Stockholm University
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Social Gradients in Subjective Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Sweden

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posted on 2024-02-05, 10:24 authored by Ida JohanssonIda Johansson

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted governments around the globe to employ various measures, such as social distancing and quarantine, to prevent its spread. The pandemic contributed to drastic changes in everyday life, through economic shocks, fear of the virus, morbidity, and mortality. It was quickly suspected that stress, fear, and loneliness resulting from these factors, would have a negative impact on mental health. While previous research suggests an increase of clinical mental morbidity in Sweden during the pandemic, its impact on subjective well-being remains unexplored. The aim of this study is to broaden the understanding of public health during the pandemic by considering a self-reported measure of well-being. Using data from the latest Swedish Generations and Gender Survey (2021), this study sets out to answer two research questions. First, how are demographic characteristics associated with worsened subjective well-being? Secondly, given that foreign-born individuals were disproportionately affected by a range of COVID-19 related negative outcomes, this thesis asks whether foreign-born individuals were particularly affected by worsened subjective well-being. The questions are analysed through descriptive statistics and stepwise modeling using Linear Probability Models. Findings suggest that younger age and being female is associated with negative changes in subjective well-being, net of resources in terms of education, income and activity status, and family status. Foreign-born individuals were indeed particularly affected by worsened subjective well-being. This was partly mediated through their higher propensity of unemployment and on average lower income. By using a nationally representative sample and timely data, this thesis contributes to the understanding of COVID-19 related effects in Sweden. Furthermore, it sheds lights on the experiences of foreign-born individuals, a previously understudied group within the well-being literature.




Original title

Social Gradients in Subjective Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Sweden

Original language

  • English

Publication date



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