Lars Brännström


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Arbetar vid Institutionen för socialt arbete
Telefon 08-16 48 59
Besöksadress Sveavägen 160, Sveaplan
Rum 744
Postadress Institutionen för socialt arbete 106 91 Stockholm

Om mig

Jag är docent i sociologi och universitetslektor i socialt arbete med inriktning mot kvantitativa metoder.

Min akademiska verksamhet ligger i gränslandet mellan socialt arbete, sociologi och socialepidemiologi. Min forskning har i huvudsak handlat om ojämlikhet i livschanser med särskilt fokus på hur förhållanden i barndomen påverkar hur det går senare i livet. Vanligtvis med utgångspunkt i teorier på mellannivå och longitudinella registerdata har jag kombinerat variabel- och personcentrerade ansatser för att pröva teoretiskt informerade hypoteser.


Mitt vetenskapliga arbete kan delas upp i två (delvis överlappande) områden av socialpolitisk forskning:

1) Studier av social, ekonomisk och hälsomässig ojämlikhet, och

2) Resultat av sociala interventioner.

Medan det förra syftar till att öka förståelsen om orsakerna bakom sociala problem handlar det senare om hur effektiva olika åtgärder är som syftar till att minska och förebygga sociala problem.


För närvarande undervisar jag främst på följande kurser:


  • Socionomprogrammets sjätte termin: Forskningsmetoder, 7.5 hp.
  • Socionomprogrammets tredje termin: Kvantitativa forskningsmetoder, 7.5 hp.

Avancerad nivå

  • Kvantitativ forskningsmetod, 7.5 hp.
  • Samhällsarbete i marginaliserade områden, 7.5 hp.


I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • 2019. Ylva B. Almquist, Lars Brännström. BMC Public Health 19


    Past research has shown that individuals who have had experiences of out-of-home care (OHC) in childhood have increased risks of premature mortality. Prior studies also suggest that these individuals are more likely to follow long-term trajectories that are characterised by economic, work-, and health-related disadvantages, compared to majority population peers. Yet, we do not know the extent to which such trajectories may explain their elevated mortality risks. The aim of this study is therefore to examine whether trajectories of economic, work-, and health-related disadvantages in midlife mediate the association between OHC experience in childhood and subsequent all-cause mortality.


    Utilising longitudinal Swedish data from a 1953 cohort (n = 14,294), followed from birth up until 2008 (age 55), this study applies gender-specific logistic regression analysis to analyse the association between OHC experience in childhood (ages 0–19; 1953–1972) and all-cause mortality (ages 47–55; 2000–2008). A decomposition method developed for non-linear regression models is used to estimate mediation by trajectories of economic, work-, and health-related disadvantages (ages 39–46; 1992–1999), as indicated by social welfare receipt, unemployment, and mental health problems. To account for selection processes underlying placement in OHC, an alternative comparison group of children who were investigated by the child welfare committee but not placed, is included.


    The results confirm that individuals with experience of OHC have more than a two-fold increased risk of all-cause mortality, for men (OR: 2.10, 95% CI: 1.42–3.11) and women (OR: 2.23, 95% CI: 1.39–3.59) alike. Approximately one-third (31.1%) of the association among men, and one-fourth (27.4%) of the association among women, is mediated by the long-term trajectories of economic, work-, and health-related disadvantages. The group who were investigated but not placed shows similar, yet overall weaker, associations.


    Individuals who come to the attention of the child welfare services, regardless of whether they are placed in out-of-home care or not, continue to be at risk of adverse outcomes across the life course. Preventing them from following trajectories of economic, work-, and health-related disadvantages could potentially reduce their risk of premature death.

  • 2019. Anders Hjern, Bo Vinnerljung, Lars Brännström.

    Prior research has reported a positive impact of adoption on developmental outcomes for children with experience of foster care. To inform decisions about permanent care arrangements, we used Swedish national population registers to create a sibling population consisting of 194 children born 1973–1982 who had been in out-of-home care (OHC) at least 5 years before adolescence but were never adopted (50% boys) and their 177 maternal birth siblings who also had been in OHC at least 5 years before their teens but were adopted before adolescence (52.5% boys). We constructed 14 outcome variables spanning social, educational, and health outcomes in adult age with information from Swedish national registers. Based on multilevel logistic random effects and fixed effects regression models (supplemented with a sensitivity analysis assessing the potential impact of unobserved confounding), results showed that adopted siblings tended to have considerably better outcomes in adult age in educational achievement, income, criminality, disability, and suicidality. Outcomes related to mental health and substance abuse were more similar, but differences pointed in the same direction. Implications for child welfare policy and practice are discussed.

