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  • 1. Anna, Baranowska-Rataj
    et al.
    Högberg, Björn
    Spillover effects of social policies2018Report (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Assarsson, Rebecka
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Petersen, Solveig
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Högberg, Björn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Strandh, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Center for Research on Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden.
    Johansson, Klara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Gender inequality and adolescent suicide ideation across Africa, Asia, the South Pacific and Latin America: a cross-sectional study based on the Global School Health Survey (GSHS)2019In: Global Health Action, ISSN 1654-9716, E-ISSN 1654-9880, Vol. 11, article id 1663619Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Suicide ideation is a health issue affecting adolescents worldwide. There are significant variations in suicide ideation between countries and genders, which have not been fully explained. Research is especially lacking in countries outside Europe and North America. Gender equality has been shown to matter in other aspects of adolescent mental health, such as life satisfaction, but has not been researched in relation to suicide ideation at national level.

    Objective: To investigate how national gender inequality is related to self-reported suicide ideation among adolescents, and whether this association differs between boys and girls.

    Methods: This is a cross-national, cross-sectional study using individual survey data from the Global School-based Student Health Survey, a survey in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the South Pacific, developed and supported by among others the WHO and the CDC; connecting this to national data: the gender inequality index from the UNDP; controlling for GDP per capita and secondary school enrolment. The data was analysed using a multilevel logistic regression method and included 149,306 students from 37 countries.

    Results: Higher national gender inequality, as measured by the gender inequality index, was significantly associated with a higher likelihood of suicide ideation in both girls and boys (odds ratio: 1.38 p-value: 0.015), but for girls and both sexes this was only after adjusting for selection bias due to secondary school enrolment (as well as GDP/capita). Interaction models showed that this association was stronger in boys than in girls.

    Conclusions: National gender inequality seems to be associated with higher levels of suicide ideation among adolescents in mainly low- and middle-income countries, especially among boys.

  • 3.
    Baranowska-Rataj, Anna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Högberg, Björn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Spillover effects of social policies: Can the state support for the unemployed affect employees’ health and wellbeing?2018Report (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Högberg, Björn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Educational policies and social inequality in well-being among young adults2019In: British Journal of Sociology of Education, ISSN 0142-5692, E-ISSN 1465-3346, Vol. 40, no 5, p. 664-681Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Inequalities in health and well-being are important contemporary public health issues. This article is the first to investigate the institutional causes of inequality in well-being among youth in a comparative perspective. Data from the European Social Survey are used to analyse how educational policies moderate the association between social background and well-being. Multilevel techniques are used to investigate cross-level interactions between social background and educational policies on life satisfaction. Four indicators of inclusive educational policies are analysed: age of tracking, costs of education, enrolment rates, and second-chance opportunities in the educational system. The results show that educational policies indeed moderate the association between social background and well-being: inequalities as measured by the father’s social class are smaller in countries where educational policies are more inclusive. Moreover, the analysis shows that the moderating impact of education policies is mediated by individual-level education, activity status, and income.

  • 5.
    Högberg, Björn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Gender and health among older people: What is the role of social policies?2018In: International Journal of Social Welfare, ISSN 1369-6866, E-ISSN 1468-2397, Vol. 27, no 3, p. 236-247Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The study investigated how social policies moderate the association between gender and health among older people across European countries. The study is the first to take a comprehensive view on the role of social policies in connection with gender inequality in health among older Europeans. The association between gender and poor self-rated health and limiting long-standing illness was investigated in a multilevel framework. Cross-level interaction effects showed that more generous minimum pensions, higher spending on eldercare and a higher degree of eldercare formalisation are associated with relatively better health among women, while more generous standard pensions are associated with relatively better health among men. The conclusion is that policies directed towards older people are not gender neutral; rather they are likely to affect men and women differently. By shaping the distribution of resources as well as of unpaid work, social policies can contribute to either strengthening or weakening the link between gender and health.

  • 6.
    Högberg, Björn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Transitions from Unemployment to Education in Europe: The Role of Educational Policies2019In: Journal of Social Policy, ISSN 0047-2794, E-ISSN 1469-7823Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study is to investigate cross-country variability in transition rates from unemployment to further education among young adults, as well as how barriers in educational systems affect these transition rates. Previous research on adult further education has largely neglected the role of policies, and has not taken unemployed people into account.

    Two dimensions of educational policies are investigated. (1) Barriers facing prospective students with regard to previous academic achievements (e.g. second chance opportunities); and (2) financial barriers (e.g. high costs). It is hypothesized that low barriers are associated with higher transition rates into education, especially for unemployed young adults with lower levels of education.

    The aim is approached by investigating how differences in transition rates across countries are linked to the design of educational policies. Cross-country standardised individual-level panel data from 29 European countries are taken from EU-SILC. Multilevel multinomial models are fitted.

    Results show that lower barriers in the education system are associated with higher probabilities that unemployed young adults leave unemployment to re-enter further education, although only partial support is found for the hypothesis that unemployed young adults with lower levels of education gain relatively more from low barriers. Low barriers are sometimes associated with lower transition rates into employment.

