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Research project Grandchildren of misfortune: The role of resilience for multigenerational patterns of inequality

This project aims to examine the extent to which social, economic, and health-related adversities are transmitted across multiple generations – from parents, to children, to grandchildren – and whether processes reflecting resilience may break this reproduction of inequality.

By focusing on resilience indicators in adolescence that are modifiable and derived from contexts outside the individuals and their families – such as the school – the results of the project will be of great relevance for interventions that aim to improve the life chances of vulnerable groups as well as for policies targeted at decreasing inequality at the societal level.

Project description

This project aims to examine the extent to which social, economic, and health-related adversities are transmitted across multiple generations – from parents, to children, to grandchildren – and whether processes reflecting resilience may break this reproduction of inequality. Based on genealogical microdata from Sweden for a cohort of 14,608 men and women born in 1953 as well as their parents and children, we apply gender-sensitive statistical models to study how adult adversity in each generation translates into adolescent adversity in each following generation. Moreover, we consider a range of resilience indicators in the intermediate generation that may protect them against the transmission of adversity from their parents, and potentially also reduce the risk of adversity in the subsequent generation.

The project is estimated to run for four years and result in high-quality publications in international, peer-reviewed journals. While anchored in sociology, the project team is composed of researchers with varying disciplinary backgrounds, active within as well as outside academia. By focusing on resilience indicators in adolescence that are modifiable and derived from contexts outside the individuals and their families – such as the school – the results of the project will be of great relevance for interventions that aim to improve the life chances of vulnerable groups as well as for policies targeted at decreasing inequality at the societal level.

Project members

Project managers

Ylva Brännström Almquist

Study Director/Associate Professor

Department of Public Health Sciences
Ylva B Almquist

Members

Lisa Berg

Senior Lecturer/docent

Department of Public Health Sciences
Lisa Berg

Jonas Landberg

Study Director

Department of Public Health Sciences
Jonas Landberg

Baojing Li

Doktorand

Department of Public Health Sciences

Lars Brännström

Professor

Department of Social Work
LB

Susanne Alm

Lektor

Department of Criminology
Susanne Alm

Anton Lager

Researcher, Unit for health status and care needs analysis, Stockholms läns landsting

Stockholms läns landsting

Evelina Landstedt

Associate Professor, Department of Social Work, Umeå University

Umeå University