This project consists of three parts: a) the clustering of welfare problems in the Swedish adult population over historical time, over the life course and across different groups, b) the influences of childhood conditions on the clustering of welfare problems in adulthood, and c) the link between the clustering of welfare problems and all-cause and cause-specific mortality.

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Basic information

Manager: Ylva B Almquist
Period: 2013-01-01 – 2016-12-31
Funded by: Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (FAS)

Description of the project

Welfare is a complex concept that includes individuals’ resources in various areas, such as health, the labour market, economic resources and educational opportunities. Individuals who lack resources in several of these areas have been considered to be exposed to multiple deprivation. Research shows, firstly, that different types of welfare problems often go hand in hand and that this co-occurrence seems to have increased since the beginning of the 21 century. Secondly, every additional problem has a unique contribution to the individual’s living situation. Past studies however tend to overlook specific combinations of welfare problems in the population. In addition to this, there is a lack of knowledge about causes for multiple deprivation as well as its consequences for longevity. Taking its starting-point in the so-called person-oriented approach, the present project will focus on how individuals are similar or dissimilar in terms of social, economic and health-related factors, and how different combinations of welfare problems vary over historical time, over the life course and between various groups in society. The project will also examine how childhood conditions related to the family, the school and the individual may influence the clustering of welfare problems in adulthood. Another aim is to investigate how multiple deprivation may be linked to all-cause and cause-specific (e.g. cardiovascular disease) mortality. Through the combination of register data for the total population and longitudinal data for a cohort born in the 1950s, it is possible to both get a more comprehensive picture of multiple deprivation in the Swedish population as well as an in-depth understanding of its causes and consequences. This project may thus contribute to the knowledge base guiding policies that aim at reducing inequalities in society.

Project members

Associate Professor Ylva B Almquist (PI)
Associate Professor Lars Brännström
Professor Bitte Modin
PhD Jenny Torssander