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Carolina ÖverlienProfessor

Research projects


A selection from Stockholm University publication database

  • ‘Do you want to do some arm wrestling?’: children's strategies when experiencing domestic violence and the meaning of age

    2017. Carolina Överlien. Child & Family Social Work 22 (2), 680-688


    The aim of this study is, by analysing children's and young people's discourses, to investigate their strategies in response to domestic violence episodes, in relation to their age. The empirical data come from individual interviews with children and young people (ages 8–20 years) who had experienced domestic violence and lived at refuges for abused women. The thematic analysis shows that the children describe a wide range of strategies before, during and after a violent episode, that all children act regardless of age and that strategies vary according not only to age but also to situation and context. The theoretical framework used is the sociology of childhood, and the analysis engages with theoretical concepts of age, agency and positioning.

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  • Teenage intimate partner violence

    2016. Per Hellevik, Carolina Överlien. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health


    Objective: The aim of the present study was threefold: (1) learn more about factors associated with teenage intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization; (2) explore aspects of digital media use in connection with teenage IPV; (3) and compare the impact IPV victimization has on boys and girls. Method: Survey data from 549 Norwegian students, mean age 15.2 years, who had experience(s) with being in intimate relationship(s), were examined. Experiences with psychological, physical, digital, and sexual violence were analyzed. Results: In total, 42.9% of the participants had experienced some form of IPV: 29.1% had experienced digital violence; 25.9% had experienced psychological violence; 18.8% had experienced sexual violence; and 12.8% had experienced physical violence. Factors significantly associated with teenage IPV victimization were female gender, older partners, domestic violence, bullying victimization, low academic achievements, and sending sexual messages via digital media. Girls reported to be significantly more negatively impacted by the victimization than boys. Conclusions: Some teenagers experience victimization in their intimate relationships, and for many digital media seems to play a central role in this violence. Teenagers who experience victimization outside their relationships or have risky lifestyles have a higher risk of experiencing IPV victimization. A focus on teenage IPV, and especially digital media’s role in this violence, is needed if this public health issue is to be combated.

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  • Children with multiple stays at refuges for abused women and their experiences of teacher recognition

    2017. Sabreen Selvik, Arild Raaheim, Carolina Øverlien. European Journal of Psychology of Education 32 (3), 463-481


    Numerous children around the world are forced to make multiple moves with their mothers in and out of refuges for abused women. Each time, they experience a sudden upheaval of their familiar environment. For these children, domestic violence and flight from violence is not an isolated event but part of their upbringing. Few statistics and little research exist on their living conditions and experiences. This article adopts the children’s perspective, examining the ways their teachers recognize their situation and offer them support. Experiences were collected in qualitative interviews with 20 children of ages 6–16 residing at Norwegian refuges. The choice of “mutual recognition” (Schibbye 2009) as a theoretical framework was inductively generated from the data. The constructivist grounded theory coding system was implemented as a data analysis method (Charmaz 2014). The analysis produced five different forms of teacher recognition—formal, practical, third-party, forced, and coincidental—through which teachers offered children various forms of support.

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  • Våldsforskning om och medbarn och ungdom – metodiska och empiriska utmaningar

    2015. Carolina Överlien. Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift 22 (3-4), 231-243


    In recent years, the interest in including children and adolescents in research on violence and abuse has increased. According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, children have the right to be heard in issues that concern them and their lives. However, this puts great demands on researchers and the projects they design. This article discusses challenges in shedding light on children’s experiences and including them as informants. The starting point for discussion is three research projects aimed, in different ways, at measuring or exploring the dynamics of children exposed to violence. Using these studies as a backdrop, three main questions are asked. What con-cepts are used to describe children’s experiences and why is the choice of concepts important? Do our surveys measure what we think we measure, and do our interviews capture what we want to capture if our aim is to explore and understand children’s lifeworld? What are some of the central ethical dilemmas researchers face when conducting research on children and violence? Finally, the importance and implications of these methodological and empirical challenges are discussed.

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  • Ungdom, vold og overgrep

    2015. Carolina Øverlien.


    Hva er vold og seksuelle overgrep? Hvordan kan du vite om en ungdom er utsatt for vold og overgrep, og hvem kan bidra med råd, veiledning, beskyttelse og behandling?

    Ungdom som er utsatt for vold og seksuelle overgrep, finnes i ethvert klasserom. De sier de skulle ønske at læreren hadde fanget det opp og snakket med dem om det. Denne boken handler om hvordan man kan se og prate med ungdom, og hva man kan gjøre for å forebygge og hjelpe. Her er også fortellinger, fotografier og et kapittel skrevet direkte til ungdom. Boken er godt egnet som utgangspunkt for undervisning og samtaler og gir nødvendig kunnskap til lærere, lærerstudenter og andre yrkesgrupper som arbeider i skolen, og kommer i kontakt med ungdommer.

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  • The police patrols and children experiencing domestic violence

    2016. Carolina Överlien, Geir Aas. Police Practice & Research 17 (5), 434-447


    Using data from a study on police officers' encounters with domestic violence victims and a study on children experiencing domestic violence, this article examines how officers decide whether and how to communicate with children in emergency situations, and how children experience these encounters. Officers' views on such communication diverge; usually, communication is motivated by the need to determine next actions. Children recall little communication and describe officers as faceless, nameless and genderless. The authors argue for recognizing the preventive role of officers on emergency calls. Official policies and guidelines should formally acknowledge and clarify the importance of communication with children.

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  • Children exposed to domestic violence

    2014. Åsa Cater, Carolina Överlien. Nordic Social Work Research 4 (1), 67-79


    Children’s exposure to domestic violence has attracted increased interest from researchers. This greater interest necessitates discussion about the methods by which children’s exposure to and descriptions of violence are studied. This article (1) discusses ethical dilemmas in research involving interviewing children exposed to domestic violence in relation to constructions of children as competent and as vulnerable, and (2) suggests a conceptual framework to aid in the design of such studies. The ethical dilemmas discussed concern: (1) research being ethically justified, (2) consent and (3) confidentiality and unsought disclosures. We suggest that combining children’s rights to agency and protection in ethical research that involves interviewing children exposed to violence can be facilitated by using the concepts of closeness and distance.

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  • The COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Children in Domestic Violence Refuges

    2020. Carolina Øverlien. Child Abuse Review 29 (4), 379-386


    Key Practitioner Messages

    • The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in negative consequences for children exposed to violence and abuse.
    • Domestic violence refuge staff were greatly concerned about children both living outside and inside refuges.
    • Domestic violence refuges have played a pivotal role during the COVID-19 pandemic and should receive wider acknowledgement and greater support for their work.
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  • Young Women's Experiences of Intimate Partner Violence - Narratives of Control, Terror, and Resistance

    2020. Carolina Øverlien, Per Moum Hellevik, Sibel Korkmaz. Journal of family Violence 35, 803-814


    Most research on Youth Intimate Partner Violence (YIPV) has focused on prevalence rates and associated factors. Less attention has been given to how victimization manifests itself in young women's lives. The aim of this paper is to further our understanding of the dynamics of violence and abuse by investigating the contextual, situational, and relational aspects of IPV among young women. We specifically ask what meanings are attributed to the abuse and what role digital media plays. Finally, to develop our understanding, we apply Johnson's typology of violence.Semi-structured interviews were performed with 33 young women from Norway and Sweden, aged 15 to 23 years old, who had all experienced some form of IPV in a heterosexual relationship. The analysis included both thematic and narrative analysis.Victimization was characterized by six overarching themes: control, humiliation, fear, sexual coercion, secrecy, and resistance. Meanings attributed to the violence include relating it to the couple's youth and the male partner's personal issues. Digital media played a central role in the victimization, but also in the women's resistance and protection. Applying Johnson's typology suggests that the violence can be understood as patriarchal terrorism.It is crucial that young people's intimate lives, in all their complexities, are acknowledged, if IPV prevention and intervention is to succeed. Researchers need to design their studies to include contextual, situational, and relational aspects. Failing to do so might result in a view of YIPV as isolated instances of conflict, overlooking its often pervasive and severe nature.

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  • Violence, role reversals, and turning points

    2021. Peter Andersson, Carolina Øverlien. Journal of Social Work Practice 35 (4), 353-366


    This article focuses on how one staff member at a therapeutic residential institution negotiates his work identity, exploring how he narrates a violent incident, the formation of work identity, and how the adolescent figures within these processes. Mishler argues that when speaking, we perform identity. As social actors, we select and organize language, telling stories that fit the audience, our intentions, and the occasion. The article is framed both theoretically and methodologically through the assumption that narrative is a fundamental human way of giving meaning to our experiences. Identities are understood as being produced and performed within personal narratives. Thus, in an interview situation, narratives provide an interactive space for personal subjectivities to be expressed and enacted. Drawing on Mishler, we find three essential "turning points" that shape Alex’s work identity: (1) the violent incident, (2) the adolescent’s return to the ward, and (3) Alex’s subsequent change of wards. We interpret Alex’s narrative as a "narrative of resistance" that may have practical day-to-day implications for the field of institutional care and help expand the staff’s clinical toolbox. Further, Alex’s narrative is a vital example of stories of violence, which can be incorporated into policy documents on violence management.

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Show all publications by Carolina Överlien at Stockholm University