All posts by researchingparents

I am a parenting researcher, focusing on children and families. I earned my PhD in Women's and Children's Health at Uppsala University in Sweden. My research focuses on the intervention and implementation of parenting programs, looking at parent and child outcomes. I have also done research on public policies, especially family policies in Sweden, such as parental leave and the concept of gender equality, especially from a fathers' perspective. My previous research has been on similar topics: parenting, preschool aged children, education, father involvement, teacher retention, child health nurses, and the influence of environments on parental involvement. In my free time, I love to stay active by running, biking, and swimming (competing in triathlons), as well as anything outdoors that's active, like hiking, camping, canoeing, white water rafting, kayaking, and cyclocross. I also do a fair amount of traveling and enjoy meeting new people and learning about other cultures first hand.

2019 YEAR IN REVIEW: Becoming Assistant Professor

It was quite a hectic year, both personally and professionally. Having my second child born right at the end of 2018 meant that I/we were raising an infant for all of 2019, which isn’t ever easy on anyone. The relentless parenting was further exacerbated by kid #2 going in-and-out of the ER throughout the year. Nevertheless, work progress was made 🙂

My biggest accomplishment was going from being a postdoc in Public Health Sciences at Karolinska Institutet, to being an Assistant Professor (Biträdande Lektor) in Women’s and Children’s Health at Karolinska Institutet. Both programs are consistently ranked in the top 10 in the world, at least for their graduate programs, which is who I teach to.

Screenshot 2020-01-01 at 20.56.32

Having the hierarchical bump not only meant an increase in salary, but also an increase in my employment contract length, going from more standard postdoc contracts (12-months) to having a six-year position, with the automatic possibility of promotion to Lektor (Senior Lecturer…..similar to tenured Associate Professor in the USA). So now I have a tenure-track position and can actually focus on my work rather than on whether I need to look for another job.

However, my work dramatically shifted. This wasn’t just because of changing from public health to midwifery (the main unit I work for), but also because I was moving from being research oriented to being teaching oriented. Now 90% of my job is teaching, with only 10% research, compared to the reverse in public health. This meant wrapping up old projects, and re-focusing my efforts…..as well as trying to grasp that I wouldn’t be “as productive” in publications as previous years due to this shift.

While slightly cumbersome to take on teaching, I have been craving teaching for years, and begging other course leaders to let me guest lecture. So the shift to teaching is still very much welcomed and I looked forward to implementing my passion and love of student engagement.

Publications

In 2019, I had three publications; all of which I was the senior author. In Sweden, as well as in my field, being last author is equally as important as first author, where each are weighted at 40%, respectively, while the middle authorship divides the remaining 20% (e..g if there are three authors, the middle author gets 20% credit, while if there are four authors, the two middle authors get 10% credit). Being the last author is therefore important for my career, as it shows that I can lead others in publishing a study, as well as overseeing an entire study.

Two out of the three publications were from former students (#2 & #3) who wanted to turn their masters thesis into a publication. I am always very happy to work with students who want to meet their goals and publish their first paper! Both of these papers have received four citations, respectively, during 2019, and therefore were well-received in their research field.

  1. Johansson, M., Thies-Lagergren, L., & Wells, M. B. (2019). Mothers´ experiences in relation to a new Swedish postnatal home-based model of midwifery care–A cross-sectional study. Midwifery, 78, 140-149.
  2. Klittmark, S., Garzón, M., Andersson, E., & Wells, M. B. (2018). LGBTQ competence wanted: LGBTQ parents’ experiences of reproductive health care in Sweden. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 33, 417-426.
  3. Vallin, E., Nestander, H., & Wells, M. B. (2019). A literature review and meta-ethnography of fathers’ psychological health and received social support during unpredictable complicated childbirths. Midwifery, 68, 48-55.

This gives me a total of 22 peer-reviewed publications; of which, four are literature reviews. Aside from these publications, I currently have seven articles under review (three of which are revise-and-resubmit) and another 14 articles that have at least a manuscript written. So hopefully 2020 will be a year with several publications 🙂

Citations

In 2018, I had a total of 263 citations (i10-index and h-index of 10, respectively). As of January 1st, 2019,  I have a total of 399 citations, according to ScholarGoogle. The number of citations may increase over the coming weeks/months, as they fluctuated a bit last year. While I had 73 citations last year, this year I had 111 citations.

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A main impetus for the increase in citations is due to a sole author article entitled Predicting preschool teacher retention and turnover in newly hired Head Start teachers across the first half of the school year which was published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly. For example, while it was my second most-cited paper last year, it only had 28 citations, compared to the end of this year where it is now my most-cited paper with 72 citations.

I’m very happy that out of all of my articles, that it was this one that’s “taken off” a bit. I vividly remember completing the analysis to this paper at home, after a long night and early morning of coding and biking in to work to impress my co-supervisor, only to have my bike chain fall off while going down hill. This resulted in me flipping off my bike and having severe enough traumatic back pain to be ambulance to the ER from the Uppsala Train Station….because when you’re super happy and excited, why wouldn’t you come (literally) crashing down?

ResearchGate

My ResearchGate score increased to 27.96. Not entirely dramatic from my 2018 RG score of 27.20. The new score places me within the top 85% of RG users.

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Teaching

I taught for one semester in 2019. I was the course leader for three courses in the Midwifery Unit of Women’s and Children’s Health:

  1. Examensarbete (Thesis Course)

As a brief overview, In this course, Midwifery (master) students conduct their thesis. As the course leader, I instruct them on the different sections of a thesis, as well as how to conduct their research, develop a project plan, and guide and host their defenses. This is a ten-week full-time course.

