Category Archives: Information about Tools and Websites

Finding an Apartment in Uppsala: For Students and the Public

It’s no shock to anyone familiar with Uppsala that finding a place to live can be a horrific affair. It can be so bad, that at the beginning of the school year, students are sleeping in tents, because there is no housing for them (Read that article here). Or read here about how an American student struggled to find housing for a month.

Feel free to skip to the bottom for various helpful websites that you can start queuing up in! 🙂

Slowly but surely, people land apartments, either with friends or family or through various contracts (some more legal than others). It’s just not uncommon to move two-six times over two years, before landing a first-hand contract.

Terms:

First hand contract–renting an apartment that you can live in for however long you want. It’s considered your apartment, so typically you can decorate it as you see fit or rent it out to others (check with the landlord though on their rules and regulations).

Second hand contract–when you rent from someone with a first-hand contract. Typically people can only do this for a limited time, because of the housing agency/apartment union. The good news is that legally the owner or first-hand renter cannot overcharge you (making a very small profit) because of the agencies/unions. The bad news is that often the owner/renter keeps all of their items in the apartment (this may be a positive if you don’t own furniture).

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Queue–the imaginary line you wait in in order to get an apartment. The person who’swaited the longest gets first dibs on the apartment. As Ricky Bobby says, if you’re not first, you’re last. So don’t count on getting an apartment if you’re not number 1 in line.

Deposits–many places do not require you to pay a deposit. The ones who do typically only charge one months rent as a deposit. I have yet to find a place that charges the first and last months rent plus a deposit.

The quickest (legal) way to get an apartment is to go through Blocket, where you rent out someone else’s apartment or a room in their apartment. These are often short-term contacts, although you may find some longer term apartments. Blocket is a website similar to Ebay or Craigslist where people list items they have for sale, but apartments for rent are also found on this website. For apartments in Uppsala click here.

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Having just moved to Sweden, I had no idea about this housing crisis, nor did I have any idea that I should be waiting in queues (multiple is much better than 1).

See the queue system is designed to promote equality–it’s not who you know or how much money you have, but how long you’ve waited in line. 1 day = 1 point (in most cases).

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However, this fails to take into consideration people who don’t know the system, especially foreigners. And since you may have to wait anywhere from 2 to 5 years to get an apartment through queuing, it’s important to join the queues as far in advance as possible.

Below are several websites that can be helpful when trying to find a place to live in Uppsala:

Studentstaden is a good queue to join if you’re a student (or going to be a student) at Uppsala University.

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You can find an apartment here within weeks or months, but only if you accept living in a dorm-sized apartment and if you’re lucky–aka: lots of housing options and few students applying. Typically the bigger the apartment, the smaller the queue, perhaps because they’re more expensive. However, the competition is stiffer and therefore the people wanting bigger apartments have probably been queuing for a longer period of time (expect to wait 5 years to get a 50+ sq meter apartment). Notice that currently there are over 100 people trying to get any given apartment (and one only gets it!).

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Different companies have different rules–for example, with Studentstaden, you will receive an email to look at the apartment only if you’re ranked 1 through 20. Expect that if you’re number 2, you won’t get the apartment.

Education used to be free in Sweden. Recently they started charging university fees to foreigners studying at here. If you’re a master’s student studying here as an exchange, then the good news is that your thousands of dollars of tuition costs just sprung you to a guaranteed place to live thanks to university housing (and then of course you still have to pay rent somewhere between 2,700 and 4,500 SEK per month–which is fair). Click here for more information.

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Find Research Grants in Sweden Here: A List of Databases, Agencies, and Foundations

I know of several good websites to visit when searching for research grants in the US, like the National Institute of Health or the National Science Foundation.

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But after moving to Sweden, I wasn’t sure where to find grants. So I wanted to compile a list of places to find research grants, in case anyone else is having trouble finding some.

Here are some databases where you can continuously search for grants:

Länsstyrelsernas gemensamma stiftelsedatabas: Database is in Swedish.

Global Grant: A huge database in both English and Swedish (you may need a library card from someplace in Sweden to log in). If you have an Uppsala library card you can log in here and if you have a Stockholm Library card you can log in here.

