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Lisa BergUniversitetslektor/docent

Om mig

Jag är universitetslektor och docent i folkhälsovetenskap. Jag disputerade vid Karolinska Institutet 2012 och har en bakgrund inom folkhälsovetenskap, epidemiologi och sociologi. Jag arbetar för närvarande med flera olika forskningsprojekt:

  • “Traumatisk stress hos flyktingföräldrar - hur påverkas barnen?”, projekt finansierat av Stockholms universitet och Vetenskapsrådet
  • “Social determinants of health among individuals with foreign background" (SMASH), projekt finansierat av FORTE
  • "Grandchildren of misfortune: The role of resilience for multigenerational patterns of inequality", projekt finansierat av VR
  • “Ett livsförloppsperspektiv på förlust av anhörig i barndomen och hälsa i vuxen ålder”, projekt finansierat av VR


Jag är kursansvarig och undervisar på kurser på grundnivå och avancerad nivå. Jag handleder också studenter på avancerad nivå.



I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas

  • Parental post-traumatic stress and psychiatric care utilisation among refugee adolescents

    2021. Lisa Berg (et al.). European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry


    Parental psychiatric morbidity related to experiences of war and trauma has been associated with adverse psychological outcomes for children. The aim of this study was to investigate parental post-traumatic stress in relation to psychiatric care utilization among children of refugees with particular attention on the child's own refugee status, sex of both child and parents, and specific psychiatric diagnoses. This was a register study in a population of 16 143 adolescents from refugee families in Stockholm County born 1995-2000 and followed between 2011 and 2017 (11-18 years old). Parental post-traumatic stress, identified in three levels of care, was analysed in relation to child and adolescent psychiatric care use. Cox regression analysis was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI), adjusted for duration of residence and demographic and socioeconomic variables. Having a mother with post-traumatic stress was associated with higher psychiatric care utilization, with adjusted HR 2.44 (95% CI 1.90-3.14) among foreign-born refugee children and HR 1.77 (1.33-2.36) among Swedish-born children with refugee parents, with particularly high risks for children with less than five years of residence (HR 4.03; 2.29-7.10) and for diagnoses of anxiety and depression (HR 2.71; 2.11-3.48). Having a father with post-traumatic stress was not associated with increased HRs of psychiatric care utilization. Similar results were seen for boys and girls. Treatment for post-traumatic stress should be made available in refugee reception programmes. These programmes should use a family approach that targets both parents and children.

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  • Parental Posttraumatic Stress and School Performance in Refugee Children

    2021. Lisa Berg (et al.). Journal of Traumatic Stress


    Refugee children in the Nordic countries have been reported to perform poorly in school and carry a high burden of familial posttraumatic stress. The present study aimed to investigate the impact of maternal and paternal posttraumatic stress on the school performance of refugee children. We used national register data on school grades at age 15-16 along with demographic and migration indicators during 2011-2017 in a population of 18,831 children in refugee families in Stockholm County, Sweden. Parental posttraumatic stress was identified in regional data from three levels of care, including a tertiary treatment center for victims of torture and war. Multivariable linear and logistic regression models were fitted to analyze (a) mean grade point averages as Z scores and (b) eligibility for upper secondary school. In fully adjusted models, children exposed to paternal posttraumatic stress had a lower mean grade point average, SD = -0.14, 95% CI [-0.22, -0.07], and higher odds of not being eligible for upper secondary education, OR = 1.37, 95% CI [1.14, 1.65]. Maternal posttraumatic stress had a similar crude effect on school performance, SD = -0.15, 95% CI [-0.22, -0.07], OR = 1.25, 95% CI [1.00, 1.55], which was attenuated after adjusting for single-parent households and the use of child psychiatric services. The effects were similar for boys and girls as well as for different levels of care. Parental posttraumatic stress had a small negative effect on school performance in refugee children, adding to the intergenerational consequences of psychological trauma.

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  • Underutilisation of psychiatric care among refugee adolescents in Stockholm

    2021. Lisa Berg, Gunnar Ljunggren, Anders Hjern. Acta Paediatrica 110, 563-570


    Aim: Refugee children have been shown to underutilise psychiatric services in Scandinavia. The aim of this study was to investigate determinants of psychiatric care utilisation in adolescents in refugee families.

    Methods: The study used regional data on healthcare use linked to sociodemographic data from national registers in a total population of 93 537 adolescents in the Stockholm County born in 1995‐2000, including 18 831 with a refugee background. Cox regression analyses were fitted to estimate Hazard ratios (HRs) of psychiatric care utilisation in the age‐span 11‐18 years.

    Results: Psychiatric care use was lower in the large majority of adolescents in refugee families that originated in low‐ and middle‐income countries, with adjusted HRs 0.34 (95% CI 0.28‐0.42) and 0.51 (95% CI 0.46‐0.56), respectively, compared with the Swedish majority population. Among the foreign‐born refugee adolescents, psychiatric care use increased with duration of residence in Sweden and was higher in children who obtained residency as asylum seekers compared with those who settled in family reunification.

    Conclusion: Adolescents in newly settled refugee families with a background in low‐ and middle‐income countries should be a priority in mental health assessment of refugee children and referral to psychiatric care facilitated for children in need.

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  • Parental death in childhood and pathways to increased mortality across the life course in Stockholm, Sweden

    2021. Ayako Hiyoshi (et al.). PLoS Medicine 18 (3)



    Previous studies have shown that the experience of parental death during childhood is associated with increased mortality risk. However, few studies have examined potential pathways that may explain these findings. The aim of this study is to examine whether familial and behavioural factors during adolescence and socioeconomic disadvantages in early adulthood mediate the association between loss of a parent at age 0 to 12 and all-cause mortality by the age of 63.

    Methods and findings

    A cohort study was conducted using data from the Stockholm Birth Cohort Multigenerational Study for 12,615 children born in 1953, with information covering 1953 to 2016. Familial and behavioural factors at age 13 to 19 included psychiatric and alcohol problems in the surviving parent, receipt of social assistance, and delinquent behaviour in the offspring. Socioeconomic disadvantage in early adulthood included educational attainment, occupational social class, and income at age 27 to 37. We used Cox proportional hazard regression models, combined with a multimediator analysis, to separate direct and indirect effects of parental death on all-cause mortality.

    Among the 12,582 offspring in the study (men 51%; women 49%), about 3% experienced the death of a parent in childhood. During follow-up from the age of 38 to 63, there were 935 deaths among offspring. Parental death was associated with an elevated risk of mortality after adjusting for demographic and household socioeconomic characteristics at birth (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.52 [95% confidence interval: 1.10 to 2.08, p-value = 0.010]). Delinquent behaviour in adolescence and income during early adulthood were the most influential mediators, and the indirect associations through these variables were HR 1.03 (1.00 to 1.06, 0.029) and HR 1.04 (1.01 to 1.07, 0.029), respectively. After accounting for these indirect paths, the direct path was attenuated to HR 1.35 (0.98 to 1.85, 0.066). The limitations of the study include that the associations may be partly due to genetic, social, and behavioural residual confounding, that statistical power was low in some of the subgroup analyses, and that there might be other relevant paths that were not investigated in the present study.


    Our findings from this cohort study suggest that childhood parental death is associated with increased mortality and that the association was mediated through a chain of disadvantages over the life course including delinquency in adolescence and lower income during early adulthood. Professionals working with bereaved children should take the higher mortality risk in bereaved offspring into account and consider its lifelong consequences. When planning and providing support to bereaved children, it may be particularly important to be aware of their increased susceptibility to delinquency and socioeconomic vulnerability that eventually lead to higher mortality.

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  • Health risk behaviours among migrants by duration of residence

    2020. Lisa Berg (et al.). BMJ Open 10 (10)


    Introduction International migrants’ health has often been found to deteriorate in new countries, partly due to changes in health risk behaviours such as alcohol consumption, tobacco use, physical inactivity, and poor dietary habits. However, limited efforts have been made to comprehensively evaluate the extent to which migrants adopt unhealthy risk behaviours with longer duration of residence. This systematic review and meta-analysis will summarise evidence on international migrants’ behavioural patterns by duration of residence in multiple country contexts.

    Methods and analysis PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science and ProQuest databases will be searched for quantitative or mixed-method observational studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2019. Studies comparing foreign-born individuals by duration of residence will be included. Information on study characteristics, descriptive statistics and measures of effect will be extracted. All included studies will be quality assessed using a modified Newcastle-Ottawa scale. The review will include narrative synthesis and, if sufficient and comparable data are available, random effects meta-analyses. The review will be conducted in compliance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines.

    Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval is not required since previously published information from peer-reviewed studies will be assessed. The results of this review will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at scientific conferences. Other forms of dissemination will include communication to broader audiences using well-established channels, including through university-based press releases. Progress will be regularly updated on the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews to ensure full transparency.

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  • Intergenerational transmission of alcohol misuse

    2020. Ylva B. Almquist (et al.). Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 74 (7), 598-604


    Background Children whose parents misuse alcohol have increased risks of own alcohol misuse in adulthood. Though most attain lower school marks, some still perform well in school, which could be an indicator of resilience with protective potential against negative health outcomes. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to examine the processes of mediation and interaction by school performance regarding the intergenerational transmission of alcohol misuse.

