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Högberg, B. (2024). Academic performance, performance culture, and mental health: an exploration of non-linear relationships using Swedish PISA data. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 68(5), 919-934
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Academic performance, performance culture, and mental health: an exploration of non-linear relationships using Swedish PISA data
2024 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, ISSN 0031-3831, E-ISSN 1470-1170, Vol. 68, no 5, p. 919-934Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Higher academic performance is almost universally considered a good thing, and most quantitative studies show that performance is positively, although weakly, related to mental health. Simultaneously, however, qualitative studies consistently find that high-performing students and students attending high-performing schools report high levels of stress and other mental health problems. This study investigates a simple explanation for this puzzle – that the relationship between performance and mental health is not linear and is conditional on the performance culture of the school. Data on almost 5000 Swedish students from the Programme for International Student Assessment were used. The results show that the relationship between performance and mental health is generally not linear and that intermediate-performing boys have the best mental health, while both low- and high-performing girls and boys alike have poorer mental health. Although inconclusive, the results also suggest that low-performing students may be vulnerable to a strong school performance culture.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2024
Keywords
Achievement, educational achievement, well-being, negative affect, positive affect, performance pressure
National Category
Educational Sciences Social Psychology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-206057 (URN)10.1080/00313831.2023.2192752 (DOI)000951971200001 ()2-s2.0-85150949927 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2022-01062Swedish Research Council, 2018-03870_3
Available from: 2023-03-27 Created: 2023-03-27 Last updated: 2024-07-16Bibliographically approved
Baranowska-Rataj, A., Högberg, B. & Voßemer, J. (2024). Do consequences of parental job displacement for infant health vary across local economic contexts?. RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 10(1), 57-80
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Do consequences of parental job displacement for infant health vary across local economic contexts?
2024 (English)In: RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, ISSN 2377-8253, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 57-80Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examines the consequences of parental job displacement for birth outcomes and investigates how the effects vary with regional unemployment rates. We use Swedish register data and exploit plausibly exogenous variation caused by workplace closure to reduce the bias related to reverse causality and confounding. The differences in birth outcomes between children of parents who experienced job displacement and children of parents who were not displaced turn out to be quite modest. Even in the most disadvantaged regions, with the highest unemployment rates, parental job displacement is not harmful for health at birth. We relate these findings to the institutional setting in Sweden and discuss policy implications for the United States.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2024
Keywords
HEALFAM, job displacement, birth outcomes, crossover effects, register-based research
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology) Economics
Research subject
demography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-219735 (URN)10.7758/RSF.2024.10.1.03 (DOI)2-s2.0-85186236585 (Scopus ID)
Projects
HEALFAM: The Effects of Unemployment on Health of Family Members
Funder
EU, European Research Council, 802631
Available from: 2024-01-18 Created: 2024-01-18 Last updated: 2024-03-12Bibliographically approved
Högberg, B. (2024). Education systems and academic stress: a comparative perspective. British Educational Research Journal, 50(3), 1002-1021
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Education systems and academic stress: a comparative perspective
2024 (English)In: British Educational Research Journal, ISSN 0141-1926, E-ISSN 1469-3518, Vol. 50, no 3, p. 1002-1021Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Academic stress among adolescents can undermine academic achievement and harm mental health. Levels of academic stress vary considerably across countries and education systems, but little is known regarding the causes of this variation. In this paper, I develop a theoretical framework positing that stress will be lower in education systems that reduce the stakes attached to academic achievements, temper competition and high aspirations, and weaken the link between achievements and self-worth. I test observable implications of the framework by analysing if stress is influenced by the degree of external differentiation and vocational orientation of education systems, using harmonised survey data on pupils in more than 30 countries. The empirical analyses largely support the implications of the framework: pupils in more differentiated and vocationally orientated systems report significantly lower levels of stress, also in models adjusting for country fixed effects. Moreover, academic achievement is a less important predictor of stress in differentiated or vocational systems, possibly due to lower stakes attached to achievements. I end by proposing further predictions of the framework that can be tested in future research, and by discussing implications of the results with regard to possible trade-offs between different goals of education policy. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2024
Keywords
cross-country, education policy, international large-scale assessments, well-being
National Category
Pedagogy Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-219059 (URN)10.1002/berj.3964 (DOI)001136628300001 ()2-s2.0-85181460372 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2022-01062Swedish Research Council, 2018-03870_3Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2024-01-08 Created: 2024-01-08 Last updated: 2024-06-25Bibliographically approved
