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Research project Intensive parenting norms in Sweden

This project explores the prevalence of intensive parenting norms in Sweden and their implications for childbearing, well-being and work trajectories, as well as differences in the nature of the norms across social and demographic groups.

Mother holding her baby during a walk in the forest
Photo: Christopher Luther/Unsplash

Intensive parenting norms have become pervasive in many wealthy countries and across different social strata, increasing the personal responsibility parents take for ensuring their children’s well-being and success in life. These specific norms have been argued to be motivated specifically by concerns about protecting children’s future social status. Whether these norms are prevalent in Sweden is unknown and this is a distinct context, both because the state has long taken on a substantial role in supporting parenthood and childbearing and because of rising inequality in recent years.

In the project "Intensive parenting norms in Sweden: Prevalence and implications for childbearing, well-being and work trajectories", we explore the prevalence and nature of intensive parenting norms in Sweden and differences according to social class, gender, cohort, parenthood status, family structure, and family background. The implications of intensive parenting norms for demographic and social outcomes are also poorly understood.

Project description

We assess how intensive parenting norms are related to:

1) multiple dimensions of adults’ well-being,

2) childbearing plans, and

3) work trajectories following childbirth.

The project uses new Swedish Generations and Gender Survey (2021) with questions specifically about intensive parenting norms and linked population register data. Latent class analysis will explore predominant population profiles of intensive parenting norms. We use the cohort replacement approach to approximate how parenting norms have changed over time. To understand the implications of intensive parenting norms for adults’ well-being, childbearing perspectives, and work trajectories after entering parenthood, we rely on multivariate regression analysis. 

Project members

Project managers

Sunnee Billingsley

Senior Lecturer

Department of Sociology


Stefanie Möllborn


Department of Sociology
Stefanie Möllborn, professor i sociologi