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Viveca Östberg is a sociologist. She has been working on welfare research in general as well as health inequalities. In both instances the focus has been put on children and youth. In the field of health inequality research, she has published studies on social differences, mainly class differences, in child mortality. Other studies concern the association between social relations and health complaints. Here, the focus has been put on social relations both with regard to same-aged peers (i.e., peer status, friendship relations and bullying) and parents (parental support, etc.). Another area of interest has been children’s and adolescents' welfare in a general sense where two important questions have been how it can be described and how information can be collected. In line with this she has co-headed the data collections for the so-called Child-LNU (in the year 2000) and Child-ULF (in the years 2001-2003) where representative samples of Swedish persons in the ages 10-18 years have been interviewed about their living conditions.

The relevance of the school for young people’s psychological and psychosomatic health
The Swedish Child-LNU: A survey for studying young people’s welfare