Shared parenting in Sweden and elsewhere – are kids different ?
Presentation to the 2nd ICSP (International Conference on Shared Parenting), Dec 2015, organised by Twohomes, Bonn, Germany
Data from: Centre for Health and Equity Studies (CHESS)
CHESS is a collaboration between Stockholm University and Karolinska Institutet (For previous publications by Dr Malin Bergström see Appendix 1).
Mental health and well-being in children in shared parenting and other living arrangements
Aim of the Elvis–project
To study the well-being, mental health and social situation in pre-schoolers, children and adolescents with shared parenting.
Definition of shared parenting and joint physical custody (JPC)
Children live alternatively and approximately equally much in each parent’s home after a separation.
In Sweden the share of residence time with each parent is 50/50.
Right: The proportion of children living with separated parents as well as being in joint care for; Australia; UK; Norway; Canada; Netherlands; Denmark; and Sweden.
- Law has been “gender neutral” since 1974
- Legal right to stay home until child is aged 18 months old
- 16 months paid parental leave
- 8 for one parent, 8 for the other
- 2-3 months excusive for each parent
- Legal right to work part-time until child age 8 years
- Sick leave until child age 12 years
- 500,000 (i.e. 25%) children have separated parents
- 14% of these children are aged 5 years
- 14% of parents in mediation
- 2 % custody disputes in court
The majority of children lives with both parents (%)
Ref: Bergström M, Modin B, Fransson E, Rajmil L, Berlin M, Gustafsson PA, Hjern A. ‘Living in two homes-a Swedish national survey of wellbeing in 12 and 15 year olds with joint physical custody.’ BMC Public Health. 2013 Sep 22;13:868.
Swedish epidemiological studies
Jablonska & Lindberg 2007:
- More 15 year olds in JPC have been drunk than in intact
- Risk behaviours (smoking, drugs, alcohol, victimisation), same in JPC and intact families
- More risk behaviours in single parent families
Carlsund et al. 2013:
- More smoking and drinking in non–intact families
- Single care but not JPC have higher risks for conduct problems and sexualised behaviour
Jablonska B & Lindberg L. ‘Risk behaviours, victimisations and mental distress among adolescents in different family structures. Soc. Psychiatry Pychiartr. Epidemiol. 2007 Aug: 24(8): 656-63. Epub 2007 May 23.
Shared parenting for the youngest – our next step
Study population 2,767 Nordic children aged between 2-7 years.
Shared parenting 3.7% sample size n=99 (22 were aged 2-3 years)
Single care 6.8%, sample n=187
Nuclear family 89.7%, sample n=2,767
No statistically significant difference in mean SDQ scores between nuclear and shared.
Single care – more problems.
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Previous publications by Dr Malin Bergström:
- Bergström, M. (2012). Barn med växelvis boende. I Berlin, M (red) Skolans betydelse för barns och ungas psykiska hälsa – en studie baserad på den nationella totalundersökningen i årskurs 6 och 9 hösten 2009. Socialstyrelsen. (In Swedish)
- Bergström, M., B. Modin, E. Fransson, L. Rajmil, M. Berlin, P. A. Gustafsson and A. Hjern (2013). “Living in two homes-a Swedish national survey of wellbeing in 12 and 15 year olds with joint physical custody.” BMC Public Health 13(1): 868.
- Bergström, M., E. Fransson, A. Hjern, L. Köhler and Wallby, T. (2014). “Mental health in Swedish children living in joint physical custody and their parents’ life satisfaction: A cross-sectional study.” Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 55(5): 433-439.
- Låftman, S. B., M. Bergström, B. Modin and V. Östberg (2014). “Joint physical custody, turning to parents for emotional support, and subjective health: A study of adolescents in Stockholm, Sweden.” Scand J Public Health.
- Fransson, E., L. Folkesson, M. Bergström, V. Östberg and P. Lindfors (2014). “Exploring salivary cortisol and recurrent pain in mid-adolescents living in two homes.” BMC Psychology 2(46).
- Bergström, M., E. Fransson, B. Modin, M. Berlin, P. A. Gustafsson and A. Hjern (2015). “Fifty moves a year: is there an association between joint physical custody and psychosomatic problems in children?” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
- Fransson, E., Turunen, J. Hjern, A., Östberg, V. and Bergström, M. (2015). “Psychological complaints among children in joint physical custody and other family types: considering parental factors.” Scand J Public Health (e-pub ahead of print).
- Fransson, E., Hjern A., Bergström M. (2015). “Barn I växelvis boende-en forskningsöversikt”. CHESS, Stockholms Universitet & Karolinska Institutet. (In Swedish)
- Bergström, M., Hjern, A., Fransson, E. (2015). Växelvis boende – ett socialt experiment eller tryggast för barnen? Länsförsäkringsbolagens Forskningsfond. (In Swedish)
- Fransson, E., Sarkadi, A., Hjern,, A., Bergström, M.(under review at Journal of child and family studies).“Why should they live more with one of us when they are children to us both?” – Parents’ experiences and practical solutions of equal joint physical custody for children 0-4 years of age.
- Fransson, E., Brolin Låftman, S., Bergström, M., Hjern, A., & Östberg, V. (Manuscript). ”Children’s living conditions in joint physical custody – the Swedish example”.
- Turunen, J., Bergström, M. & Fransson, E. (Manuscript). “Children’s self-esteem in relation to living arrangements after a parental separation.”
- Bergström M, Hjern A, Fransson E. (Manuscript) Children with two families-psychological problems in relation to living arrangements in Nordic 2-7 year olds.
- Bergström, M, Sarkadi, A, Hjern, A, Fransson, E. (Manuscript) “We also communicate through a book in the diaper bag”- separated parents´ways of arranging shared parenting for their 0-4 year olds