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Exposure to out-of-home care in childhood and adult all-cause mortality: A life-course perspective
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: The experience of childhood out-of-home care (OHC) has been linked to

adverse health outcomes in young adulthood. However, less is known about the long-term

influence of OHC on alumni’s mortality risk, or about the mechanisms from a life-course


Objectives: This study aimed to examine the gender-specific association between exposure to

OHC in childhood and all-cause mortality in adulthood, while taking into account different

placement characteristics. Additionally, mechanisms based on different life-course models

were analysed.

Methods: A longitudinal study of the 1953 Stockholm birth cohort (n=14,294). Sex-stratified

Cox regression analyses were used to examine all-cause mortality during 1981 to 2009.

Results: Male and female OHC alumni had around three times higher risk of all-cause

mortality in adulthood, compared to the majority population. Mortality risks were particularly

pronounced among those who were placed during adolescence because of behavioural

problems, who experienced both family foster care and residential care, and who spend more

than one year in care. The associations were reduced but remained significant after

adjustments for life-course socioeconomic factors.

Conclusions: Adults with OHC experience constitute a high-risk group for earlier death. In

terms of being a social intervention, OHC does not seem to improve this vulnerable group’s

life chances.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
all-cause mortality; life-course; out-of-home care; placement characteristics; socioeconomic
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-131231OAI: diva2:936738
Available from: 2016-06-15 Created: 2016-06-14 Last updated: 2016-06-15Bibliographically approved

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