2. Global Health

Global Health is an international online English-language course where students learn about issues relevant to global health within the context of sexual and reproductive health. This semester we held the course between Sweden and the Netherlands, where students from the two nations worked together in small groups. This is a three-week full-time course.

3. Research Methods

This course focuses on students developing basic research methods skills, such as quantitative and qualitative research skills, as well as how to conduct literature reviews. This is a two-week full-time course.

I/we also applied for and received funding for a new course entitled Implementing Strategies for Quality Improvement in Healthcare Settings. This is a course I’ll give to medical professionals, such as physicians, midwives, nurses, physiotherapists, and dieticians. The course is an online English-language course that is offered to people around the world. The course will start in the fall of 2020.

Conferences

I was an invited speaker at three different events this year:

  1. Invited Speaker. Wells, M.B. (2019, Nov.). The Importance of Involving and Supporting Fathers in Parent Groups. Region Sörmland, Sweden.
  2. Invited Speaker. Wells, M.B. (2019, Oct.). Pappas delaktighet (Fathers’ Involvement). Nationella barnhälsovårds Konferens (The Swedish National Child Healthcare Conference). Eskilstuna, Sweden.
  3. Invited Speaker. Wells, M.B. (2019, March). Led a Roundtable at the pre-conference: Fathers are parents too! Broadening Research on Parenting for Child Development. Society for Research on Child Development. Baltimore, MD.

I have to say that I really enjoyed talking with Region Sörmland’s BVC nurses, who genuinely took an interest in wanting to make their child health services more equitable to all parents. It was quite inspiring.

My colleagues presented our research at different conferences:

  1. Johansson, M., Theis-Lagergren, L. & Wells, M.B. (2019, May). Mothers’ experiences in relation to a new Swedish postnatal home-based model of midwifery care. The 21st Congress of the Nordic Federation of Midwives, Reykjavik, Iceland.
  2. Klittmark, S, Garzòn, M., Andersson, E., & Wells, M.B. (Nov. 2019). LGBTQ Competence Wanted: LGBTQ Parents’ Experiences Of Reproductive Health Care In Sweden. Poster presented at the 6th EMA Education Conference – The midwifery education – fit for the 21st Century, Gothenburg, Sweden.
  3. Kerstis, B., Wells, M.B., & Andersson, E. (2019, April). Father group leaders’ experiences of creating an arena for father support—A qualitative study. Barnveckan, Örebro, Sweden.

Supervision

I did a lot of thesis supervision in 2019. Four theses in Midwifery (the first four) were part of my normal job duties in my new position), while the other six thesis were done either to help move my own research project forward or because I enjoyed the topic. I was the main supervisor to all theses except Marina’s, where I was the co-supervisor.

  1. Siri Engberg (2019). Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet. Meeting the challenges- a qualitative study of midwives’ experiences of contraceptive counselling (Möta utmaningarna- en kvalitativ studie om barnmorskors erfarenheter av dagens preventivmedelsrådgivning). I was the main supervisor.
  2. Petra Östlund & Cecilia Holmqvist (2019). Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet. Family life starts at home -fathers’ experience of a new home-based postnatal care model (Familjelivet börjar i hemmet -pappors upplevelser av en ny modell för eftervård i hemmet). I was the main supervisor.
  3. Gabriella Espinosa & Vanne Dupo Kjellin (2019). Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet. Female genital self-image affects women’s sexual function: A cross-sectional study (Genital självbild påverkar kvinnors sexuella funktion: En tvärsnittsstudie). I was the main supervisor.
  4. Mirian Parrish (2019). Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet. Barnmorskors erfarenheter vad gäller samtal med minderåriga abortsökande (Midwives experiences in counceling with underage abortion applicants).
  5. Vanessa Place (2019). Department of Global Health, Karolinska Institutet. Facilitators and barriers to the implementation of a new clinical visit for fathers at Stockholm County child health centres: A qualitative study of nurse-managers at the top-performing centres.
  6. Ebba Hasselqvist and Laura Stathakis (2019). Department of Women’s and Children’s Health. Mothers have a higher orgasm satisfaction than non-mothers-A quantitative cross-sectional study (Mödrar är mer tillfredsställda med sin orgasm än icke-mödrar-en kvantitativ tvärsnittsstudie).
  7. Marco Ben (2019). Department of Global Health, Karolinska Institutet. Perceived father’s needs and concerns in the prenatal, perinatal, postnatal, and home care periods for a healthy transition into fatherhood: A review of reviews.
  8. Ilio Allberg (2019). Department of Psychology. Fathers’ Experience of Targeted Father Visits Within Child Health Centers in Stockholm County: An Evaluation of the Implementation and Outcomes of a Series of New Father Visits to the Swedish Child Health Centers.
  9. Rachel-Ochido Odonde (2019). Department of Global Health, Karolinska Institutet. Evaluating implementation fidelity to Stockholm County’s father-only visit programme among child health nurses.
  10. Marina Dehara (2019). Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet. Parenthood is associated with a lower risk of suicide: A register-based cohort study of 1,582,360 Swedes.

Ebba and Laura worked impressively hard on a very cool topic. Since two former students had used this same dataset and won the best Reproductive Health thesis in Sweden award, I felt like Ebba and Laura should have been equally recognized….but you can’t be the best every year 😉

Meanwhile Vanessa, Ilio and Rachel-Ochido (Ibi) all did amazing work assessing the new clinical visit for fathers project, where I am the PI.

Marina really stood out as an outstanding researcher. So much so, that we not only will try to publish her thesis (currently under review) + one more paper together, but I also recommended her to two PhD positions, of which she was offered both positions!

I’m very proud of all of my students’ hard work. For example, Siri and Marian both did their thesis independently, when they should have had a partner, Gabi and Vanne conducted their own study from scratch, and Petra/Cecilia are in the process of re-working their thesis into a publication. Marco took on one of the biggest projects I’ve had a student do, and came up with a paternal care model that I love and hope to publish one day, although sadly probably not for a year or two.

Lastly, I was the examiner for five master-level theses in 2019.

Research Grants

While my first (and only) research grant ended at the end of 2018, I received another new grant at the end of 2019, which will be viable in 2020:

  1. Systembolagets Alkoholforskningsråd. Utvärdering av en barnmorskeledd Internetbaserad modell för att förebygga drogan (Evaluation of a midwife-led Internet-based model for drug prevention). Specific aims: To evaluate via a randomized controlled trial the effect of providing Internet-based video conferencing support compared to standard care for a drug-free pregnancy. Project period: 01/01/2020-12/31/2020.
  • I am the Principle Investigator
  • Total project grant: 250,000 SEK.

PhD Supervision

I am the co-supervisor to a PhD student:

  1. Olov Aronson. Department of Welfare and Social Sciences, Jönköping University. Preliminary dissertation title: The formation and characteristics of friendship: Inquiries into the conditions and experiences of adolescents of foreign origin.

In the Autumn of 2019, Olov successfully completed his half-time. He has all four manuscripts written, although none are accepted yet. He’s been super productive, knows a ton of amazing stats, and teaches incredibly well.

Miscellaneous

I helped with two PhD dissertation pre-defense by acting like the opponent:

  • Melody Almroth (2019). Adolescents’ future academic prospects: Predictors and mental health outcomes. Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet.
  • Regina Winzer (2019). Aspects of positive and negative mental health in young people, aged 16-29 years: measurements, determinants, and interventions. Department of Public Health, Karolinska Institutet

I was the referee for several article submissions with various journals.

I also continued to guest lecture at DIS in Brain Development, as well as various courses within the Public Health and Global Health master-track programs.

All-in-all, a quite important career year!

2018 Year in Review: My students receive the Best Reproductive Health thesis in Sweden Award

It’s June 2019, and I’m finally writing my review of 2018. Needless to say, it’s been a bit hectic, not the least of which is because of having baby #2 being born. However, I did take screenshots of different accomplishments on January 1st, so I have the correct numbers 🙂

Publications

Officially, I had five publications in 2018. I was able to wrap-up data analysis on my Head Start study I conducted while living in the USA (paper #4). This is the third publication from my research on preschool teacher retention. I was also able to publish, along with my former master students, a paper on screening fathers for postpartum depression (paper #1). I am the most proud of this paper, hoping that it can help lead to real organizational change, where we can start routinely screening fathers for postpartum depression during a new clinical visit for fathers at the Swedish child health centers when their infant is 3-5 months old.

  1. Modin Asper, M., Hallén, N., Lindberg, L., Månsdotter, A., Carlberg, M., & Wells, M.B. (2018). Screening fathers for postpartum depression is cost-effective: An example from Sweden. Journal of Affective Disorders, 241, 154-163. PMID: 30121448

https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy.kib.ki.se/pubmed/?term=30121448

  1. Berglind, D., Nyberg, G., Wilmer, M., Persson, M., Wells, M., & Forsell, Y. (2018). An eHealth program verses a standard care supervised health program and associated heaandaljasdfljaksdflskjlth outcomes in individuals with mobility disability: protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 19:258. PMID: 29703242

https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy.kib.ki.se/pubmed/?term=29703242

  1. Bergström, M, Fransson, E., Wells, M.B., Köhler, L., & Hjern, A. (2018). Children with two homes-Psychological problems in relation to living arrangements in Nordic 2-9 year olds. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 1-9. PMID: 29644929

https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy.kib.ki.se/pubmed/?term=29644929

  1. Jeon, L. & Wells, M.B. (2018). An Organizational-Level Analysis of Early Childhood Teachers’ Job Attitudes: Workplace Satisfaction Affects Early Head Start and Head Start Teacher Turnover. Child & Youth Care Forum, 47, 563-581.

https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10566-018-9444-3.pdf

5. Kerstis, B., Wells, M.B., & Andersson, E. (2018). Father group leaders’ experience of             creating an arena for father support: A Qualitative Study. Scandinavian Journal of               Caring Sciences, 32, 943-950. PMID: 28906024

https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy.kib.ki.se/pubmed/?term=28906024

These publications bring my total peer-reviewed publications to 20! A nice round number and potentially enough to apply for docent. However, I have three literature reviews, two of which demonstrate a qualitative analysis (e.g. meta-synthesis). However, it’s not clear if these articles count as “original articles”. So far, talking with different levels of Public Health management, it seems the only known consensus is that meta-analyses count, but they do not know about meta-syntheses.

I also published a book chapter with my former master-level supervisor, Dr. Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan.

  1. Schoppe-Sullivan, S. J., Berrigan, M. N., & Wells, M. B. (2018). Rivalry in coparenting at the transition to parenthood. In S. Hart & N. A. Jones (Eds.), The psychology of rivalry. Nova Science Publishers.

https://novapublishers.com/shop/the-psychology-of-rivalry/

Citations

In 2017, I had 194 total citations, with an i10-Index of 9 and an H-index of 9, according to ScholarGoogle. The citations, at that time, stated I had 57 citations for 2017. However, as January/February rolled on, these numbers eventually increased to 60 (in 2016 I had 54 citations, so about a 10% increase in citations). In 2018, my citations ended up at an additional 68, so about 13% increase from 2017), for a total of 263 citations and an i10-Index of 10 and H-Index of 10.

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ResearchGate

My ResearchGate (RG) numbers also increased to 27.20, placing me in the top 82.5% of RG users. Of course, years ago, I asked a couple of questions and answered a few as well, which thus inflates my RG score compared to those who only use RG to promote their publications. As of now though, there’s no way to see your RG score sans Questions/Answers.

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Conferences

My colleagues, especially Dr. Sarah Lang & Dr. Lieny Jeon gave two oral presentations, respectively, on our collaborative research:

  1. Lang, S., Wells, M.B., Jeon, L., & Buettner, C.K. (2018, Aug). Examination of coaching as a professional development strategy for ECE professionals: What are we missing? European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA), Budapest, Hungary.
  2. Jeon, L., Buettner, C.K., Lang, S., & Wells, M. (2018, Aug). Perceptions of Professional Development and Teaching Efficacy: Implications for Success or Failure. European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA), Budapest, Hungary.

I was also able to attend two conferences: 1) The World Psychiatric Association Epidemiology and Public Health Section in New York, USA and 2) The National Council on Family Relations Conference in Minnesota, USA.

  1. Wells, M.B. & Lindberg, L. (May 2018). Mental Health Support Swedish Child Health Nurses Provide to Mothers and Fathers: Is it Equal? Poster presented at the World Psychiatric Association Epidemiology and Public Health Section, New York, USA.
  2. Wells, M.B., Modin Asper, M., Hallén, N., Carlberg, M., & Lindberg, L. (May 2018). Screening fathers in Sweden for Postpartum Depression is Cost-effective. Poster presented at the World Psychiatric Association Epidemiology and Public Health Section, New York, USA.
  3. Wells, M.B. (2018, Nov.). Comparing Swedish child health nurses’ attitudes toward fathers in 2014 and 2017. Poster presented at the 2018 National Council on Family Relations, San Diego, CA, USA.
  4. Klittmark, S., Garzón, M., Andersson, E., & Wells, M.B.* (2018, Nov.). LGBTQ Competence Wanted: LGBTQ Parents’ experiences of reproductive healthcare. Poster presented at the 2018 National Council on Family Relations, San Diego, CA, USA.

Grant for Evaluating the Father Visit in Stockholm County Child Health Centers

From 2017-2018, I received a grant to evaluate a new clinical visit for fathers at the Stockholm County child health centers from Stockholm Län Landsting. During 2018 I was able to collect the bulk of the data, since the program was being implemented throughout 2017. I now have both qualitative and quantitative data from the nurses, quantitative data from fathers, and qualitative interviews with the mentors and program management.

The nurses’ quantitative data, in a basic sense, consists of 1) their attitudes towards fathers as carers of infants + background data (Baseline, Time 1, gathered during their half-day trainings in 2017), 2) their attitudes towards the training + if they have started implementing the father visits + their and their CHCs’ attitudes toward implementing the fathers’ visits (Time 2, about 2-3 months post-training), and 3) their self-evaluation of adhering to the implementation of the program + additional support that they require. While the response rate was quite high for Time 1 (87+%), it was a bit over 50% for Time 2 and 3, respectively, suggesting that CHC nurses would rather complete questionnaires during a training session than via email during their normal working day.

I also hired a research assistant to interview nurses’, as well as the mentors/program leaders’ opinions, of how the father visits were going.

I then developed Facebook advertisements aimed at fathers in Stockholm County. The ad allowed FB users to click on it, which took them to the online quantitative survey. I then asked fathers a series of questions referring to i) their socio-demographic background, ii) their pre- and post-natal care involvement and experiences, iii) their involvement and experiences at the CHC home visit, 3-5 week (later 1-3 week) visit, and the 3-5 month father visit. At this stage, fathers could either elect to stop completing the questionnaire and turn it in, or they could continue. If they elected to continue, they would complete three validated questionnaires: i) The Coparenting Relationship Scale, ii) the Parent-infant Bonding Questionnaire, and iii) the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, as the CHC nurses should have helped support fathers in these three aspects. About 424 fathers completed the first section and 290 complete the full questionnaire (first section + three validated questionnaires).

Quantitative data on fathers was collected in December 2018-January 2019. While this survey was anonymous, fathers could add in their email address if they would like to be contacted more in the future. I haven’t exactly run the numbers of this, but I think it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 60% of fathers provided their email address.

Supervision

I was the supervisor to two master-level theses in 2018. In Nordin and Hedlöf’s thesis, we created a quantitative anonymous online survey regarding women’s sex lives. I was very concerned that they wouldn’t be able to collect data, because the questionnaire asked sensitive questions about women’s sex lives. However, in about two weeks, we had around 2,500 respondents.

  1. Antonia Nordin and Jenny Hedlöf (2018). Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet. Perceived genital response is associated with a better satisfaction of sex life—an online survey study (Upplevd genital respons är förknippat med ett mer uppskattat sexlive—en online enkätstudie). I am the main supervisor.
  2. Lotta Huczkowsky Borg and My Linnér (2018). Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet. Mammors upplevelser av amning och erfarenheter av amningsstöd: En kvalitativ intervjustudie (Mothers´ experiences of breastfeeding and perceptions of breastfeeding support: A qualitative interview study). I am the main supervisor.

Nordin and Hedlöf’s thesis went on to win the Best Reproductive Health thesis in Sweden award. In all of my personal accomplishments as a researcher, this is the one I am most proud of–seeing my students succeed and do great research!

I was also the examiner for six master-level theses in 2018:

  1. Sanjana Ravi Kumar (2018). Global Health, Department of Public Health Sciences. “Art is an injection that cures us”-Art based interventions for patients with severe mental illness at community mental health centers in Kerala, South India.
  2. Paulien Korsten (2018). Global Health, Department of Public Health Sciences. Effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and feasibility of pre-migration screening for tuberculosis in low-incidence countries: a scoping review.
  3. Yesica Quispe Arbieto & Catarina Simunovich Barraza (2018). Department of Women’s and Children’s Health. Hur utfö barnmorskor och läkare episiotomi? En enkätbaserad pilotstudie (How do midwives and doctors perform episiotomy? A survey based pilot study).
  4. Jaqueline Pettersson & Andréa Packalén (2018). Department of Women’s and Children’s Health. Experiences and knowledge on Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex (D-MER) while Breastfeeding-A study by means of a mixed method design approach (Erfarenheter och kunskap om Dysforisk mjölkutdrivningsreflex i samband med amning-En studie med hjälp av Mixad metod).
  5. Hanan Abou Hachem & Irma Flores (2018). Department of Women’s and Children’s Health. Kulturtolksdoula – En ”bro” som leder till god förlossningsupplevelse. Arabisktalande kvinnors upplevelse av att få stöd av en kulturtolksdoula under graviditet och förlossning: En kvalitativ tematisk analysstudie (Community based doula – ”A bridge” that leads to a good delivery experience. Experiences of Arabic speaking women of community based doula’s support during late pregnancy and childbirth: A qualitative thematic analysis study).
  6. Johanna Stjarnfeldt (2018). Department of Public Health Sciences. Masculinity, social capital and testing for Chlamydia infection: An explorative study about young men’s experiences of health service utilization for testing for Chlamydia (CT) infection in Stockholm.

Miscellaneous

I also helped teach in a number of courses within PHS and KBH at KI, as well as in Brain Development at DIS, and in Psychology at Stockholm University. Furthermore, I reviewed for a number of journals.

In total, below are all of the journals I have reviewed for over the years:

  • Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology
  • PLOS One
  • American Journal of Community Psychology
  • Journal of Family Issues
  • BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
  • Health Expectations
  • The International Journal of Human Resource Management
  • Journal of Family Science
  • Early Childhood Development and Care
  • European Journal of Teacher Education
  • Journal of Child Health Care
  • Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
  • Nordic Journal of Nursing Research
  • Men & Masculinities

 

 

2017 Research Year in Review: Meeting the Minimum Docent Qualifications

As outlined in the Docent regulations:
“The title of docent is a nationally well known and recognised indicator of scientific and pedagogical expertise…Obtaining a docentur implies that the holder has achieved a degree of independence such that he or she can lead, supervise and evaluate research and academic instruction…‘Docent’ is an academic title that by tradition confers venia docendi, that is ‘the right to teach’ and supervise on all levels of the university; however, the institution of docentur is also rooted in scientific expertise.”
To achieve the title of docent (associate professor), there are three main criteria:

  • 5 weeks of pedagogy courses
  • 15 or more publications
    • Especially helpful is demonstrating independence i
      • e.g. not publishing with your PhD supervisor
      • e.g. being last author
  • 120 hours of classroom teaching
    • Teaching needs to be within the last 6 years
      • So all of my US teaching, where I accumulated hundreds of hours now no longer count
    • Preparing lectures, grading, etc. do not count for teaching hours
    • Teaching to undergraduate students, graduate students, and clinicians do count as teaching hours
    • Supervising master student theses also count
      • Only 60 hours of teaching can be supervision hours

In 2017, I started my second full year as a postdoc in the Department of Public Health at Karolinska Institute. However, in practice, I worked relatively little in 2017, as I took parental leave from January thru August, working only 40% during that time period.

Pedagogy Courses
I worked while on parental leave, primarily to take an online course needed for docent entitled Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (Distance). This is a full-time five-week pedagogy course that takes place online over the span of several months. It worked out really well for me, as many assignments were done individually, on my own time.

Once I came back from parental leave, I also took another online course called Open Networked Learning, which accounts for two full weeks of pedagogy. Here we learned about different open sources one can use when teaching distance courses, as well as ways to make your classroom more interactive.

Furthermore, I took the Web Course for Supervisors 2017 course. This only took a couple of hours to complete, but it went over the legal rules one must follow when directing a PhD student.

Since you need five weeks of pedagogy to become docent, and I now have over 7 weeks, I have met this criteria.

Publications
I also used my parental leave-working time to finish up a few articles, as I didn’t want to leave co-authors waiting for eight months.

As such, I was able to publish four new articles in 2017:

This brings my total publications in peer-reviewed journals to 15! Meaning that I have enough publications, barely, to apply for docent. The Head Start article marks my third sole authored paper, where now I have sole authored a qualitative paper, a quantitative paper, and a literature review/meta-synthesis. Hopefully these papers can show my ability to work independently and via using different methodologies.

Even though I was off from working for a good chunk of the year, apparently people were still reading and citing my previously published researched.

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According to ScholarGoogle, in 2016, I had a total of 116 citations, but by the end of 2017, I had 194. My h-index also increased from a 6 to a 9 and my i-index from a 5 to a 9. However, my citations for 2016 and 2017 were relatively similar with 54 and 57 citations, respectively.

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My ResearchGate numbers also increased. I now have a ResearchGate score of 23.01, which apparently means that my score is higher than 75% of other users.

In 2016, I had a total of 2310 reads, while in 2017, I had 4726 reads. Of course ResearchGate comes with plenty of caveats, such as the fact that most researchers go to the actual journals website rather than ResearchGate to find articles to read. However it’s easy to read the numbers off of ResearchGate, so that’s what I use. On this website it is clear to see that my book chapter Families and Family Policies in Sweden has a total of 1276 reads, making it by far my most read publication from ResearchGate.

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Teaching & Supervision

I was able to do a bit of teaching in 2017, especially in the fall. While I had a few hours here and there, such as in Brain Development or Sexual for Psychologists and Reproductive Health for Midwifery students, my main group of teaching hours came from giving guest lectures in the Epidemiology masters track in a course called Applied Epidemiology 3- Methods for outcome Evaluation of Public Health interventions. I gave lectures on 1) Overview of Study Design in Public Health Outcome Evaluations, 2) Planning the Evaluation, and 3) Evaluating the Implementation of a Community-wide New Father Visit at the Swedish Child Health Centers. In addition, I peer audited the course leader. I also gave a day-long lecture for all masters students in Public Health at KI (Epi + Health Economic) in a course called Theory, Practice, and Ethics.

In addition to teaching, I also supervised four midwifery students as they completed two theses. Two of these were in the spring of 2017, while the other two were in the fall of 2017.

  1. Saga Fogelström and Anna Björsson (2017). Department of Women’s and Children’s Health. Tänk om hon dör och jag blir ensam kvar: En intervjustudie över blivande pappors förlossningsrädsla (What if she dies and leaves me all alone: An interview based study of fathers’ fear of childbirth). I am a co-supervisor.
  2. Michaela Modin Asper and Nino Hallén (2017). Department of Public Health. Postpartum depression screening for fathers: A cost-benefit analysis in Stockholm Sweden. I am a co-supervisor.
  3. Emmeli Vallin and Hanna Nestander (2017). Department of Women’s and Children’s Health. Tänk om hon dör: Mäns upplevelser vid komplikationer under förlossning. (What if she dies: Men’s experiences in complications during childbirth). I am the main supervisor.
  4. Sofia Kittmark and Matias Garzon (2017). Department of Women’s and Children’s Health. Same-sex mothers’ views of the Swedish child health centers: A qualitative study. I am a co-supervisor.

The theses from Women’s and Children’s Health are worth 15 credits (10 weeks), while the one from Public Health is worth 30 credits (20 weeks) for students. The supervisor receives 15 hours of teaching for every 10 weeks of thesis work. Therefore, I have (15/2)+(30/2)+15+(15/2) = 45 hours of supervision.

Theses 2-4 are currently being revised for publication! So perhaps more news on them in the 2018 year in review 🙂

Therefore, in total, I have 62 hours of classroom teaching time, as well as 45 hours of supervision time. Thus, I am just shy of the 120 teaching hours needed for docent.

Other Events

  • I presented at the Nordic Marcé Society for Perinatal Mental Health in Stockholm. The talk was entitled Swedish Child Health Nurses’ Mental Health Support to Mothers and Fathers in 2004 and 2014.
  • My colleagues presented our research findings at Värna våra yngsta: Späda barns rätt till hälsa och utveckling in Stockholm. The talk was called Dialogsamtal med föräldrar om alkohol för att upptäcka barn i riskmiljöer.
  • I was interviewed by Alexander von Schuppler for Region Skåne’s monthly newsletter on the supports fathers want/need in the Swedish child health field.

 

 

 

Supporting fathers in the Swedish child health field

I recently published a literature review and meta-ethnography entitled Literature review shows that fathers are still not receiving the support they want and need from Swedish child health professionals in Acta Paediatrica.

This article received a lot of attention when it was first published. For example, Sverige’s vetenskapsradio first interviewed me on the findings. Then TT picked it up, meaning that the story was in every newspaper, from national to local newspapers. Before being interviewed by a national news program, Rapport.

It was further promoted by different organizations, such as Män för Jämställdhet. And other writers/bloggers talked about it.

What was really cool was that Sven Bremberg was asked by Acta Paediatrica to write an editorial which he called Supporting fathers is essential in the child health field

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So I had my 15 minutes of fame.

Now, a year or so later, I have finally had the time to make my first video. I’ve always wanted to promote my research through videos, but haven’t had the time. I’m highly critical of the final product, both of the video and the content, but it was my first attempt and it was a fun learning experience.

In fact, as a researcher, it’s hard to see your work lose it’s nuance. I thought enough nuance was lost when publishing it, as word counts affected how many details I could say. But trying to make a 5 minute video left very little room for nuance.

What I attempted to do was to show four examples–one from each arena within the child health field: prenatal, labor & birth, postnatal, and child health centers. I wanted to show two positive examples of ways midwives and nurses support fathers and two examples where support could be improved. However the two examples of improved support are more on the organizational/managerial level, rather than critiques of midwives’/nurses’ attitudes and support given to fathers.

Perhaps future videos will be made to provide a more nuanced understanding of the support fathers receive in the different child health arenas. Until then, I have my first overview video.

2016 Research Year in Review: Grants, Publications, Citations, and Media Attention

So it’s September 2017, and I’m just now getting around to my 2016 yearly review 🙂 I guess being off on parental leave all year certainly takes its toll on free-time and how I allocate that time.

Luckily, I made screenshots on January 1st of various markers to better record my early review.

To see what I’ve accomplished this year, I want to go back and see what I did last year for comparison purposes. Luckily I can click on this link to remind myself. Marking my first full year as a postdoc, 2016 was a great year!

My single biggest research accomplishment was that I secured my very first research grant! I applied for a gender-focused research grant through Stockholm’s Läns Landsting (County Council). The grant is for 500,000 SEK for two years (250,000 SEK per year). So while not a huge grant, it was very exciting to receive my first grant. And this grant allows me to continue my father research.

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In 2017, Stockholm county will implement a new father-only visit when the child is three-to-five months old. I received the grant, along with co-applicant, Dr. Malin Bergström, to evaluate the implementation, as well as the familial outcomes of this community-based intervention.

While I had some temporary postdoc positions in 2015 with Child Health and Parenting (CHAP) at Uppsala University and at the Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS) at Stockholm University, in 2016, I started a 100% position in Child and Adolescent Public Health Epidemiology Group, Department of Public Health at Karolinska Institute under Dr. Finn Rasmussen. However, wanting to continue my research with Dr. Malin Bergström at CHESS on fathers in the Swedish child health field, I negotiated an 80-20 split.

Finn hired me to run a Job Seeking intervention for young (18-24) high school dropouts who were currently seeking employment, among other register-based research. This project took a dramatic turn before I even started–instead of working with Arbetsförmedlingen, we would now need to run the project ourselves, meaning we would make the program online. Similarly, we needed to device a whole new manual, as some collaborators from Finland, with their School2Work program, fell through.

So I started working on this project from scratch throughout the year, in collaboration with Finn and Dr. Ata Ghaderi.

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Publications were still ongoing however. In 2016, I had five publications:

  1. Wells MB. Literature review shows that fathers are still not receiving the support they want and need from Swedish child health professionals. Acta Paediatrica. 2016;105(9):1014-23.
  2. Wells MB, Sarkadi A, Salari R. Mothers’ and fathers’ attendance in a community-based universally offered parenting program in Sweden. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health. 2015;44:274-80.
  3. Wells MB, Lang SN. Supporting Same-Sex Mothers in the Nordic Child Health Field: A Systematic Literature Review and Meta-synthesis of the Most Gender Equal Countries. Journal of Clinical Nursing. 2016;25(23-24):3469-83.
  4. Bergström M, Wells MB, Söderblom M, Ceder S, Demner E. Projektet Pappa på BVC: Barnhälsovården i Stockholms län 2013-2015. Stockholms län landsting: 2016.
  5. Wellander L, Wells MB, Feldman I. Does Prevention Pay? Costs and Potential Cost-savings of School Interventions Targeting Children with Mental Health Problems. Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics. 2016;19(2):91-101.

Technically, #2 came out in December of 2015, and therefore I reported it last year. In addition, #4 is a Swedish report, not a peer-review article. So I had three new peer-review articles published in 2016; two of which were meta-sythenses. While many postdocs may have more publications in a year, I was quite proud for two reasons: 1) it takes a PhD student four years to publish 3 papers and one manuscript, so having recently received my PhD the year before, I liked the idea of doing a “PhD” in one year and 2) I just had my first child in January 2016, and so it was a hectic year with a nice parenting learning curve on top of juggling full time work and commuting from Uppsala to Stockholm daily.

I took a course on how to conduct Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses, but quickly learned that most studies completed in the child health field are qualitative in nature. Therefore, I independently learned about meta-syntheses and meta-ethnographies, and then completed two articles using these methods. I was very proud of these articles because 1) I learned a method and completed it on my own (for one of the articles) and 2) I was able to contribute a larger voice to how parents are and are not supported in the Nordic and Swedish child health fields, respectively.

It wasn’t only me who was proud–apparently other researchers were also proud. For example, Dr. Hugo Lagercrantz, the editor of Acta Paediatrica, wrote about my findings in his “highlights in this issue”. Having published in Acta Paediatrica a couple of times before this, it was cool to see my research being highlighted.

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But, then they invited Dr. Sven Bremberg to write an editorial on why we should “Support fathers in the child health field“, where he springboarded his editorial based off of my article. That was super cool! To see a well-known researcher highlighting why your research is important and necessary. Boom!

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Sweden also wanted to get in on the conversation!

While I had had a few interviews before, I had my 15 minutes of fame after publishing these back-to-back literature reviews, although much more notoriety and focus was on fathers, rather than same-sex mothers, sadly.

Initially vetenskapsradio (science radio–sort of the Swedish NPR radio station) interviewed me, paying particular attention to my findings on the ways fathers are treated throughout the Swedish child health field. It was a really pleasant experience, even though I desperately struggled to say one or two sentences in Swedish.

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After that news story broke, I not only had friends calling, texting, and Facebooking messages to me saying they heard me on the radio (I didn’t even know people listened to vetenskapsradio), but also TT, a news reporting agency similar to the Associated Press, picked up the story and re-reported it (without talking to me). This meant that the story was in basically every Swedish paper, from national papers to small local ones.