  • 2018. Anna Kahlmeter, Olof Bäckman, Lars Brännström. European Sociological Review 34 (1), 106-119

    Research has demonstrated that evictions primarily affect vulnerable populations. However, relatively little is known about the consequences eviction has, particularly regarding economic outcomes. Using comprehensive Swedish national register data on evictions in 2009, this study tests two competing hypotheses regarding to what extent an eviction affects subsequent economic hardship for an already disadvantaged group. The degree to which individuals rely on means-tested social assistance is used as an indicator of economic hardship. The cumulative disadvantage perspective predicts that additional strain will compound the economic hardship experienced by the group. In contrast, the disadvantage saturation perspective suggests that additional adversities may not add to economic hardship for disadvantaged individuals. Results from propensity score matching analyses show that, the year immediately after eviction, the degree of social assistance receipt was around 8 percentage points higher for the evicted group than for the matched comparison group. In the following 3 years, the degree of social assistance receipt continued to be significantly higher for those evicted compared to peers. The results lend support to the cumulative disadvantage perspective and suggest that—in the context of preventing evictions—policy measures such as assistance to repay rent arrears would be adequate to prevent further economic hardship.

  • 2018. Ylva B. Almquist, Lars Brännström. Social Indicators Research 136 (1), 225-245

    Children whose parents experience adverse social, economic, or health-related living conditions are more likely to face similar types of disadvantage in their adult life. However, a limitation of many earlier studies is that they do not account for the multidimensionality of the concept of living conditions, and that the child generation’s life courses are targeted as static and independent from the societal context in which they are imbedded. The current investigation addressed these aspects by focusing on the complexity, duration, and timing of disadvantage with regard to how adverse circumstances in the family of origin are associated with trajectories of social, economic, and health-related living conditions across adulthood. We also examined the role of educational attainment for these associations. Analyses were based a Swedish cohort born in 1953 (n = 14,294). We first conducted sequence analysis, followed by hierarchical cluster analysis, to generate ‘outcome profiles’, i.e. trajectories of adult disadvantage. Second, several indicators of adverse circumstances in childhood were analysed by means of multinominal regression analysis, showing the odds of ending up in the different trajectories. The results indicated that individuals who grew up under adverse conditions were more likely to experience disadvantaged social, economic, and health-related trajectories. This was particularly the case for trajectories characterised by a high degree of complexity, i.e. coexisting disadvantages, and—among men only—by a longer duration of disadvantage. Educational attainment was identified as a powerful mediator, suggesting that efforts to increase equal educational opportunity may be a way of reducing the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage.

  • 2017. Menghan Gao, Lars Brännström, Ylva Almquist B.. International Journal of Epidemiology

    Background: Children placed in out-of-home care (OHC) have exceedingly high rates of health problems. Their poor health tends to persist across adolescence and into young adulthood, resulting in increased risks of mortality. Yet, very little is known about this group’s mortality risks later in life. The aim of this study was to investigate whether OHC was associated with the risk of all-cause mortality across adulthood, and whether these risks varied across different placement characteristics. Moreover, the study addressed potential confounding by including two comparison groups with children who grew up under similarly adverse living conditions but did not experience placement.

    Methods: Data were derived from a 60-year follow-up of a Stockholm cohort born in 1953 (n = 15 048), of whom around 9% have had experiences of OHC. The associations between OHC and subsequent all-cause mortality were analysed by means of Cox’s proportional hazards regression models.

    Results: Individuals who were placed in OHC at any point during their formative years had increased mortality risks across ages 20 to 56 years. Elevated risk of mortality was particularly pronounced among those who were placed in adolescence and/or because of their own behaviours. Children who were exposed to OHC had increased risks of mortality also when compared with those who grew up under similar living conditions but did not experience placement.

    Conclusions: Children in OHC constitute a high-risk group for subsequent mortality. In order to narrow the mortality gap, interventions may need to monitor not only health aspects but also to target the cognitive and social development of these children.

  • 2016. Lars Brännström (et al.). Aggression and Violent Behavior 27, 30-41


    Aggression Replacement Training (ART) is a multimodal program aiming at replacing antisocial behaviors by actively teaching desirable behaviors. The program is frequently used and has been provided within a wide variety of settings, but its effectiveness in its own right has not been addressed in previous reviews. This systematic review examines the effect of ART on antisocial behavior in young people and adults.


    Published and unpublished literature was searched to identify randomized and non-randomized studies comparing ART for adults and youth with usual care, other interventions, or no intervention. Primary outcomes included recidivism in antisocial behavior, while secondary outcomes were related to social skills, anger management and moral reasoning.


    This review identified 16 studies with considerable clinical and methodological diversity. The methodological quality and the post-intervention follow-up of the studies were limited. Almost half of the studies were conducted by researchers who have vested interests in the intervention.


