Journal of Public Health Policy

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 324–341 | Cite as

Who takes paternity leave? A cohort study on prior social and health characteristics among fathers in Stockholm

  • Anna MånsdotterEmail author
  • Peeter Fredlund
  • Johan Hallqvist
  • Cecilia Magnusson
Original Article


Progress towards gender equality involves changes in the traditional parental division – female caring and male breadwinning. One aspect is increased parental leave for fathers, which may benefit the health of mothers, children, and fathers themselves. We examined how social and health characteristics (2002) were associated with paternity leave in excess of the ‘father quota’ of 60 days (2003–2006) in the Stockholm Public Health Cohort. Generally, fathers with stable social position, fit lifestyles, and good health had increased chances of paternity leave uptake. Our findings may contribute to identifying target groups for parental leave strategies among fathers; they indicate also that research on gender equality and public health must carefully address the problems of confounding and health-related selection.


social position lifestyles health paternity leave 



This study was supported by the Swedish Confederation for Professional Employees (Dnr 573/08), and by grants from the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (Dnr 2007–0091), and Swedish Research Council (Dnr 2007–2804).


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Månsdotter
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peeter Fredlund
    • 1
  • Johan Hallqvist
    • 2
  • Cecilia Magnusson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public Health SciencesKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of Public Health and Caring SciencesUppsala UniversityUppsulaSweden

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