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Newspaper

By the afternoon, I had received a phone call from Rapport; I was going to be on the national evening news. That was exciting!

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And then my day long fame had ended….until I met a father at a park three weeks later, and he recognized me from the news report. That was a cool feeling!

My citations also significantly grew. In 2015, I had 74 citations, while at the start of January 2016, I had 118, according to my ScholarGoogle page. My h-index increased from 5 to a 6, while my i10-index increased from 2-5.

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ResearchGate numbers also grew. In 2015, I had 1066 reads and in 2016 I had 2310. ResearchGate however has far fewer reads than the publications website and the number of citations ResearchGate finds is considerably lower than ScholarGoogle or even PubMed. Moreover, they keep changing their metrics, so it’s hard to compare year to year, but my ResearchGate score went from a 16.87 to 20.02.

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I have also been able to do a bit of teaching, although not nearly enough. For example, I have given lectures in 1) Sexual and Reproductive Health I (a course for midwives in Women’s and Children’s Health), where I talked about the importance of involving fathers in the child health field and 2) How to Conduct a Literature Review and Meta-analysis mainly for PhD students/postdocs in Public Health, where I talked about conducting a meta-synthesis.

I was however also invited to give a talk at “Mödra- och barnhälsovårdens gemensamma studieeftermiddag” where again, I discussed fathers in the Swedish child health field.

Lastly, I helped to write a debate article that was printed in Svenska Dagbladet, a major Swedish newspaper on supporting fathers.

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While I never heard from the public on this issue, I did upset a colleague by participating in this debate article. I guess you just can’t please everyone.

 

Sixth Parental Group Meeting:

This is the last parent group meeting pre-children. It was held in the morning (second meeting at this time point), and every parent showed up for this final meeting.

The meeting opened with a psychologist talking about the post-pregnancy blues. She defined that has the mother having a lot of hormonal changes, often leading to crying, especially for the first three days, as well as having symptoms of depression.

The psychologist further stated that if the depressive symptoms lasted for 10 days or more, then the parent (either the mother or the father may have postpartum depression) should call the psychologist (who seemed to be funded through the antenatal clinics).

Her main message:

  1. Don’t be too hard on yourself
  2. Call a psychologist sooner rather than later
    • So symptoms don’t get worse
    • The parent can start receiving support.

The midwife then took over and advised us to break into groups, while eating fika, to discuss how we currently divide our time as a couple and for personal time (today) and how we plan to divide our time as an individual, a couple, and as a family once the baby arrives.

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The midwife though didn’t offer any sage advice. Rather, she simply listened as each group described their time spent with the family, the relationship, and by themselves.

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Our answers: Notice our alone time didn’t change, but we increased our overall family hours by 14 hours believing we’d receive 2 hours less sleep per night spent on the baby.

She then thanked us and wished everyone a Merry Christmas!

We will meet one more time in March, after everyone has their baby.

Fifth Prenatal Parent Group Meeting: Visiting the Labor & Birth Ward

At the fifth prenatal parent group meeting we were told to not come to our usual meeting place; instead, go to Uppsala’s Academic Hospital.

Everything suddenly became so real. The ultrasound brought the baby to life. Charting the growth of the uterus was exciting!

Going to the hospital where my baby will one day be born = slightly scary and exhilarating.

One couple and one expectant father did not show up to this meeting. The rest of us searched for where we were supposed to go….but luckily we had found each other 🙂

Eventually we worked our way down to a basement, and found the rest of the group. A midwife from Hjärtet met us there, introduced us to another midwife who works in the labor & birth ward, and then left us with her, while we got the grand tour.

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We started by seeing the waiting room, where we were told that while expectant mothers are fed, there is no food for the expectant fathers; therefore, they are encouraged to bring their own food, label and date it, and put it in the fridge. Or they could go upstairs and buy food at the food court (if you happen to give birth during normal business hours).

Then we made our way to the bathing area. There was a large bathtub that expectant mothers are encouraged to go in while they’re in labor. There’s even enough room for the expectant father; although we’re told he should wear a bathing suit (apparently because the medical staff may walk in, and for some unknown reason, seeing a naked man, but not a naked woman, is unacceptable).

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Then we made our way to a potential birthing room. It was dull and drab. The midwife pointed out that there were no curtains. And then pointed out that we should feel free to bring objects and entertainment with, since we could be there for several hours before actually giving birth.

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We all sat around the rim of the room, while the midwife sat in the middle, demonstrating to us different tools that could be used, as well as different ways expectant mothers could use the room.

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The size the baby will be, along with a demonstration of holding the baby, resting on the mothers’ chest, and cutting the umbilical cord.
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A cord used to measure the infant’s heartbeat.
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A close-up of the bit that actually measures the heart beat.
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A manual vacuum extraction pump.

This was a very informative visit, and let expectant parents know what to expect, see where to go, and feel more comfortable in their soon-to-be surroundings.

Side note: Interestingly, nearly all of the expectant fathers asked various questions about the birthing process, the medical instruments the midwife described, and made joking comments, while only one expectant mother (Lisa) asked a question.

Second (cultural) side note: There was one comfy leather chair to sit on, while nearly all other chairs were hard metal (e.g. not comfortable). In typical Swedish fashion, no one took the comfy chair until the last couple came in. And then the expectant mother sat on the only remaining metal chair, giving the comfy leather chair to the expectant father….a few minutes later he got up and gave it to his partner.