Health/social problems among young adults who received
child welfare interventions during childhood. National cohort studies
of prevalence and variable risk factors

Project leader

Funding source

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2011
Funding: 3746000 SEK


In Sweden, 6-8% of all children will experience child welfare interventions before age 18, and 4% will be placed in out-of-home care. Few interventions have been evaluated. Research into outcomes is fragmented. National studies have revealed high excess risks for future problems in this group, eg. suicidal behaviour. In this interdisciplinary project we use national registers to expand knowledge on long term outcomes that rarely have been examined (eg health), and to analyse influences of cognitive capacity, school achievements, educational attainment, teenage childbirth, and deceased birth parents on a wide range of outcomes.

Poor school achievement/low education (very common in this group) has been hypothesized as a decisive risk mechanism, but this has yet to be tested in large study populations. Also, high excess risks for teenage parenthood and birth parental loss through death have been noted in earlier studies, but influences on outcomes have not been investigated.

Data are retrieved from ten national registers on all persons born 1972-81 and their parents. Cohort members are followed until 2008 in the registers. Comparisons are made between child welfare subgroups and their siblings and cousins, national and intercountry adoptees, children in families with social welfare, and peers from the general population. Results are adjusted for socioeconomic background, indications of heritable risk factors (criminality/ morbidity in birth parents), and perinatal factors.

The Scandinavian registers provide unique possibilities for studies of health/social adjustment in a life course perspective. Thus, the project is expected to produce scientific knowledge of international interest that can guide the development of interventions targeting child welfare children's high over-risks for future health and social problems.

Last updated on 2017-29-03 at 17:13