Associate Professor Ylva B Almquist, researcher at the Centre for Health Equity Studies within the Department of Public Health Sciences, has received a research grant of 3 300 000 SEK from Forte (Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare).

Abstract

The living conditions of the family are of fundamental importance for children’s health. Growing up in a home characterised by mental health problems, alcohol misuse, criminality, or economic hardship, is linked to increased risks of mental and physical ill-health that does not only tend to persist through childhood and adolescence, but extends into young adulthood and beyond. There is nevertheless a large number of children experiencing adversity who fare relatively well later in life. What makes these children resilient remains overlooked, despite the potential of such knowledge to inform models of intervention. The newly updated Stockholm Birth Cohort Multigenerational Study (SBC Multigen), which prospectively follows a cohort of 14,562 individuals from birth up until retirement age (1953-2018), offers a unique opportunity to expand our understanding of how processes or risk and resilience relate to health development over 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 here able to account for the individual variation in the development of disease. Furthermore, we will explore a set of potentially protective factors ranging from personal characteristics and competences, relationships with peers and romantic partners, as well as education, labour market attachment, and family formation. The development of methods for decomposing statistical effects renders it possible to determine to what extent these factors mediate (explain) and/or moderate (influence) the association between childhood adversity and health in adulthood. Along these lines, this project may contribute to forming policy measures that aim to reduce health inequality.

Participating researchers

Besides project leader Ylva B Almquist several reserachers from the Departement of Social Work and the Department of Public Health Sciences participate in the project.

Department of Public Health Sciences
Karl Gauffin, Researcher
Anders Hjern, Professor (Stockholm University & Karolinska Institutet)
Sol Pía Juarez, Associate Professor

Department of Social Work
Lars Brännström, Associate Professor
Hilma Forsman, PhD Student
Bo Vinnerljung, Professor