If you’re at Uppsala University, you can access grants:

Through the university database here

Scholarships for research and students at UU can be found here

A scholarship handbook from Uppsala Akademiförvaltning can be found here (they also have some student housing, found here)

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Below is a composite of different agencies and foundations that give research grants.

The Government Offices of Sweden’s website (Regeringskansliet): provides a laundry list of several external funding sources–some of which will be mentioned on this site, but feel free to use Regeringskansliet website for even more potential sources!

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The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) provides grants in several disciplines, like the Humanities and Social Sciences, Medicine and Health, Educational Sciences, Natural and Engineering Sciences, Artistic Research, and Development Research.

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FORMAS: FORMAS gave our research group, heading by Dr. Anna Sarkadi, a large grant for five years. Read more about there here.

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Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences)

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Stiftelsen Allmänna Barnhuset (Children’s Welfare Foundation): Website is pretty much all in Swedish

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The Wallenberg Foundations: There’s the Marcus och Amalia Wallenberg Foundation, which focuses mainly on grants in the humanities and learning

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And there’s also the Knut och Alice Wallenberg Foundation, which focuses on natural sciences, technology, and medicine

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Forskningsrådet för hälsa, arbetsliv, och välfärd (FORTE) (Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life, and Welfare):

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The Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT): Like their name implies, you mostly apply for grants through this foundation if you want to try to connect one university with another when doing research (although not all are about connecting universities)

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If you know of other good databases, agencies, foundations, etc that provide research grants to people living in Sweden, please feel free to leave a comment.

Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS)

The Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21) assesses symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress in adults using a 21-item questionnaire. Each item is rated on a 4-point Likert scale ranging from 0 (did not apply to me) to 3 (applied to me very much or most of the time). Click here to see a full pdf of the DASS scale.

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Two studies that are worth reading regarding the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) are:

Antony, M. M., Bieling, P. J., Cox, B. J., Enns, M. W., & Swinson, R. P. (1998). Psychometric properties of the 42-item and 21-item versions of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales in clinical groups and a community sample. Psychological Assessment, 10(2), 176-181.

Henry, J. D., & Crawford, J. R. (2005). The short-form version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales DASS-21): Construct validity and normative data in a large non-clinical sample. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44(2), 227-239.

Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS): DAS-4

The Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS) is a self-reported tool that measures a couples’ satisfaction–how happy they are with each other) and consists of 32 questions. You can click here to download a pdf of the DAS.

Screen Shot 2013-02-16 at 5.00.47 PMThe DAS-4 is an abbreviated version of this–so you can complete the form faster!

The 4 alludes to the fact that there are only four items: three of which are on a 6-point Likert scale ranging from 0 (all the time) to 5 (never), while the final item is on a 7-point scale ranging from 0 (extremely happy) to 6 (perfect).

Two articles to read regarding the Dyadic Adjustment Scale are:

Sabourin, S., Valois, P., & Lussier, Y. (2005). Development and validation of a brief version of the Dyadic Adjustment Scale with a nonparametric item analysis model. Psychological Assessment, 17(1), 15-27.

Spanier, G. B. (1976). Measuring dyadic adjustment: New scales for assessing the quality of marriage and similar dyads. Journal of Marriage & the Family, 38(1), 15-28.

Parent Problem Checklist (PPC)

The Parent Problem Checklist (PPC) is used to help measure parental adjustment but using its 16-item questionnaire measuring inter-parental conflict over child rearing issues, with the questions in a yes/no format, but a Likert-scale is also added in to describe the extent to which a problem occurs.

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To see the Parent Problem Checklist click here.

To read more about the Parent Problem Checklist, check out these two articles:

Dadds, M. R., & Powell, M. B. (1991). The relationship of interparental conflict and global marital adjustment to aggression, anxiety, and immaturity in aggressive and nonclinic children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 19(5), 553-567.

Stallman, H. M., Morawska, A., & Sanders, M. R. (2009). Parent Problem Checklist: Tool for assessing parent conflict. Australian Psychologist, 44(2), 78-85.

