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    ABSTRACT: This paper tests whether the existence of vocationally oriented tracks within a traditionally academically oriented upper education system reduces socioeconomic inequalities in educational attainment. Based on a statistical model of educational transitions and data on two entire cohorts of Danish youth, we find that (1) the vocationally oriented tracks are less socially selective than the traditional academic track; (2) attending the vocationally oriented tracks has a negative effect on the likelihood of enrolling in higher education; and (3) in the aggregate the vocationally oriented tracks improve access to lower-tier higher education for low-SES students. These findings point to an interesting paradox in that tracking has adverse effects at the micro-level but equalizes educational opportunities at the macro-level. We also discuss whether similar mechanisms might exist in other educational systems.
    Social Science Research 11/2013; 42(6):1431-1442. DOI:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2013.06.001
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    ABSTRACT: To estimate the prevalence of four types of childhood maltreatment in Denmark while taking into considerations how each of the types of maltreatment vary as a function of gender or child-protection status. Data were collected from a Danish national study conducted by The Danish National Centre for Social Research in 2008 and 2009. The study used a stratified random probability sample of young people aged 24 years. A sample of 4718 young adults were randomly selected by Statistics Denmark using the total birth cohort of all children born in 1984. The response rate was 63% leaving a total effective sample size of 2980. A structured residential or telephone interview enquired about a range of respondents maltreatment experiences. Maltreatment is experienced by a significant proportion of Danish children. The reported prevalence rates were; physical neglect (3.0%), emotional abuse (5.2%), physical abuse (5.4%) and sexual abuse (3.4%). All trauma types were experienced by a greater percentage of females compared to males with the exception of physical abuse and all trauma types were experienced by a greater percentage of children given child-protection status. Female children and children who are given child protection status are those most at risk for experiencing maltreatment in Denmark. However, variability in prevalence rates of maltreatment across studies is problematic. Methodological variations and variation in abuse definitions may be partly attributable.
    Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health 10/2013; 9:149-56. DOI:10.2174/1745017901309010149
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    ABSTRACT: Part-time sick leave (PTSL) allows employees on full-time sick leave (FTSL) to resume work at reduced hours. When the partly absent employee's health improves, working hours are increased until the employee is able to work regular hours. Studies have found that PTSL is an effective instrument for reducing sick leave durations for employees with musculoskeletal disorders and for employees on sick leave in general. This is the first published article to document how PTSL affects sick leave durations for employees with mental disorders. The aim is to estimate the effect of PTSL on the duration until returning to regular working hours for employees with mental disorders. We compare this effect to that of PTSL for employees with non-mental disorders ('other disorders'). We use combined survey and register data about 226 employees on long-term sick leave with mental disorders and 638 employees with other disorders. These data contain information about type of disorder, PTSL and FTSL (full-time sick leave) durations, and various background characteristics. We use a mixed proportional hazard regression model that allows us to control for unobserved differences between employees on PTSL and those on FTSL. Our analyses show that PTSL has no effect on the duration until returning to regular working hours for employees with mental disorders. Furthermore, looking at specific disorders such as depression and stress-related conditions, we find no significant effects of PTSL. In contrast, in line with previous research, we find that PTSL significantly reduces the duration until returning to regular working hours for employees with other disorders. The analyses also illustrate the importance of controlling for unobserved differences between employees on PTSL and those on FTSL. Without this control, PTSL significantly reduces the duration until returning to regular working hours. When we control for unobserved characteristics, this effect decreases, and for employees with mental disorders the effect vanishes entirely. The lack of an effect of PTSL for employees with mental disorders needs replication in other studies. If subsequent studies confirm our findings, one should not necessarily conclude that PTSL is an ineffective intervention: PTSL may play a role in combination with other workplace interventions and in combination with person-centred interventions. The study is limited by self-reported data about disorders and a relatively small number of employees with mental disorders. Our findings suggest that while PTSL reduces sick leave durations for employees with other disorders, it does not affect sick leave durations for employees with mental disorders. These results may indicate that PTSL by itself is insufficient for promoting the return to work of employees with mental disorders. FUTURE RESEARCH: Future studies could benefit from larger data sets with disorder information based on medical assessments. In addition to quantitative effect studies, future studies could focus on qualitative workplace mechanisms that may counteract the potential positive effects of PTSL for employees on sick leave with mental disorders.
    The Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics 12/2012; 15(4):157-70.

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02/2011; 70(1):29-36. DOI:10.3402/ijch.v70i1.17791
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European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 02/2004; 13 Suppl 2:II32-9. DOI:10.1007/s00787-004-2006-2
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