  • 7.
    Högberg, Björn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Vulnerability and inequalities in health and wellbeing: the role of social policy2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this thesis is to investigate the moderating role of social policies for the association between vulnerable social positions and health and wellbeing. Vulnerable social positions are identified in relation to age-related transition points in to or out of the labour market. Specifically, the focal groups are young adults, on the route to establish themselves in the labour market, and older persons, having just left the labour market, and inequalities by labour market status, class, or gender within these age groups. The thesis moreover aims to contribute to the theoretical development of the comparative health literature, by developing and implementing a theoretical framework for analyzing the role of social policy for the health and wellbeing of vulnerable groups.

    Data and methods: The aim is addressed through a cross-country comparative approach, by fitting multilevel regression models on harmonized individual level data from the European Social Survey. Specifically, cross-level interactions between social position and social policies are estimated, with self-reported general health and psychological wellbeing as outcomes. The focal social policies are pension systems and elderly care policies, as well as education policies.

    Results and conclusions: Overall, the empirical results showed that public investment in, and public organization of, elderly care was associated with smaller health inequalities by both social class and gender, and that redistributive minimum pensions were associated with smaller inequalities by social class, while more status-maintaining standard pensions were associated with larger gender-based inequalities. Regarding the role of education policies, the analyses showed that inclusive policies – specifically low degree of tracking, generous second chance opportunities, low out-of-pocket costs for, and a larger supply of, education – were associated with smaller inequalities by both social background and employment status. The overall conclusion of the thesis is that redistributive social policies, which distribute essential resources to vulnerable groups, have the potential to reduce inequalities in health and wellbeing between vulnerable and more advantaged groups.

  • 8.
    Högberg, Björn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. 1988.
    Athanasiades, Christina
    Gebel, Michael
    Voßemer, Jonas
    Täht, Kadri
    Strandh, Mattias
    Nizalova, Olena
    -, -
    Report on the impact of the institutional setting and policies on the well-being and health of youth in insecure labour market positions in EU-28 & UkraineManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Högberg, Björn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Joakim, Lindgren
    Johansson, Klara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Strandh, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Solveig, Petersen
    Consequences of school grading systems on adolescent health: evidence from a Swedish school reform2019In: Journal of education policy, ISSN 0268-0939, E-ISSN 1464-5106Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Education reforms that entail increased emphasis on high-stakes testing, assessment and grading have spread across education systems in recent decades. Critics have argued that these policies could have consequences for stress, identity, self-esteem and the overall health of pupils. However, these potentially negative consequences have rarely been investigated in a systematic and rigorous way. In this study we use a major education reform in Sweden, which introduced grades and increased the use of testing for pupils in the 6th and 7th school year (aged 12 to 13 years), to study the consequences of grading and assessment for health outcomes. Using data from the Health Behaviours of School-Aged Children Survey, we find that the reform increased school-related stress and reduced the academic self-esteem of pupils in the 7th school year. This, in turn, had an indirect effect on psychosomatic symptoms and life satisfaction for these pupils. Moreover, the negative effects of the reform were generally stronger for girls, thereby widening the already troubling gender differences in health. We conclude that accountability reforms aimed at increased use of testing, assessment and grading can potentially have negative side effects on pupils’ health.

  • 10.
    Högberg, Björn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. 1988.
    Strandh, Mattias
    Results from EU-SILC Longitudinal Analysis: The Relationship between Labour Law, Education Systems and the Transition Probability from Temporary Employment to Permanent Employment among YouthManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 11.
    Högberg, Björn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Strandh, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Baranowska-Rataj, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR).
    Transitions from temporary employment to permanent employment among young adults: The role of labour law and education systems2019In: Journal of Sociology, ISSN 0004-8690Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Temporary work is common across Europe, especially among young people. Whether temporary employment is a transitory stage on the road to standard employment, and whether this varies depending on institutional contexts, is controversial. This article investigates variability in transition rates from temporary to permanent employment across Europe, and how this is related to employment protection legislation (EPL) and the vocational specificity of education systems. We utilize harmonized panel data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions, covering 18 European countries and including 34,088 temporary workers aged 18–30. The results show that stricter EPL is associated with lower rates of transitions to permanent employment, while partial deregulation, with strict EPL for permanent contracts but weaker EPL for temporary contracts, is associated with higher transition rates. Vocationally specific education systems have higher transition rates, on average. Moreover, the role of EPL is conditional on the degree of vocational specificity.

