Simon Hjalmarsson


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Works at Swedish institute for social research
Telephone 08-16 26 38
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 F
Room F 975
Postal address Institutet för social forskning 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I'm a PhD student within the Level of Living (LNU) research group at the Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI). I received my MSc in Sociology from Stockholm University. 

My research interests are directed towards effects of poverty and inequality during childhood and youth. What kind of economic deprivation matters from a child-perspective, and for what outcomes? More specifically, my dissertation project focuses on immediate or short-term outcomes, primarily related to social relations and social participation. Do poorer children sustain fewer friendship relations; are they subject to negative judgements or treatment from peers; do they participate less in leisure activities?


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2021. Simon Hjalmarsson (et al.).

    This dissertation contains four empirical studies examining associations between economic resources and social participation among Swedish adolescents. All four studies draw data from a school-based survey covering a nationally representative sample of the 2010 cohort of Swedish eighth-grade students.

    Study I examines associations between economic resources and school class friendships. A child-centred perspective on economic resources is used, combining self-reported measures of adolescents' own access to economic resources with disposable household income measured relative to other students in the same school. Friendships are assessed through sociometric data – students nominate their best friends in the school class. Results show that students with the lowest within-school household incomes and students who report to often miss out on activities due to a lack of economic resources receive on average fewer friendship nominations and are more likely to experience social isolation.

    Study II considers associations between economic resources (own economic resources and relative household income) and adverse relationships with school class peers. Two forms of adverse relationships are assessed: the risk of bullying victimisation (self-reported) and peer rejection (measured through sociometric nominations). Students with the lowest within-school household incomes receive, on average, more rejection nominations but are not at higher risk of bullying victimisation. In contrast, students who often miss out on activities with peers due to a lack of economic resources both receive more rejection nominations and are at higher risk of bullying victimisation.

    Study III extends the examination of peer rejection, assessing whether students who differ from classmates on some sociodemographic characteristic are more likely to experience peer rejection. Results show an association between household income and peer rejection, but the association is largely similar across classrooms of varying income levels. Moreover, the likelihood of a student to reject a specific classmate is unaffected by differences in household income. In addition, the study examines corresponding associations between peer rejection and other sociodemographic characteristics: immigration background, parental education, and gender.

    Study IV turns the attention towards participation in extracurricular activities. Cross-country research shows that children from lower-income households are less likely to participate in such activities than are children from more affluent households. The study documents such a pattern among Swedish adolescents and examines the merits of different theoretical explanations. Panel data models are used to examine whether changes in household income are associated with changes in participation. Results show that income changes are not in general associated with changes in participation, but a weak association is found between changes in income and ceasing participation among adolescents in low-income households. Results are more consistent with theoretical explanations emphasising cultural differences and non-economic forms of resource constraints, than with explanations emphasising household economic constraints.

  • 2018. Simon Hjalmarsson. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 47 (1), 88-104

    There is limited knowledge on the impact of economic resources on adverse peer relations during adolescence. This study used a nationally representative sample (n = 4725, 51% girls) of Swedish eighth-grade students (approximately age fourteen) to examine associations between economic resources and adverse peer relations in the form of peer rejection and bullying victimization. Adolescents from households in the lowest within-school household income quintile were found to be rejected by school class peers to a greater extent than more advantaged students, but an association was not found between relative household income and bullying victimization. In contrast, adolescents unable to participate in activities with peers for economic reasons experienced more rejection and were at higher risk of victimization. The results underline the multidimensionality of adverse peer relations and advance our knowledge on how economic resources relate to peer relations in youth.

  • 2015. Simon Hjalmarsson, Carina Mood. Children and youth services review 57, 201-211

    Poverty among children and adolescents attracts considerable research interest, and many are concerned with the potential consequences of poverty for children's well-being and development. Research is however lacking on the consequences of economic hardship for children's social relations. This article asks whether adolescents with a lack of economic resources have fewer school-class friends than others, something we would expect given the modern view of poverty as a lack of economic resources that has negative social consequences. We take a child-centred perspective in explicitly acknowledging the role of the child's own economic and material resources alongside the more traditional measurement of parental incomes, and we use sociometric (network) data to assess children's school-class friendships. We find that adolescents with the lowest family incomes and those who often miss out on activities due to a lack of economic resources receive on average fewer friendship nominations and are more likely to experience social isolation in the school class. Access to an own room is also of some importance for the number of friends. These results point towards the importance for adolescents' social relations of having the economic and material possibilities to participate in the social life and in activities undertaken by peers. The estimated effects of household income and of students' own economic situation are largely independent of each other, suggesting that the common practice of assessing child economic conditions through parental income gives an incomplete picture. We suggest that policies directly targeting children's activities and social participation may be a relatively direct and cost-effective way of reducing the impact of economic resources and greatly improve the everyday lives of many adolescents and promote their social inclusion. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

  • 2018. Stephanie Plenty (et al.).

    This report has three aims:

    1. To describe the activity statuses of young adults aged 19–20 years, based on their own reports.

    2. To identify vulnerable subgroups. This is done among NEET youth, but the perspective is widened by also considering vulnerable positions among youth in work or education.

    3. To describe the living conditions for young adults in different activity types and with different degrees of vulnerability.

Show all publications by Simon Hjalmarsson at Stockholm University

Last updated: March 23, 2021

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