Högberg, B. & Baranowska-Rataj, A. (2024). Effects of parental job loss on psychotropic drug use in children: long-term effects, timing, and cumulative exposure. Advances in Life Course Research, 60, Article ID 100607.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of parental job loss on psychotropic drug use in children: long-term effects, timing, and cumulative exposure
2024 (English)In: Advances in Life Course Research, ISSN 1569-4909, Vol. 60, article id 100607Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Intra-family crossover effects triggered by job losses have received growing attention across scientific disciplines, but existing research has reached discrepant conclusions concerning if, and if so how, parental job losses affect child mental health. Drawing on sociological models of stress and life course epidemiology, we ask if parental job losses have long-term effects on child mental health, and if these effects are conditional on the timing of, or the cumulative exposure to, job losses. We use intergenerationally linked Swedish register data combined with entropy balance and structural nested mean models for the analyses. The data allow us to track 400,000 children over 14 years and thereby test different life-course models of cross-over effects. We identify involuntary job losses using information on workplace closures, thus reducing the risk of confounding. Results show that paternal but not maternal job loss significantly increases the risk of psychotropic drug use among children, that the average effects are modest in size (less than 4% in relative terms), that they may persist for up to five years, and that they are driven by children aged 6–10 years. Moreover, cumulative exposure to multiple job losses are more harmful than zero or one job loss.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2024
Keywords
Job loss, Mental health, Psychotropic drugs, Life course, Crossover effects, Cumulative effects, Sensitive periods
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-223022 (URN)10.1016/j.alcr.2024.100607 (DOI)38569249 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85189691888 (Scopus ID)
Funder
EU, European Research CouncilEU, Horizon Europe, 802631
Available from: 2024-04-08 Created: 2024-04-08 Last updated: 2024-04-16Bibliographically approved
Högberg, B., Baranowska-Rataj, A. & Voßemer, J. (2024). Intergenerational effects of parental unemployment on infant health: evidence from Swedish register data. European Sociological Review, 40(1), 41-54
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Intergenerational effects of parental unemployment on infant health: evidence from Swedish register data
2024 (English)In: European Sociological Review, ISSN 0266-7215, E-ISSN 1468-2672, Vol. 40, no 1, p. 41-54Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Parental unemployment can have detrimental effects on life chances of the children, and thereby reinforce inequalities across generations. Despite a substantial literature documenting that the health of infants at birth can have large and long-lasting consequences, research on intergenerational unemployment effects on infant health is scant. This study fills the gap using high-quality register data from Sweden, including 1.5 million siblings born between 1996 and 2017. To account for selection into unemployment, we employ sibling comparison designs that exploit variation in siblings’ exposure to parental unemployment, thereby accounting for stable but unmeasured confounding at the level of families. We find small and not consistently significant effects of maternal unemployment, and no effects of paternal unemployment. Our results also suggest that pre-existing social disadvantages - low education, migration background, and dual parental unemployment -are not associated with more adverse intergenerational unemployment effects. The discussion of our findings situates these results in the context of a relatively generous and egalitarian welfare state.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2024
Keywords
intergenerational, unemployment, infant health
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology) Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
demography; Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-205418 (URN)10.1093/esr/jcad005 (DOI)000933832700001 ()2-s2.0-85185821894 (Scopus ID)
Projects
HEALFAM: The effects of unemployment on health of family members
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020, 802631
Available from: 2023-03-05 Created: 2023-03-05 Last updated: 2024-03-06Bibliographically approved
Baranowska-Rataj, A., Högberg, B. & Bernardi, L. (2024). Parental unemployment and adolescents' subjective wellbeing: the moderating role of educational policies. European Sociological Review, 40(2), 276-292
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Parental unemployment and adolescents' subjective wellbeing: the moderating role of educational policies
2024 (English)In: European Sociological Review, ISSN 0266-7215, E-ISSN 1468-2672, Vol. 40, no 2, p. 276-292Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Crossover effects of parental unemployment on subjective wellbeing of children attract growing attention in research on social inequalities. Recent economic crises call for identifying policies that mitigate the adverse effects of unemployment. Building on the theoretical insights from Capability Approach, we examine the relationship between parental unemployment and subjective wellbeing of adolescents across countries with different educational policies. We use multilevel modelling and data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). We combine microdata on 45,992 adolescents in 32 countries with macro-level indicators of educational policies. We find that parental unemployment is associated with lower subjective wellbeing among adolescents, but the magnitude of this association varies depending on access to financial support for participation in education. Adolescents who receive educational allowances and who live in countries with broader access to such support are less harmed by parental unemployment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2024
Keywords
HEALFAM
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-213100 (URN)10.1093/esr/jcad038 (DOI)001016128800001 ()2-s2.0-85189482611 (Scopus ID)
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020, 802631Swedish Research Council, 2018-03870_3
Note

