University of Oulu

Hiilamo A, Keski-Säntti M, Räsänen S, et alContribution of parental health to the subsequent social assistance entry of the family with children: a nationwide register-linked birth cohort study in Finland. J Epidemiol Community Health 2023;77:224-229.

Contribution of parental health to the subsequent social assistance entry of the family with children : a nationwide register-linked birth cohort study in Finland

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Author: Hiilamo, Aapo1; Keski-Säntti, Markus2; Räsänen, Sami3,4;
Organizations: 1Itla Children's Foundation, Helsinki, Finland
2Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
3Research Unit of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Oulu University, Oulu, Finland
4Department of Psychiatry, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
5Research Unit of Population Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, University of Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: BMJ, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-10-06


Aim: Our aim in this paper was to estimate the contribution of different parental specialised health care diagnoses to the subsequent risk of entry into the social assistance system for families with children in the period 1998–2013.

Methods: We used longitudinal population-level register data consisting of all children born in 1997 in Finland and their registered parents (54 960 one and two-parent families with 801 336 observations in the period 1998–2013). Diagnoses assigned in public specialised healthcare and social assistance records were derived from nationwide administrative registers. Measures of parental socioeconomic status and previous diagnoses and the birth weight of the child were adjusted for in regression models which estimated the association between parental diagnoses and entry into the social assistance system in the following year.

Results: Families with a parent somatic diagnosis had a risk ratio of 1.4 for social assistance entry in the subsequent year of the diagnosis though substantial variation by diagnosis category was detected. Parent psychiatric diagnoses were linked to a higher, 3.01-fold risk of social assistance entry. Covariate adjustment reduced these risk ratios to 1.2 and 2.1, respectively. Some 2.9% of all social assistance entries may be attributed to parental psychiatric diagnoses while somatic health records account for another 7.2%, making their total contribution over 1/10th of all cases.

Conclusions: Parental specialised healthcare records were associated with a higher risk of social assistance need. Thus more interventions to support financial management are required for parents with psychiatric diagnoses.

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Series: Journal of epidemiology and community health
ISSN: 0143-005X
ISSN-E: 1470-2738
ISSN-L: 0143-005X
Volume: 77
Issue: 4
Pages: 224 - 229
DOI: 10.1136/jech-2023-220283
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3124 Neurology and psychiatry
3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
112 Statistics and probability
316 Nursing
3141 Health care science
Copyright information: © Authors (or their employer(s)). 2023. This article has been accepted for publication in J Epidemiol Community Health, 2023 following peer review, and the Version of Record can be accessed online at