    There is an insufficient evidence-base to substantiate the hypothesis that ART has a positive impact on recidivism, self-control, social skills or moral development in adolescents and adults. Further research is warranted by independent investigators exploring the effects of ART on clearly-defined target groups using high standard evaluation designs.

  • 2016. Evelina Fridell Lif (et al.). British Journal of Social Work

    National register data were used in a longitudinal design to test two competing hy-potheses regarding links between cumulative exposure to childhood adversities andlater adverse outcomes, conceptualised as economic hardship in early adulthood,among more than 11,000 Swedish youths who had received the same in-home childwelfare intervention at ages two to five or at ages ten to thirteen. The cumulative-disadvantage perspective argues that the accumulation of childhood adversitiesincrease the likelihood of negative outcomes later in life. In contrast, thedisadvantage-saturation perspective suggests that the accumulation of childhood ad-versities is less consequential for initially disadvantaged individuals. Results from logis-tic regression analyses showed a pronounced positive association between theaccumulation of childhood adversities and economic hardship (measured as extensivemeans-tested social assistance recipiency) in early adulthood. After adjustments forsocio-economic confounders, the analyses showed that youth exposed to four or morechildhood adversities during childhood had two- to four-fold elevated odds of receiv-ing extensive social assistance compared to peers who had received the same inter-vention, but had no indications of exposure to childhood adversities. The results lendsupport to the relevance of accumulated childhood adversities for understandinglong-term outcomes in child welfare populations.

  • 2016. Lars Brännström (et al.). International Journal of Child Abuse & Neglect

    Little is known about developmental outcomes in midlife of persons who were placed in out-of-home care (OHC) in childhood. Utilizing longitudinal Swedish data from a cohort of more than 14,000 individuals who we can follow from birth (1953) to the age of 55 (2008), this study examines midlife trajectories of social, economic, and health-related disadvantages with a specific focus on the complexity, timing, and duration of disadvantage in individuals with and without childhood experience of OHC. Roughly half of the OHC alumni did not have disadvantaged outcomes in midlife. However, experience of OHC was associated with a two-fold risk for various forms of permanent disadvantage, net of confounding factors. Implications for research, policy, and practice are discussed.

  • 2016. Lars Brännström, Björn Trolldal, Martin Menke. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 70 (3), 226-230

    Background Spatial dependencies may influence the success of community action strategies to prevent and reduce harmful alcohol use. This study examined the effectiveness of a multicomponent Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) programme targeting on-licensed premises on police-recorded assaults in Swedish municipalities. It was expected that the implementation of the programme within any given municipality had an indirect effect by reducing violent assaults in adjacent municipalities.

    Methods This study was a natural experiment exploiting the temporal and spatial variation in the implementation of the RBS programme to predict change in the rate of violent assaults in all Swedish municipalities during 1996–2009 (n=288; T=14; N=4 032). Yearly police-recorded violent assaults per 100 000 inhabitants aged 15 and above committed on weekend nights were used as a dependent variable. Programme fidelity was identified by means of survey data. A semilogarithmic fixed-effects spatial panel regression model was used to estimate the direct, indirect and total effects of the programme.

    Results The direct, indirect and total effects were −1.8% (95% CI −4.4% to 0.8%), −5.8% (95% CI −11.5% to −0.1%) and −7.6% (95% CI −13.2% to −2.2%), respectively. Averaged over time and across all municipalities, implementing one additional programme component in all municipalities will thus reduce violent assaults in one typical municipality by nearly 8%.

    Conclusions The indirect effect of the programme was three times larger than its direct effect. Failing to account for such local spillover effects can result in a considerable underestimation of the programme's total impact and may lead to erroneous policy recommendations.

  • 2016. Hilma Forsman (et al.). International Journal of Child Abuse & Neglect 57, 61-71

    Research has shown that children in foster care are a high-risk group for adverse economic, social and health related outcomes in young adulthood. Children's poor school performance has been identified as a major risk factor for these poor later life outcomes. Aiming to support the design of effective intervention strategies, this study examines the hypothesized causal effect of foster children's poor school performance on subsequent psychosocial problems, here conceptualized as economic hardship, illicit drug use, and mental health problems, in young adulthood. Using the potential outcomes approach, longitudinal register data on more than 7500 Swedish foster children born 1973–1978 were analyzed by means of doubly robust treatment-effect estimators. The results show that poor school performance has a negative impact on later psychosocial problems net of observed background attributes and potential selection on unobservables, suggesting that the estimated effects allow for causal interpretations. Promotion of school performance may thus be a viable intervention path for policymakers and practitioners interested in improving foster children's overall life chances.

Visa alla publikationer av Lars Brännström vid Stockholms universitet

Senast uppdaterad: 2 juli 2020

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