    Methods Data were drawn from a prospective Swedish cohort study of children born in 1953 (n=14 608). Associations between parental alcohol misuse (ages 0–19) and participants' own alcohol misuse in adulthood (ages 20–63) were examined by means of Cox regression analysis. Four-way decomposition was used to explore mediation and interaction by school performance in grade 6 (age 13), grade 9 (age 16) and grade 12 (age 19).

    Results Mediation and/or interaction by school performance accounted for a substantial proportion of the association between parental alcohol misuse and own alcohol misuse in adulthood (58% for performance in grade 6, 27% for grade 9 and 30% for grade 12). Moreover, interaction effects appeared to be more important for the outcome than mediation.

    Conclusion Above-average school performance among children whose parents misused alcohol seems to reflect processes of resilience with the potential to break the intergenerational transmission of alcohol misuse. Four-way decomposition offers a viable approach to disentangle processes of interaction from mediation, representing a promising avenue for future longitudinal research.

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  • Labour market participation among young refugees in Sweden and the potential of education

    2019. Hélio Manhica (et al.). Journal of Youth Studies 22 (4), 533-550


    This register-based study examined the importance of education on labour market participation among young refugees in Sweden. The study population consisted of unaccompanied (n = 1606) and accompanied refuges (n = 4142), aged 23–26 years in 2006–2010, after 7 years of residence in Sweden. Native Swedish, aged 24 years (n = 347,255) constituted the comparison population, with intercountry adoptees (n = 6689) as an alternative reference group. Gender-stratified multinomial regression models indicated that unaccompanied and accompanied male and female young refugees had higher risks of being in insecure work force and NEET compared to native Swedes with comparable levels of education. However, young refugees and intercountry adoptees with primary education had similar risks of poor labour market outcomes. The educational differences within each group concerning the risk of being in insecure work force were comparable. With the exception of unaccompanied females, secondary education seemed to be less protective against being in NEET among young refugees compared to native Swedes and intercountry adoptees. We conclude that while young refugees face employment disadvantages, education has the potential of mitigating poor labour market outcomes in this group.

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  • Experience of sibling death in childhood and risk of psychiatric care in adulthood

    2019. Lisa Berg (et al.). European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry


    Studies have found that sibling loss is associated with an increased risk of death from external causes (i.e. suicides, accidents and homicides). Increased psychiatric health problems following bereavement could underlie such an association. We studied the influence of sibling loss during childhood on psychiatric care in young adulthood, adjusting for psychosocial covariates shared by siblings in childhood. A national cohort born in Sweden in 1973–1982 (N = 701,270) was followed prospectively until 2013. Cox proportional hazards models were used to analyse the association between sibling loss during childhood and psychiatric inpatient and outpatient care identified by the Hospital Discharge Register. After adjustment for confounders, the HRs of psychiatric care in men who experienced sibling loss were 1.17 (95% CI 1.07–1.27) while the associations turned non-significant in women after adjustment for family-related psychosocial covariates, HR 1.07 (95% CI 0.99–1.16). An increased risk was found in men bereaved in early childhood (1.22 95% CI 1.07–1.38) and adolescence (1.27 95% CI 1.08–1.48). Among women, loss of a sibling during adolescence was significantly associated with psychiatric care (1.19 95% CI 1.03–1.36). Increased psychiatric health problems following bereavement could underlie the previously found association between sibling loss and mortality from external causes. Family-related psychosocial conditions shared by siblings in childhood may account for the association between sibling death and psychiatric care in adulthood.

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  • Evicted children and subsequent placement in out-of-home care

    2018. Lisa Berg, Lars Brännström. PLoS ONE 13 (4)



    Evictions may have serious consequences for individuals’ health and wellbeing. Even though an eviction may be experienced as a significant crisis for the family, there is little previous knowledge on consequences for evicted children. This study represents the first attempt to examine to what extent children from evicted households were separated from their parents and placed in out-of-home care (foster family or residential care) using population-based data, net of observed confounding factors related to the socioeconomic and psychosocial circumstances of their parents.


    This study takes advantage of information from a Swedish national database, consisting of about 8 000 evicted individuals and a random sample of 770 000 individuals from the national population, linked to individual-level, longitudinal data from Swedish national registers. Our analytical sample consists of information for more than 250 000 children born in 1995–2008, including 2 224 children from evicted households. We used binary logistic regression based on the Karlson/Holm/Breen method to account for observed imbalances at baseline between evicted and non-evicted children.


