Psychosocial risk factors in families with infants: a municipality survey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Difficulties in a family's psychosocial situation during the period of infancy are associated with mental problems and behavioural disorders in children. The aim of the study was to identify the extent and type of psychosocial factors in families with infants, including social aspects, mental problems and substance abuse as well as circumstances surrounding the birth. All infants born between March 1st 2000 and August 31st 2001 whose parents had adequate knowledge of the Swedish language (N=576) were included. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire. Psychosocial risk factors were found in the families of 24% of infants whose mothers were of Swedish origin and in the families of 58% of infants whose mothers were of foreign origin. The most common risk factors were: unemployment, premature birth, and one or both parents exhibiting signs of great worry and anxiety in relation to their child and parenthood. The study also shows that mental problems and substance abuse were only present in a very small number of parents. Furthermore, the study indicates the need to review the strategies used within child health care to identify families at risk of developing mental problems and behavioural disorders as a result of dysfunctionality in their psychosocial situation during their child's infancy. It is important to study the professional network surrounding families in more detail, both in order to detect psychosocial risk factors and to develop and evaluate interventions.


  • Eva Jönsson
  • Bengt Fridlund
  • Bertil Marklund
  • Berit Nordström
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nursing


  • infant, parenthood, stress., risk factors, mental problems, Behavioural difficulties
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9
JournalVård i Norden
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Nursing (Closed 2012) (013065000)