First published online: 29 June 2023

Available from: 2023-08-21 Created: 2023-08-21 Last updated: 2024-04-15Bibliographically approved
Högberg, B. & Strandh, M. (2024). Temporal trends and inequalities in school-related stress in three cohorts in compulsory school in Sweden. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Temporal trends and inequalities in school-related stress in three cohorts in compulsory school in Sweden
2024 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, ISSN 0031-3831, E-ISSN 1470-1170Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

School stress is widespread among students’ worldwide, impacting academic success and mental health. Most research focuses on average stress levels but lacks insights into temporal trends and inequalities. Using repeated longitudinal survey data on 33,000 students in Swedish compulsory school from the Evaluation Through Follow-up (ETF) study, we investigate temporal trends in stress across three cohorts of students (born 1992, 1998, and 2004), with a focus on inequalities by school year, sex, socio-economic status, migration background, school grades, and school difficulties. The results show that (1) stress increased more in year 6 than in year 9 in recent cohorts; (2) stress increased more for girls than for boys; and (3) low school grades and school difficulties have become stronger risk factors for stress. We discuss the findings in the context of recent educational reforms and broader societal trends concerning the role of education for young people’s prospects in life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2024
Keywords
Mental health, well-being, academic stress, disparities, secular trends, performance, special education needs
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-222542 (URN)10.1080/00313831.2024.2330932 (DOI)001189424100001 ()2-s2.0-85188624830 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2022-01062
Available from: 2024-03-20 Created: 2024-03-20 Last updated: 2024-06-05
Cashman, M. R., Strandh, M. & Högberg, B. (2023). Does fear-of-failure mediate the relationship between educational expectations and stress-related complaints among Swedish adolescents?: A structural equation modelling approach. European Journal of Public Health, 34(1), 101-106
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Does fear-of-failure mediate the relationship between educational expectations and stress-related complaints among Swedish adolescents?: A structural equation modelling approach
2023 (English)In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 34, no 1, p. 101-106Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: This study investigated the possible mediating role of fear-of-failure between educational expectations and adolescent stress-related complaints with a specific focus on gender differences among Swedishadolescents, and related these findings more broadly to school-related demands and stress-related complaints.

Methods: A total of N¼ 5504 Swedish adolescents (Mage¼ 15 years, SD ¼ 0.0 years, 50.2% girls) were drawn from the2018 Swedish Programme for International Student Assessment study for our investigation. We used structural equation models to explore if fear-of-failure mediates the relationship between educational expectations and negativeaffect, with a specific focus on gender differences. Educational expectations were utilized in the measurement model.Fear-of-failure was constructed as a latent mediating variable. Negative affect was constructed as a latent variableand utilized as an outcome variable. We subsequently undertook bootstrapping tests of indirect effects and nonlinear comparisons of indirect effects to assess the reliability of the results.

