My Research in Review: 2008-2014

My first publication came in 2012. I worked with a colleague, the lead author of the manuscript, Christina Stenhammar (now Dr Stenhammar) on her article entitled “Children are exposed to temptation all the time –Parents’ lifestyle-related discussions in focus groups” published in Acta Paediactrica.

But that was my first peer reviewed article. Although I worked, mainly for Head Start, between 2008 and 2012, I had published two documents in 2008: 1) my master’s thesis entitled Father-Child Play: A Longitudinal Study on Fathers’ Parenting and Child Cognitive Development and Academic Achievement Across the Transition to School with Dr Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan as my main advisor and a book chapter published in Swedish called “BVC ur ett genusperspektiv” (Child Health Centers from a Gendered Perspective) published in Föräldrastöd I Sverige idag: Vad, när och hur? (Parents in Sweden Today: What, When and How?). This book chapter was co-authored by Jonas Engman and later revised and turned into a peer-reviewed journal article with Dr. Anna Sarkadi: “Gender equality in Swedish child health centers: An analysis of their physical environments and parental behaviours” published in Semiotica: Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies (2015).

This article is one of five that will comprise my PhD thesis. The other articles are:

Wells, M.B. & Sarkadi, A. (2012). Do father-friendly policies promote father-friendly child-rearing practices? Reviewing Swedish Parental Leave and Child Health Centers. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 21(1), 25-31.

Wells, M.B., Varga, G., Kerstis, B., & Sarkadi, A. (2013). Swedish child health nurses’ views of early father involvement: A qualitative study. Acta Paediatrica, 102(7), 755-761.

Wells, M.B., Salari, R., & Sarkadi, A. Who participates in a Swedish parenting intervention: A look at mothers and fathers self-selection to participate in Triple P. (Currently under review).

Rahmqvist, J., Wells, M.B., & Sarkadi, A. (2014). Conscious parenting: A qualitative study on Swedish parents’ motives to participate in a parenting program. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 23(5), 934-944.

My two PhD advisors are Dr Anna Sarkadi and Dr Raziye Salari, and therefore, it only makes sense that the three of us would collaborate to publish a paper together:

Salari, R., Wells, M.B., & Sarkadi, A. (2014). Child behaviour problems, parenting behaviours and parental adjustment in mothers and fathers in Sweden. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 42, 547-553.

After having spent time living in Sweden and writing a well-cited article on the interplay of Sweden’s parental leave policies and their child health care program, I wanted to dig deeper in Sweden’s family policies. And so I started working with Dr Disa Bergnehr on a book chapter “Families and Family Policies in Sweden” in Dr Mihaela Robila‘s edited Handbook of Family Policies Across the Globe.

Having worked with my advisors, collaborated with other researchers, and supported PhD students in their research, I thought it was time to see if I could design, implement, analyze, write, and publish an article on my own.

Now that it’s January 1, 2015, I’m extremely delighted to say that I was able to accomplish this. Not only to publish my own research, but to publish it in one of the best education journals (and the best early childhood education journal) Early Childhood Research Quarterly (currently has an impact factor of 2.058 with a 5-year impact factor of 3.657, making ECRQ the best journal I’ve been published in so far (see below for a debate I had with myself on this statement).

Wells, M.B. (2015). Predicting Preschool Teacher Retention and Turnover in Newly Hired Head Start Teachers Across the First Half of the School Year. Early Childhood Research Quarterly. 30, 152-159.

Another published article was in the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, which has an impact factor of 3.125, but ECRQ is ranked 19th out of 219 in Education (best 8.7%), while SJPH 21st out of 162 in Public, Environmental, and Occupational Health (best 13%); making ECRQ “better”.

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Beyond these publications are two published abstracts and a published report:

Wells, M.B. (2013). A quantitative look at preschool teachers’ retention: A study on Head Start teachers. 23rd EECERA Conference: Values, Culture and Contexts, 243.

Wells, M., Varga, G., & Sarkadi, A. (2012). Wanting to actively promote fathers: A qualitative study on Swedish child health nurses’ views of father involvement. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 19, Supplement 1, S195.

Feldman, I., Wellander, L., Sampaio, F., Wells, M., & Sarkadi, A. (2014). Med manga bäcker att stämma i – hur ska vi prioritera och hur beräknar vi kostnaden? En förstudie om beräkningar av kostnader och potentiella besparingar vid förebyggande insatser kring barn och unga i riskzon.


ResearchGate, a personal website for individual researchers to share their work, says that my publications have been downloaded 969 times with an RG score of 15.14 (a score higher than 57.5% of other ResearchGate users). I’m not sure how many other downloads my articles have had, nor am I ultimately sure if nearly 1000 downloads is a high or low number–but it sounds like a lot of people are at least interested in downloading my research.

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In 2012 I had my first citation according to Scholar Google. Now, Scholar Google overexaggerates the citations, as it includes non-peer reviewed manuscripts, but still, others are reading my research and citing them.

In 2012, I had 5 citations, by 2013 that number over doubled to 13, and in 2014 my citations increased an additional 19, for a total of 37 citations. Will be terrifyingly interesting to see if these numbers continue increasing for 2015!

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These citations should be increased though, as I know I was cited in The invisible father: How can child healthcare services help fathers to feel less alienated? in Anna Sarkadi’s editorial, where she cites Gender equality in Swedish child health centres: An analysis of their physical environments and parental behaviours but instead called it Who is most welcome here? A qualitative study on Swedish child health centre’s environment from a gender perspective (a previous title we had given the same paper prior to its acceptance for publication—this is a nice reminder to always check and update CVs to make sure they include the latest article titles).

Beyond the citations, I am most grateful for being invited to three talks to discuss my research. Of course, like all researchers, I have attended and presented at several national and international conferences, but to be invited to speak at different venues highlights that others acknowledge the importance of my research and want to hear more about it. In fact, for the Barnhälsovård Nationell Konferens in Umeå, I had my flight paid for (first time to be compensated for a talk!).

Wells, M.B. (2014, Oct.). Advocating for Father Involvement in Swedish Child Health Care. Barnhälsovård Nationell Konferens (National Child Health Conference) in Umeå, Sweden.

Wells, M.B. (2013, Oct.). Fathers in the Swedish Healthcare System: Are They Treated Equally? Barnklinikens fredagsmöten (Children’s Clinic Friday Meetings) in Uppsala, Sweden.

Wells, M.B. (2013, May). Almost a Parent: The Treatment of Fathers in Sweden and Internationally. Välkommen till våra Vårluncher: Socialpediatriska forskargruppen (Welcome to our Spring Lunches: Social Pediatrics Research Team) in Uppsala, Sweden.

Most recently, the popular media has picked up on my research, and thanks to Dr Malin Bergström, I was interviewed for a piece on father involvement at the Swedish child health centers in the very popular Swedish parenting magazine Vi Föräldrar! The title of the piece is Äntligen! Papporna får Egentid på BVC (Finally, Fathers get their own time at the Child Health Centers).

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At the end of April I will finish my PhD and it will be interesting to look back at my accomplishments posted here, because I suspect nothing else will have been accomplished, since my focus will be primarily on my dissertation, as well as mentoring a final year medical student, attending two international conferences, and finishing writing another article (with Lisa Wellander and Dr Inna Feldman).

All in all, not a bad start!