus included 79 women (mean age: 47.8 years), of which 91% had experienced different kinds of male violence: from former partners, male friends or acquaintances, and 71% reported “Countless occasions of violent events”.  Almost half of the women (46%) met criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and HW displayed the higher risk (RR 3.78) as compared to WR. Furthermore, one-third of the abused women (26 out of 72) had been forced to commit criminal acts. Compared to the abused women without this experience, they were more likely: to be homeless, to be illicit drug addicts, to have reported parental alcohol and/or drug problems, to have witnessed domestic violence in childhood, and to have been victims of sexual abuse. Finally, the two groups significantly differed concerning ever having received treatment for mental problems, in that more WR women had received such treatment (74 % as compared to 46 %). In conclusion, it is suggested that experiences of male violence are to be considered in all different forms of treatment facilities for women with substance abuse problems.

  • 2015. Christina Sophia Lloyd, Britt af Klinteberg, Valerie DeMarinis. Mental Health, Religion & Culture 18 (4), 259-272

    The objective was to explore psychological and existential vulnerability among clinical young women in Sweden. Females (n = 53) with depression as the most common preliminary diagnosis were investigated through an online questionnaire. Included measures were Karolinska Scales of Personality, Self-concept, Strategies to Handle Negative Emotions, Sense of Coherence, and questions pertaining to existential meaning-making, including religious/spiritual belief. The sample was divided into High (n = 35) and Low/Inter (n = 18) groups according to scores on the anxiety- and depression-related personality scale Inhibition of aggression. Using independent samples t-test, the High group showed signs of significantly higher psychological and existential vulnerability than the Low/Inter group. Salutogenic factors being (1) coming from socially and societally engaged families and (2) being in a functional existential meaning-making process. The conclusion is that vulnerabilities in the psychological and existential domains are linked, especially in individuals high on depression-like aspects of personality. However, no significant differences for religion/spirituality were found. Treatment implications were addressed.

  • 2014. Christina Birath Scheffel (et al.).

    Syftet med föreliggande rapport är att utifrån insamlade och bearbetade data från ursprungsprojektet 'Studie om mäns våld mot kvinnor med missbruksproblem' sammanställa resultat som speglar barns psykosociala familjesituation där modern har missbruksproblem och i många fall blivit utsatt för manligt våld av partner och/eller släkting, bekant, eller myndighetsperson. Sammanfattningsvis lyfter resultaten, avseende barnens egen ogynnsamma utveckling och den generationsöverskridande problematiken i föreliggande studie, frågan om betydelsen av tidiga interventioner riktade till barn i riskmiljöer. Detta förefaller vara av särskild vikt för att ge underbyggt stöd för aktivt handlande avseende Barns rätt i samhället enligt Barnkonventionen.

  • 2014. Britt af Klinteberg (et al.). Personality and Individual Differences 60 (Suppl.), S64
  • 2014. Gunnar Wiklund (et al.). International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 37 (3), 281-288

    The objective was to evaluate a new scale aimed at assessing antisocial attitudes, the Pro-bullying Attitude Scale (PAS), on a group of 259 voluntarily-recruited male juvenile delinquents from a juvenile correctional institution in Arkhangelsk, North-western Russia. Exploratory factor analysis gave a two-factor solution: Factor 1 denoted Callous/Dominance and Factor 2 denoted Manipulativeness/Impulsiveness. Subjects with complete data on PAS and Childhood Psychopathy Scale (CPS) (n = 171)were divided into extreme groups (first and fourth quartiles) according to their total scores on PAS and the two factor scores, respectively. The extreme groups of total PAS and PAS Factor 1 differed in CPS ratings and in violent behavior as assessed by the Antisocial Behavior Checklist (ABC). They also differed in the personality dimension Harm Avoidance asmeasured by use of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), and in delinquent and aggressive behavior as assessed by the Youth Self Report (YSR). The extreme groups of PAS Factor 2, in turn, differed in aggressive behavior as assessed by the YSR, and in the TCI scale Self-Directedness. When PASwas used as a continuous variable, total PAS and PAS Factor1 (Callous/Dominance) were significantly positively related to registered violent crime. The possible usefulness of PAS in identifying high-risk individuals for bullying tendencies among incarcerated delinquents is discussed.

  • 2014. Christina Birath Scheffel (et al.). Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence 2 (3), 1000160

    Background: The importance of early identification and effective treatment for risky drinking grows with the increasing rate of alcohol use by women. Objectives: This study aims to contrast treatment approaches for two samples of problem drinking women. Methods: The samples consisted of (i) 134 alcohol treatment-seeking Swedish women receiving long-term comprehensive services; and (ii) 152 US women who were not seeking treatment for alcohol but were medical outpatients with one of four conditions exacerbated by excessive alcohol use and received a brief intervention as part of a study. Data consisted of questionnaires assessing alcohol consumption, perceived stress and attitudes towards change. Results: While the treatment-seeking Swedish group drank more alcohol at the start of treatment, all women reduced their consumption of alcohol at the end of treatment/follow-up. Women who reported more stress drank more initially in both samples. Conclusion and Scientific Significance: This report contrasts two “extreme” approaches to treatment: longterm, open-ended, outpatient treatment and, time-limited, structured brief intervention for risky drinking women. Both treatment methods yielded positive results with significantly reduced drinking. Factors associated with successful outcome included the women’s attitudes toward treatment and conviction for the necessity of change in drinking habits.

Show all publications by Britt af Klinteberg at Stockholm University

Last updated: December 2, 2018

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