  • 12.
    Högberg, Björn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Strandh, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Karlstad University, Sweden.
    Baranowska-Rataj, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Johansson Sevä, Ingemar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Ageing, health inequalities and the welfare state: a multilevel analysis2018In: Journal of European Social Policy, ISSN 0958-9287, E-ISSN 1461-7269, Vol. 28, no 4, p. 311-325Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Comparative studies of health inequalities have largely neglected age and ageing aspects, while ageing research has often paid little attention to questions of social inequalities. This article investigates cross-country differences in gradients in self-rated health and limiting long-standing illness (LLSI) in middle-aged and in older people (aged 50–64 and 65–80 years) linked to social class, and degrees to which the social health gradients are associated with minimum pension levels and expenditure on elderly care. For these purposes, data from the European Social Survey (2002–2010) are analysed using multilevel regression techniques. We find significant cross-level interaction effects between class and welfare policies: higher expenditure on elderly care and particularly more generous minimum pensions are associated with smaller health inequalities in the older age group (65–80 years). It is concluded that welfare policies moderate the association between social class and health, highlighting the importance of welfare state efforts for older persons, who are strongly reliant on the welfare state and welfare state arrangements such as pensions and care policies.

  • 13.
    Högberg, Björn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Strandh, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Petersen, Solveig
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Johansson, Klara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Education system stratification and health complaints among school-aged children2019In: Social Science and Medicine, ISSN 0277-9536, E-ISSN 1873-5347, Vol. 220, p. 159-166Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research shows that the school environment is an important social determinant of health among children and adolescents. However, we know virtually nothing of the health consequences of national education systems and policies, for example the stratification of pupils by academic ability. This study aimed to investigate if education system stratification is related to self-reported psychological and somatic health complaints of pupils aged 11 to 15, and social inequalities in such health complaints.

    Survey data from the Health Behaviors of School-aged Children (HBSC) survey, covering 33 countries and more than 180 000 pupils in primary and lower secondary school, were used. Multilevel models showed that education system stratification was not associated with the average levels of health complaints of pupils, but cross-level interaction effects showed that stratification moderated the relationship between social background and health complaints, such that inequalities in health complaints were smaller in countries with more stratified systems. Moreover, this moderating effect was mediated by the school learning environmentand social relations in school. Specifically, social inequalities in school pressure, academic self-concept, school climate, and school satisfaction were smaller in more stratified education systems, which in turn accounted for smaller inequalities in health complaints in these countries.

  • 14.
    Högberg, Björn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Vossemer, Jonas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. University of Bamberg, Germany.
    Gebel, Michael
    Strandh, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Unemployment, well-being, and the moderating role of education policies: A multilevel study2019In: International Journal of Comparative Sociology, ISSN 0020-7152, E-ISSN 1745-2554, Vol. 60, no 4, p. 269-291Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article aims to investigate if education policies moderate the association between unemployment and well-being among young adults. Based on the capability approach, we argue that education policies mitigate the negative effects of unemployment by providing opportunities for education and thus ways to exit unemployment. Education policies can strengthen capabilities, enhance the control that individuals have over their situation, and thereby reduce the stress associated with unemployment. We estimated cross-level interactions between education policies and unemployment status using multilevel methods and data from the European Social Survey. Results showed that policies that increase educational opportunities—such as generous second chance opportunities—were associated with smaller negative effects of unemployment on well-being and that this moderating impact was stronger for young adults with low education. Further analyses show that education policies are also associated with perceived capabilities among unemployed, supporting the proposed mechanism.

  • 15.
    Strandh, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Högberg, Björn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Results from EU-SILC Longitudinal Analysis: The Relationship between Labour Law, Education Systems and the Transition Probability from Temporary Employment to Permanent Employment among Youth2017Report (Other academic)
  • 16.
    Vossemer, Jonas
    et al.
    Department of Sociology, University of Bamberg, Bamberg, Germany.
    Gebel, Michael
    Department of Sociology, University of Bamberg, Bamberg, Germany.
    Täht, Kadri
    Institute of International Social Studies, Tallinn, Estonia.
    Unt, Marge
    Institute of International Social Studies, Tallinn, Estonia.
    Högberg, Björn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Strandh, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    The effects of unemployment and insecure jobs on well-being and health: the moderating role of labor market policies2018In: Social Indicators Research, ISSN 0303-8300, E-ISSN 1573-0921, Vol. 138, no 3, p. 1229-1257Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Labor market insecurities have been growing in Europe and previous research has illustrated that unemployment and insecure jobs negatively affect individuals’ well-being and health. Although empirical evidence suggests that these effects vary substantially across different welfare states, we still know little about the moderating role of specific labor market policies. Taking a cross-national comparative perspective, this article investigates how passive and active labor market policies (PLMP, ALMP) as well as employment protection legislation (EPL) shape the experience of unemployment and insecure jobs. We complement micro data of round 1–6 (2002–2012) of the European Social Survey with time-varying macro indicators of PLMP, ALMP, and EPL. The data include about 89,000 individuals nested in 112 country-rounds and 26 countries respectively. We apply three-level random intercept models as well as pooled linear regression models including country fixed effects. The results show that labor market policies are important in shaping the experience of unemployment, but are less relevant for workers in insecure jobs. Specifically, higher unemployment benefit generosity buffers the negative effects of unemployment on well-being but not health. Moreover, we discuss different interpretations for the finding that higher ALMP expenditures are associated with more negative effects of unemployment on well-being and health. With respect to EPL it is found that in countries with high insider protection, deregulating the restrictions on the use of temporary employment increases the negative effects of unemployment on well-being and health.

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