I am a social worker, professor in Social Work and Associate professor in Public Health.
I am a social worker with a MA in social work. In 2010, I took my PhD in public health science with a thesis entitled “Social capital, health and community action – implications for health promotion”. In 2015 I became associate professor in public health, and since 2020 I am professor in social work. My research thus spans over areas of relevance for both public health science and social work.
My main interest is in preventive social work, community work and broad structural and social interventions. My research is therefore centres around issues of social sustainability, social inequality in health and the importance of social networks, social capital and the living environment for health, well-being and access to opportunities and resources. In several previous and ongoing studies, and in close collaboration with Umeå municipality and the Commission for a socially sustainable Umeå, I have investigated how place-specific social capital can be measured, how it is experienced and what it means for people's health and well-being, as well as how it can be used to promote socially sustainable development. I am currently leading a project where we investigate the importance of social capital during the Covid-19 pandemic and have recently finalized a project on how social capital can be used as a resource in the planning and design of socially sustainable and health-promoting neighbourhoods. In collaboration with researchers at Halmstad University, I participate in a project about the significance of young people's social capital in relation to mental health and help-seeking behaviour. I am also involved in research on the importance of social networks and the social environment for healthy lifestyles, as well as research on the use of coercive measures against asylum-seeking children. During the years 2018–2020, I led a scientific investigation of police work in so-called vulnerable areas in the Stockholm region. My previous research has also involved studies on living conditions for unaccompanied refugee children, including a study on the placement of unaccompanied youth at SiS special youth homes.
My research is characterized by interdisciplinary collaboration and the use of mixed methods. Methodologically, I have an expertise in qualitative methods and qualitative data analysis using grounded theory. Over the years, I have had several international research collaborations with researchers in Tanzania, Ukraine, Indonesia, Vietnam and most recently Cambodia.