Helena Bergström. Photo: Niklas Björling.

Helena Bergström


Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Department of Child and Youth Studies
Telephone 08-120 765 05
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 21A
Room 311
Postal address Barn- och ungdomsvetenskapliga institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Senior lecturer and Director of Studies

Section for Early Childhood Education


Teaching in Programme in Early Childhood Education:

  • Children's Living Conditions, Ethical Encounters and Existential Questions in Preschool Practice
  • Degree Projects
  • Interview method


Identity, care and normality, in particular in close relationships as a family, men in preschool and sexual abuse of children.

Research projects

Men in preschool and sexual abuse of children


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2019. Helena Bergström (et al.).
  • 2018. Christian Eidevald, Helena Bergström, Anna Westberg Broström. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal 26 (3), 407-417

    Previous research has described a discourse where men working within Early Childhood Education and Care are viewed as potential pedophiles. The aim of this study is to describe and analyze how men, working in Swedish preschools, position themselves in relation to this pedophile discourse. Twenty-five men were interviewed about their work-experiences and the result shows two dominating positions: (1) giving up or (2) maneuvering the pedophile discourse. The discourse is maneuvered by: avoiding certain tasks, do the tasks but in ways that minimize suspicion or do the tasks without acknowledging the personal risk, as the tasks are required in their professional role. Thereby, men do not have the same ability to develop professionalism in childcare as women. However, by overcoming the fear of the pedophile discourse, these men create 'new discourses', where men can be viewed as caregivers. The result highlights an overall question, of what a professional approach is when it comes to care for children in ECEC.

  • 2018. Helena Bergström, Anna Westberg-Broström, Christian Eidevald. Early Child Development and Care

    The framing of news promotes certain interpretations. The representation of a problem in public media thereby affects the idea of what to do about that problem. This article analyses discourses about child sexual abuse (CSA) in preschools, occurring in Swedish printed media 2014–2015, and interprets the effects that the discourses may have on the social practices. ‘The discourse of the best interest of the child and preschool as a good place’ and ‘the discourse of equality as an ideal’ dominate the material, although narratives describe CSA. Solutions to limiting CSA are discussed only rarely.

  • 2016. Helena Bergström, Christian Eidevald, Anna Westberg-Broström. Early Child Development and Care 186 (9), 1520-1528

    The objective of this research review is to synthesize research published between 2000 and 2015 regarding child sexual abuse, preschool and preschool teachers. The review identifies themes relevant for the preschool teacher profession: child sexual abuse at preschools, suspicions and consequences for the preschool sector, preventing techniques and the preschool teacher as a safeguarder. Furthermore, important types of tensions in efforts to safeguard against child sexual abuse are identified: the importance of listening to children and avoiding false allegations, the preschool teacher as a safeguarder and a potential abuser, and the importance of preventing child sexual abuse and providing qualitative care of children. Implications for the profession, the education of preschool teachers and the need for more research are addressed.

  • 2015. Petra Roll Bennet, Helena Bergström. Families, Relationships and Societies 4 (1), 19-33

    Childhood obesity is a much-debated health issue in Sweden as well as worldwide. Considerable emphasis is given to the prevention of excessive weight gain and obesity in early childhood, for example by providing lifestyle advice to parents. Based on interviews with Swedish parents of obese children aged between eight and 12, in this article parent narratives of everyday practices in relation to children’s diet and exercise habits are analysed as acts of ‘displaying normality’. The results show that explanations as to why it is difficult to manage the child’s weight appear to be connected to avoiding the risk of the child receiving negative attention and issues relating to the child’s own responsibility. These findings are discussed in terms of ‘displaying family normality’.

  • 2013. Petra Roll Bennet, Helena Bergström. Engaging Sociology, 64-64

    The categorization of people into men and women are a predominant idea in contemporary society. When gender identities are radically changed, as sex change due to Transsexuality, close relationships might be changed and revisited. The over-all aim of this study is to explore how parents, partners, brothers and sisters and children of transsexual persons make sense of the relationship. Based on interviews with 15 close relatives to transsexuals living in the Stockholm area, the analysis reveals how the change of sex was regarded as a catastrophe, a breakthrough development, or both. The close relatives relate to the 'new' gender identity in line with the previous particular relationship, as partner, child etc. and because of cultural images of kinship, gender and health. The relatives either describe the sex change as central for the relationships or that the sex is unimportant. A common denominator identified is the relatives' construction of continuity in describing the past and present gender. Continuity is created in different ways; as recognizable physical signs, familiar behavior, own persistence feelings and as accounts of authenticity; both in their own and in the transsexuals identity. This authenticity is framed in ideas of a 'true self' and individuality. Different strategies were identified to be used in the process of constructing continuity. These findings are discussed as continuity in time and between inside and outside. Relatives alter these constructions to maintain a close relationship.

  • 2013. Helena Bergström, Petra Roll Bennet.
  • 2012. Helena Bergström, Roll Bennet Petra. Barn (4), 41-57

    I Sverige liksom i många andra länder har barns övervikt och fetma ökat. Ett sätt att motverka denna problematik är stöd riktat till föräldrar. Föräldrar anses ha en central betydelse för barns matvanor och fysiska aktivitet och stöd och råd till föräldrar poängterar gränssättning, uppmuntran och att föräldern ska fungera som en förebild för barnet. Genom intervjuer med föräldrar till barn med övervikt/fetma visar denna artikel hur föräldrar hanterar råd och anvisningar i sitt dagliga liv. Det visar sig att föräldrarna står inför ett komplext dilemma som innebär att de beaktar såväl fysisk som psykisk hälsa samt den vardagliga förhandlingen mellan föräldrar och barn. Sett ur ett omsorgsetiskt perspektiv utmanas idén om en rationell förälder som handlar i enlighet med kunskaper om vad som är en hälsosam livsstil. Föräldraskap innebär mycket mer än att kontrollera barnets vikt och sätta gränser.

Show all publications by Helena Bergström at Stockholm University

Last updated: September 5, 2019

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