    Compared to non-evicted children, the crude odds ratio for placement in out-of-home care in evicted children was 12.10 (95% CI 8.54–17.14). Net of observed confounding factors related to the socioeconomic and psychosocial circumstances of the parents, evicted children had a twofold elevated risk of being placed in out-of-home care (odds ratio 2.26, 95% CI 1.55–3.27). Crude OR for evicted children in comparison with children under threat of eviction (eviction not formally executed) was 1.71 (95% CI 1.17–2.49) and adjusted OR 1.58 (95% CI 1.06–2.35).


    Children who experience eviction constitute a disadvantaged group and are at significant risk of being separated from their parents and placed in out-of-home care. These results demonstrate the importance of providing support for these children and their parents. Strategies to prevent households with children from being evicted seem to be an important and viable intervention path.

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  • Parental death during childhood and depression in young adults – a national cohort study

    2016. Lisa Berg, Mikael Rostila, Anders Hjern. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines 57 (9), 1092-1098



    There are few prospective, population-based studies on childhood parental death and psychiatric disorders in adulthood, and previous findings are inconclusive. This study investigated the association between parental death from natural and external (suicides, accidents or homicides) causes before 18 years and the risk of clinical depression in young adults, in relation to age at loss and gender of both child and parent.


    In this register-based study, a national cohort born in Sweden during 1973–1982 (n = 862,554) was followed with regard to hospital admissions and outpatient care for depression during 2006–2013. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the impact of parental death, taking sociodemographic and parental psychosocial covariates into account.


    Maternal death from natural causes was associated with a hazard ratio (HR) of outpatient care for depression of 1.19 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.02–1.40] in men and 1.15 (1.01–1.31) in women, after adjustment for sociodemographic confounders, with similar effect sizes for paternal natural death. Death from external causes consistently had higher effect size compared with natural deaths, in particular in relation to risk of hospital admissions for depression where they were as high as HR 3.23 (2.38–4.38) for men, and 1.79 (1.30–2.47) for women after a loss of a mother. Losing a parent in preschool age, compared with losing a parent as a teenager, was associated with higher risks of both hospitalization (p = .006) and outpatient care (p = .001) for depression.


    This study indicates that parental loss to death from natural causes during childhood is associated with a small increased risk of long-term consequences for psychological health. Children who lose their parents to death from external causes, that is suicides, accidents or homicides, and children losing a parent in young ages are, however, at particular risk and should be given priority in preventive interventions after parental loss.

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  • Parental alcohol-related disorders and school performance in 16 year olds - a national cohort study

    2016. Lisa Berg (et al.). Addiction 111 (10), 1795-1803


    To study the links between parental alcohol-related disorders and offspring school performance and, specifically, whether associations vary by gender of parent or child and whether associations are mediated by other adverse psychosocial circumstances commonly appearing together with parental alcohol problems, such as parental mental health problems or criminal behaviour.

    Register study in a national cohort.



    740 618 individuals born in Sweden in 1990-1996.

    Parental hospital admissions for alcohol-related disorders and school performance in their offspring, in the final year of compulsory school at age 15-16, was analysed in relation to sociodemographic confounders and psychosocial covariates, using linear and logistic regressions.

    Both mothers’ and fathers’ alcohol-related hospital admissions were associated with lower z-scores of grades and national mathematic tests scores. After adjustment for parental education and sociodemographic confounders, beta-coefficients of z-scores of grades were -0.42 (95% CI -0.45, -0.39) and -0.42 (95 % CI -0.43,-0.40), and beta-coefficients of mathematic tests scores were -0.36 (95% CI -0.39, -0.33) and -0.31 (95% CI -0.33, -0.29), for mothers’ and fathers’ alcohol-related disorders, respectively. Adjusted ORs for not being eligible for secondary school were 1.99 (95% CI 1.84-2.15) and 2.04 (95% CI 1.95-2.15) for mothers’ and fathers’ alcohol-related disorders, respectively. Adjusting the analyses for psychosocial factors in the family almost eradicated the statistical effects of parental alcohol-related disorders on offspring school performance to beta-coefficients of 0.03 to -0.10 and ORs of 0.89 to 1.15. The effect of a mother's alcohol-related hospital admission on school performance was stronger in girls than in boys, whereas no gender differences were seen for a father's alcohol-related hospital admission.


    In Sweden, alcohol-related disorders in both mothers and fathers are associated with lower school performance in their children at age 15-16, with most of the statistical effects being attributed to psychosocial circumstances of the family, such as parental psychiatric disorders, drug use, and criminality and receipt of social or child welfare interventions.

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Visa alla publikationer av Lisa Berg vid Stockholms universitet