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Research projects

Abuse and neglect in childhood - prevalence, long-term consequences and resilience factors

About this project

Project information

Project status




Research subject

Childhood abuse, including sexual and physical abuse, emotional and physical neglect have wide-ranging health and social consequences throughout the life course. Different aspects of childhood abuse have been widely investigated but there are staggering knowledge gaps that have implications for clinical and public health  decisions.

This project will fill these knowledge gaps by performing four individual sub-studies, using data from the longitudinal study Women and alcohol in Gothenburg covering a period of 25 years, and one supplementary qualitative study about women’s experiences of childhood abuse and potential resilience factors. There is a particular need for studies focusing on emotional neglect since these have reached much less research attention even though considered at least as damaging as other types of abuse. Studies indicate that child abuse increase the risk of future marginalization with large effect on individuals, families and societies. The project offers a unique opportunity to thoroughly study the problems thanks to its comprehensive data on women´s conditions, health and wellbeing. Knowledge about the proportion of the problems and their consequences as well as resilience factors are crucial for making policy regarding family issues and child welfare. The project has also high clinical relevance for health professionals working with women’s sexual and mental health in order to support and alter the negative effects.

Project leader: Hildur Gunnarsdottir, University of Gothenburg.


Research funding bodies

  • The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE)