Umeå University's logo

Change search
ExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link


Project type/Form of grant
Project grant
Title [sv]
Hur påverkas skolresultat av barns ohälsa? Betydelsen av hälsa, familjeförhållanden och grannskap för betyg i nionde klass och för gymnasiestudier.
Title [en]
How are school achievements influenced by poor childhood health? The importance of poor health, family living conditions, schools and neighborhoods for grades and the risk of dropouts.
Abstract [sv]
Declining school performance, as reported by PISA, has raised concerns about results in general and about gaps between groups of children and schools in particular. Compulsory school is often seen as vital to reduce inequality between children, and school performance has in turn been shown central for adult outcomes. Health is also important for shaping life outcomes, however research on the relationship between health and school performance is sparse. This project aims at filling this gap, by answering three questions: 1) How does poor health during childhood influence school achievements? 2) How is the relationship between poor health and school achievements affected by family resources and relations? 3) How is the relationship between poor health and school achievements affected by contextual characteristics of schools, neighborhood and municipalities? We will study all children born in Sweden in 1994 and 1991, utilizing data from Umeå SIMSAM Lab (individual register data on e.g. grades year 9 and upper secondary education; education attainment; hospitalization; prescribed drug use). We can connect children to family members (e.g. parental education, marital status) to better understand the mitigating or amplifying function of families. The socioeconomic composition of neighborhood and school are also considered. The results will increase knowledge essential for initiatives aimed at improving all children?s right to successful schooling.
Publications (2 of 2) Show all publications
Bortes, C., Nilsson, K. & Strandh, M. (2022). Associations between children’s diagnosed mental disorders and educational achievements in Sweden. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 50(8), 1140-1147
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Associations between children’s diagnosed mental disorders and educational achievements in Sweden
2022 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 50, no 8, p. 1140-1147Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims: To examine associations between multiple clinically diagnosed mental disorders among children in Sweden and educational achievements at the end of ninth grade.

Methods: Data from Swedish administrative registers were utilised. Diagnoses of specific mental disorders (unipolar depression, mood, anxiety, obsessive compulsive, eating, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) were used as exposure variables. Educational achievements were assessed in terms of teacher-assigned school grades and eligibility for upper secondary education. The sample comprised 266,664 individuals (49% females) born in 2000 to 2002 who were alive and resident in Sweden in 2017. Exposed and unexposed individuals were compared in terms of outcome variables by fitting linear and logistic regression models.

Results: The results revealed negative associations between all the examined mental disorders and educational achievements, except for positive associations between eating disorders and grades among female students. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was the most strongly associated disorder in terms of non-successful completion of compulsory education, among both male and female students (odds ratio (OR): 3.58 (95% confidence interval (CI), 3.42 to 3.74) and 4.31 (95% CI, 4.07 to 4.57), respectively). This was followed by unipolar depression among males (OR: 2.92 (95% CI, 2.60 to 3.28)) and anxiety disorder among females (OR: 2.68 (95% CI, 2.49 to 2.88)). Obsessive compulsive disorder had the weakest negative association with educational achievements among both males (OR: 1.48 (95% CI, 1.01 to 2.17)) and females (OR: 1.38 (95% CI, 1.11 to 1.72)).

Conclusions: Specific diagnosed mental disorders have varying, largely disadvantageous, associations with educational achievements of students in Sweden that differ between males and females.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2022
Mental disorders, educational achievement, register data, Sweden, sex differences
National Category
Social Work
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-192125 (URN)10.1177/14034948221089056 (DOI)000783876500001 ()35416111 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85129236583 (Scopus ID)
Swedish Research CouncilRiksbankens Jubileumsfond

Originally included in thesis in manuscript form. 

Available from: 2022-02-02 Created: 2022-02-02 Last updated: 2023-03-23Bibliographically approved
Bortes, C., Landstedt, E. & Strandh, M. (2021). Psychotropic medication use and academic performance in adolescence: A cross-lagged path analysis. Journal of Adolescence, 91, 25-34
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Psychotropic medication use and academic performance in adolescence: A cross-lagged path analysis
2021 (English)In: Journal of Adolescence, ISSN 0140-1971, E-ISSN 1095-9254, Vol. 91, p. 25-34Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: The study investigated the directionality of associations between mental health problems and school grades across two timepoints (T1 and T2) during mid to late adolescence; inschool year 9 (ages 15–16) and school year 12 (ages 17–18). The study also investigated variation in the associations as a function of gender and across socioeconomic groups.

Methods: Longitudinal data from several Swedish administrative registers were utilised. Information on prescribed psychotropic drugs was used as a proxy for mental health problems, and teacher-assigned school grades were used to measure academic performance. The study sample comprised 85 186 individuals (50.7% girls) born in 1991 who were alive and resident in Sweden in 2010. Directions of associations were analysed by estimating a series of cross-lagged path models.

Results: The model with the best fit to data showed that higher school grades at T1 were associated with relatively lower rates of mental health problems by T2, for both boys and girls, mainlyi n socioeconomic groups with the highest educated parents. This association was equal in size across all of the socioeconomic groups that were explored.

Conclusions: Performing well in school is equally important for boys’ and girls’ subsequent mental health, but only among adolescents in socioeconomic groups with the highest educated parents. The results underscore the importance of promoting opportunities for youth to do as well as theycan in school.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2021
Mental health, Academic performance, Cross-lagged panel analysis, Bidirectional associations, Gender differences, Socioeconomic background
National Category
Social Work
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-186299 (URN)10.1016/j.adolescence.2021.07.003 (DOI)000685543000003 ()34298339 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85110755387 (Scopus ID)
Swedish Research Council, 2014-1992Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, 2014.0154
Available from: 2021-07-21 Created: 2021-07-21 Last updated: 2023-09-05Bibliographically approved
Principal InvestigatorStrandh, Mattias
Coordinating organisation
Umeå University
2015-01-01 - 2017-12-31
National Category
PedagogySociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
DiVA, id: project:1372Project, id: 2014-01992_VR