SEK 11 million for research in health and welfare

Four research teams at LiU have been awarded a total of SEK 11 million from the FORTE research council. These include a team working on a project looking at what mental ill-health means to young people, and another analysing how easy people can obtain assisted conception.

Anette Wickström, associate professor at the Department of Thematic Studies, Child Studies, and her research group have been awarded SEK 3.2 million for the project “‘Feeling low’ and ‘Have difficulties sleeping’”. The study will examine the significance of mental health and ill-health for young people. It deals with how young people interpret questionnaires designed to measure mental health. What do terms such as ‘feeling low’, ‘anxiety’ and ‘depressive symptoms’ mean to them? What do they believe to be important for their mental health? Are there differences between how boys and girls interpret the questionnaires and experience mental health? Knowledge from the project will be important for professionals when interpreting and managing mental ill-health among young people.

Judith Lind, senior lecturer at the Department of Thematic Studies, Child Studies, and her co-applicants have been awarded SEK 3 million for the project “The best interests of the child, the reproductive rights of adults and the responsibilities of the welfare state”. The project will deal with how access to assisted conception is regulated, and will question how, for whom and on what grounds such regulation takes place. It will identify the arguments that are used to justify regulation, and describe how the potential of people as parents is assessed. The project is a collaboration between researchers within the social sciences, child and parent research, and researchers within reproductive medicine, and will be carried out in collaboration with researchers from Uppsala University.

Mikael Heimann, professor in psychology, and his research group have been awarded SEK 3 million for the project “Growing up with digital media: Family media practices and socio-cognitive development in children 9 to 20 months old”. The study will investigate the degree to which the use of media by children and parents influences early development in the children. One main focus is the influence of digital media on small children in the transition from the pre-language period to entry into the world of language at the age of 20 months. The project is a collaboration with Georgetown University in the US.

Christophe Foultier, sociologist at Remeso (The Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society), has been awarded SEK 1.6 million for the project “Urban Citizenship, Participation and Securitization. The Case of the Multiethnic Areas of France and Sweden”. He is to investigate local development strategies in the urban multiethnic regions of Europe, and analyse models for participation and preventative measures, as a counterweight to social tension and rioting. On the one hand, urban strategies recommend several methods that are to promote engagement from the residents, while on the other hand the preventative measures may act as repressive safety mechanisms. This may lead to the suspicion among the residents against the very urban programmes that are to promote their engagement.

More than 1,100 applications were submitted to FORTE – the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare. Eighty-seven of these were successful.