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Research project Risk and resilience (RISE)

Risk and resilience: Pathways to (ill)health among men and women with experiences of childhood adversity (RISE)

The living conditions of the family are of fundamental importance for children’s health. Growing up under adverse circumstances in the home may lead to vulnerability that increases the risks for poor mental and physical health.

Project description

These risks tend to persist and accumulate throughout the life course, thereby contributing to the maintenance and reinforcement of health inequalities. A large number of children experiencing adversity nevertheless fare relatively well in late life. What makes these children resilient remains overlooked, despite the potential of such knowledge to inform intervention models.

The newly updated Stockholm Birth Cohort Multigenerational Study (SBC Multigen), which prospectively follows a cohort of 14,608 men and women from birth until retirement age (1953-2018), offers a unique opportunity to expand our understanding of the ways in which processes of risk and resilience may link childhood adversity to health outcomes throughout the life course.

As a starting point, we will investigate how childhood adversity is associated with the risk of morbidity and mortality across adulthood, in terms of reproductive health problems, outpatient care, inpatient care, sick leave, early retirement, and premature death.

Thanks to recent advances in statistical models for life course data, we are able to account for more complex patterns of health outcomes. Furthermore, we will explore a set of potentially protective factors present in contexts outside of the family, such as the school.

The development of methods for decomposing statistical effects makes it possible to determine the extent to which these factors mediate (explain) and/or moderate (influence) the association between childhood adversity and health in adulthood. In addition, the gendered nature of the life course will be addressed throughout the project. Taken together, the studies comprising this project may contribute to the development of policy measures aiming to reduce health inequalities.

Project members

Project managers

Ylva Brännström Almquist

Study Director/Associate Professor

Department of Public Health Sciences
Ylva B Almquist


Lars Brännström


Department of Social Work

Hilma Forsman


Department of Social Work
Hilma Forsman. Foto: Rickard Kihlström

Karl Gauffin

Senior Lecturer/Researcher

Department of Public Health Sciences
Karl Gauffin

Anders Hjern

Professor, Forskare

Department of Public Health Sciences
Anders Hjern

Sol Juarez

Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor

Department of Public Health Sciences

Bo Vinnerljung

Professor emeritus

Department of Social Work
Bo Vinnerljung. Foto: Eva Dalin