 

Parenting Scale (PS)

The Parenting Scale (SC) is a 7-point Likert-scale 30-item questionnaire that measures the similarities and differences in how the parents parent. The questions ask parents simple hypotheticals to see how they would react to different behavior problems. The Screen Shot 2013-02-13 at 10.16.21 PMparenting scale’s 30 questions can be found here. The scale measures the parents on three subscales: laxness, overreactivity  and hostile parenting, although in the Swedish context, only laxness and overreactivity have been found to be reliable (see Salari, Terreros, & Sarkadi, 2012). Laxness refers to a parents’ inconsistent or permissive parenting, while Screen Shot 2013-02-13 at 10.13.23 PMoverreactivity refers to a parents’ harsh or punitive parenting. Hostile parenting refers to the extent to which a parent hits, curses or insults their child.

Rhoades and O’Leary (2007) published this article on the factor structure and validity of the Parenting Scale.

Another good citation for the Parenting Scale (PS) is:

Arnold, D. S., O’Leary, S. G., Wolff, L. S., & Acker, M. M. (1993). The Parenting Scale: A measure of dysfunctional parenting in discipline situations. Psychological Assessment, 5(2), 137-144.

Parenting Sense of Competence (PSOC)

Screen Shot 2013-02-13 at 9.58.22 PMThe Parenting Sense of Competence scale measures parental competence on two dimensions: Satisfaction and Efficacy. It is a 16 item Likert-scale questionnaire (on a 6 point scale ranging from strongly agree [1] to strongly disagree [6]), with nine questions under Satisfaction and seven under Efficacy. Satisfaction section examines the parents’ anxiety, motivation and frustration, while the Efficacy section looks at the parents’ competence, capability levels, and problem-solving abilities in their parental role.

The scale can also be a 17-point scale, as seen here (although as a 16-point scale, the last question isn’t used).

 

Scoring the PSOC: The scoring for the 17-point scale is found here (When scoring the PSOC, it is important to remember that several of the questions are reverse coded).

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Some citation references for this scale are (the last two have public links to the publications’ pdfs):

Johnston, C., & Mash, E. J. (1989). A measure of parenting satisfaction and efficacy. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 18(2), 167-175. (who cite Gilbaud-Wallston & Wanderson, 1978).

Ohan, J. L., Leung, D. W., & Johnston, C. (2000). The Parenting Sense of Competence Scale: Evidence of a stable factor structure and validity. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science/Revue canadienne des Sciences du comportement, 32(4), 251-261.

Gilmore, Linda A. and Cuskelly, Monica (2008) Factor structure of the parenting sense of competence scale using a normative sample. Child care, health & development, 38(1). pp. 48-55.

Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory (ECBI)

The Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory (ECBI) is a parent rating scale that assesses child behavior problems using two scales: the intensity scale and the problem scale. The intensity scale is seen as the more objective scale, as it measures how frequent particular behaviors occur within the child, while the problem scale measures whether or not the parent sees that behavior as a problem.

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For example, perhaps a child hits their sibling. Hitting the sibling might be part of the intensity scale, while if the parent things this is a problem is part of the problem scale (i.e. one parent may say “hitting should never be allowed” while the other says “siblings will be siblings”–even though both agree that the child does hit their sibling. Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 10.41.09 AM

The tool can be used for children who are between 2 to 16 years old and the examination takes about 5-10 minutes (using the full 36-item questionnaire). There is also a revised edition with only 22 questions, called the ECBI-22. Both parents and professionals can use the tool.

For more information see:

ECBI’s website for purchasing the product.

General information on ECBI, as well as some citations and the reliability and validity numbers.

Some good citations for ECBI are:

Axberg, U., Hanse, J. J., & Broberg, A. G. (2008). Parents’ description of conduct     problems in their children – A test of the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory (ECBI) in a Swedish sample aged 3–10. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 49, 497-505.

Burns, G., & Patterson, D. R. (2000). Factor structure of the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory: A parent rating scale of oppositional defiant behavior toward adults, inattentive behavior, and conduct problem behavior. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 29(4), 569-577.

Eyberg, S. M., & Pincus, D. (1999). Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory and Sutter-Eyberg Student Behavior Inventory: Professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Rich, B. A., & Eyberg, S. M. (2001). Accuracy of assessment: the discriminative and predictive power of the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory. Ambulatory Child Health, 7(3-4), 249-257.

Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS): National Averages and Region V Averages for 2010

I have written a number of posts on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). This assessment tool for early childhood education seems to be a hot topic, probably because it is often used in ECE research and because it’s mandated by Head Start (feel free to search my blog by running a search on the homepage for other CLASS blog posts for more information on CLASS, what it can do for you, how it’s used, and the benefits of CLASS).

In this installment though I would like to discuss the 2010 national averages of CLASS and the regional averages for Region V. Region V consists of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. To see the full pdf posted by http://www.ohsai.org click here.

The average CLASS scores for the Nation under the three domains are as follows:

Emotional Support:              5.35

Classroom Organization:     4.74

Instructional Support:         3.36

Region V has the CLASS averages under the three domains are as follows:

Emotional Support:              5.41

Classroom Organization:     4.76

Instructional Support:         3.54

This means that on average, Region V is doing better than the national average on all three domains. Despite the numbers being very close (i.e. Classroom Organization is 4.74 vs 4.76), remember that the smallest difference on a large scale (i.e. 10’s of thousands of children) make a big impact on our overall nation’s education scores. And so Region V should celebrate for being better than the national average! Something to be proud of! However, Illinois and Indiana are below the Regional and the National average for Emotional Support; Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan are below the Regional and National averages for Classroom Organization; and Illinois and Indiana are below the National and Regional averages for Instructional Support.

In other other words, Illinois and Indiana need to up their classroom quality. On the other hand, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin are doing pretty well comparatively.

With that in mind, remember that CLASS scores are out of 7 points on all dimensions (and therefore on all three domains as well). So Instructional Support, for example, as a long way to go before we see the true potential of what excellent Early Childhood Education can accomplish.

Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS): 2011 Region V Averages

I have written several blog posts about the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (feel free to search my blog to read more on CLASS and the what’s, how’s, and why’s of it).

I recently posted the 2010 national averages of CLASS under their three domains. However, today I want to compare Region V’s average scores between 2010 and 2011. Region V consists of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Did Region V make any improvements in CLASS over the course of the year? Did Region V falter and have their classrooms degrade over the three domains of CLASS? Let’s find out.

Last year (2010), Region V did better, on average, on all three dimensions than the National Average, with Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin leading the charge (see early blog post). Click here to see a pdf of how Region V scored on CLASS for 2010 and 2011, beyond what this blog post discusses.

2010’s averages are as follows for Region V:

Region V has the CLASS averages under the three domains are as follows:

Emotional Support:              5.41

Classroom Organization:     4.76

Instructional Support:         3.54

In 2011, Region V scored as follows:

Emotional Support:              5.24

Classroom Organization:     4.86

Instructional Support:         3.20

This means that Region V dropped on both Emotional Support and Instructional Support, while their Classroom Organization increased. Not good. Not good. The swing for Classroom Organization was a pretty good upward swing by increasing by 0.10. That’s huge! Especially when considering the number of classrooms that would have to change in order to increase by a full tenth of a point.

However, Emotional Support dropped by 0.17 and Instructional Support by 0.34. What this means is that Region V is being less sensitive to the children’s needs (i.e. less smiling, fewer praise, possibly more sarcasm or possibly being demeaning to children, etc) while at the same time decreasing what Region V is actually teaching the children (i.e. less verbal responses, less feedback loops, less thinking and conceptualizing by the children, etc).

The caveat to this is that in 2010 their were only 64 grantees that had CLASS completed on them while in 2011 there were 73. It’s hypothetically possible that the scores didn’t go down or up (or maybe they did), but rather that 2011 shows a fuller picture of the kind of education Head Start children are receiving compared to 2010, since there are so many more grantees participating in CLASS in 2011. As it stands, it’s possible that the grantees who were scored last year increased under all three domains, but since 9 more grantees were graded, it’s hypothetically possible that those 9 scored much lower than all of the other grantees and thus dragged down the average. Naturally the opposite of this could be true as well. Only when there is a full picture of all of the grantees or when we can compare the same grantees to the same grantees over time will we truly know if they are improving or not.