Results: Fear-of-failure partially mediatedthe association between educational expectations and negative affect (39%). Our gender-specific structural equation model demonstrated that this relationship was more pronounced for girls, suggesting girls are more vulnerable to negative affect as a result of experiencing higher levels of fear of failing.

Conclusions: The findingssuggest that fear-of-failure partially explains the association between educational expectations and negativeaffect and that this association is more pronounced for girls. This study provides insights into better understanding adolescent stress-related complaints, and the differential role fear of failing has in regards to gender.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2023
National Category
Social Work Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public health; Psychology; Sociology; Social Medicine; educational work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-216812 (URN)10.1093/eurpub/ckad200 (DOI)001102263800001 ()37968234 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85183961814 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2018-03870_3Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2022-01062
Available from: 2023-11-16 Created: 2023-11-16 Last updated: 2024-03-06Bibliographically approved
Baranowska-Rataj, A. & Högberg, B. (2023). Effects of parental job loss on children’s mental health: the role of latency, timing and cumulative effects. Umeå: Umeå Universitet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of parental job loss on children’s mental health: the role of latency, timing and cumulative effects
2023 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Crossover effects of critical life events within families have received growing attention in life-courseresearch. A parent losing a job is among the most distressing events that can befall a family, butexisting research has reached discrepant conclusions concerning if, and if so how, this affects childmental health. Drawing on insights from models of intra-family influence and life courseepidemiological models, we ask if parental job loss have latent or long-term effects on child mentalhealth, if the effects are conditional on the timing of the job loss, and if repeated job losses havecumulative effects.We use intergenerationally linked Swedish register data combined with entropy balance andstructural nested mean models for the analyses. The data allow us to track 400,000 children over 14years and thereby test different life-course models of crossover effects. We identify involuntary joblosses using information on workplace closures, thus reducing the risk of confounding.Results show that paternal but not maternal job loss significantly increases the risk of mental healthproblems among children, that the average effects are modest in size (less than 4% in relativeterms), that they materialize only after some years, and that they are driven by children aged 6-10years. Moreover, we find evidence of cumulative effects, but also of declining marginal harm ofadditional job losses over the life course.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet, 2023. p. 52
Series
CEDAR Working Papers ; 29
Keywords
job loss, mental health, life course, crossover effects, cumulative effects, sensitive periods
National Category
Social Work Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
demography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-214431 (URN)
Projects
HEALFAMjob loss; mental health; life course; crossover effects; cumulative effects; sensitive periods
Funder
EU, European Research Council, 802631
Available from: 2023-09-14 Created: 2023-09-14 Last updated: 2023-09-14Bibliographically approved
Högberg, B. & Lindgren, J. (2023). From a crisis of results to a crisis of wellbeing: education reform and the declining sense of school belonging in Sweden. Comparative Education, 59(1), 18-37
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From a crisis of results to a crisis of wellbeing: education reform and the declining sense of school belonging in Sweden
2023 (English)In: Comparative Education, ISSN 0305-0068, E-ISSN 1360-0486, Vol. 59, no 1, p. 18-37Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In response to declining results in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) surveys, the then governing Swedish coalition in 2010–2014 introduced earlier grading, more national testing and a new standards-based curriculum. These reforms coincided with a greater emphasis on inclusive’ education understood in the ‘narrow’ sense of placement in mainstream schools. The combination of these two sets of reforms presents an interesting national case where traditional conservative demands for a core curriculum, testing and accountability were combined with calls to increase educational opportunity.

Using PISA data, we show that the reforms coincided with a decline in the sense of school belonging among pupils that was exceptional compared to other high-income countries, and especially among marginalised pupils. The study adds to previous studies on policy effects on wellbeing, concluding that the Swedish compulsory school went from undergoing a mediatised results crisis to a wellbeing crisis among pupils.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2023
Keywords
Education reform, school belonging, health, quantitative, inclusive education
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-200796 (URN)10.1080/03050068.2022.2140894 (DOI)000878059400001 ()2-s2.0-85141399903 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2018-03870_3
Available from: 2022-11-07 Created: 2022-11-07 Last updated: 2023-03-24Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-0199-0435

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