Criminality and Ill-health


Admission requirements

1. Bachelor's degree with a major in social- or behavioural science or medicine.
2. English B.


credits 100%


Syllabus for students spring 2020, spring 2019

Course Code:
KA721E revision 2
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
No main fields
Date of ratification:
31 January 2018
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Health and Society
Enforcement date:
21 January 2019
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
14 November 2016

Entry requirements

1. Bachelor's degree with a major in social- or behavioural science or medicine.
2. English B.

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course is given in the second term of the Master’s Program in Criminology. The course is also offered as an independent course.


The aim of the course is for the student to acquire knowledge about commonly occurring health problems and about the social factors which lead to and result from criminality.


Contemporary, national as well as international, research and reports on ill-health related to the field of criminology are addressed. Definitions of relevant concepts and their relation to each other are also addressed. Emphasis is placed on how marginalization, vulnerability and mental ill-health are dynamically related to each other from a public health perspective. Consequences of criminality, both for the individual and the society as well as the interaction between mental ill-health and criminality are discussed. Further, the issue of promoting public awareness of the relationship between criminality and ill-health through communication of research results is raised.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to
1. analyze the interaction between criminality and the physical-, mental- and social dimensions of ill-health,
2. compare national and international research literature within the field of criminology and ill-health,
3. identify and discuss relevant research that adds to a wider understanding of ill-health and antisocial behavior in terms of equality, equity and diversity, and
4. discuss individual and societal precursors as well as the consequences of mental ill-health and criminality.

Learning activities

The educational approach is based on active forms of learning. The teaching takes the form of combined lectures and seminars, group assignments, independent studies, and of student- led literature seminars (i.e. journal clubs). To achieve learning outcomes 1-4, the student shall prepare to and take part in seminar discussions, prepare and lead a seminar in a group assignment and individually write a public outreach paper. Thus, active participation in seminars is compulsory.


Together with an independently written assignment, group discussions and an oral examination, they constitute the basis for the examination in the course. Learning outcomes 1-2 are assessed through the compulsory student-led seminars whereas Learning outcome 3 is assessed by active participation in class discussions and Learning outcome 4 is assessed in a brief scientific outreach paper. The main focus in the scientific public outreach is to communicate and deliver research results regarding criminality and ill-health to the wider public or practitioners effectively. The seminars and class discussions will focus on identifying and contrasting interactions between and overlap of criminality, antisocial behaviour, and ill-health within international and national contexts as well as equality awareness when interpreting research results. In case of absence from compulsory seminars the student has to acquire appropriate knowledge from the literature and write a report of the respectively literature tied to the seminar missed.

Right to re-examination
A student who fails to achieve a passing grade in the course examination will be given the opportunity to be re-examined twice according to same course content and with the same requirements. In addition, students also have the right to be examined on the same course the next time the course is offered according to the same regulations. Examination and re-examination take place at the times specified in the course guide.

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

Cohen M A, Piquero A R, (2009) New Evidence on the Monetary Value of Saving a High Risk Youth, Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 25:25-49. 24 p.
Contrada R J, Cather C O’Leary A, (2001) Personality and Health: Dispositions and Processes in Disease Susceptibility and Adaptation to Illness. In. Handbook of personality: theory and research. New York: The Guildford Press, 30 p.
Dernevik M, (2004) Structured clinical assessment and management of risk of violent recidivism in mentally disordered offenders. Dissertation. Solna: Karolinska Institutet. 79 p.
Fazel S, Sjöstedt G, Grann M, Långström M, (2008) Sexual Offending in Women and Psychiatric Disorder: A National Case-Control Study. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Online maj 2008, DOI 10.1007/s10508-008-9375-4. 20 p.
Fazel S, Doll H, Långström N, (2008/9) Mental disorders among adolescents in juvenile detention and correctional facilities: A systematic review and metaregression analysis of 25 surveys. The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 2008 Sep;47(9):1010-9/2009 Mar;48(3):340; author reply 340-1. 20 p.
Forsell Y, Dalman C, (Rapport 2004:6) Psykisk ohälsa hos unga. Epidemiologiska enheten: Centrum för folkhälsa: Stockholms läns landsting: Norrbacka, Stockholm. 31 p. An oral summery and key issues of this report is presented at lectures.
Hubicka B, (2009) Characteristics of drunk drivers in Sweden - alcohol problems, detection, crime records, psychosocial characteristics, personality traits and mental health. Doctoral dissertation, Stockholm: Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska institutet, 2009, 54 p.
Johnson EI, Easterling BA, (2015) Coping With Confinement: Adolescents’ Experiences With Parental Incarceration. Journal of Adolescent Research 30(2). 244-267. 24 p.
Nilsson I, Wadeskog A, (2008) Focus on the individual "An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure". Skandia Insurance Company Ltd. >< (2016-11-07)
Pajer K, Stouthamber-Loeber M, Gardner W, Loeber R, (2006) Women with antisocial behaviour: long-term health disability and help-seeking for emotional problems, Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 16:29-42. 13 p.
Piquero A R, Daigle L E, Gibson C, Piquero N L, Tibbetts S G, (2007) Are Life-Course-Persistent Offenders at Risk for Adverse Health Outcomes? Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 44(2): 185-207. 22 p.
Stafford M, Chandola T, Marmot M, (2007) Association Between Fear of Crime and Mental Health and Physical Functioning, American Journal of Public Health, 97(11): 2076-2081. 5 p.
Steptoe A, O’Donnell K, Marmot M, Wardle J, (2008) Positive affect and psychosocial processes related to health, British Journal of Psychology, 99, 211-227. 16 p.
Welsh B C, Loeber R, Stevens B R, Stouthamer-Loeber M, Cohen M A, Farrington D P, (2008) Costs of Juvenile Crime in Urban Areas: A Longitudinal Perspective, Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice. 6(1): 3-27. 24 p.

Additional articles from scientific journals will also be included, approx. 200 pages.

Course evaluation

The course coordinator/examiner is responsible for ensuring that a summary course evaluation is conducted at the end of the course. The coordinator will relay these results to the students at a prearranged time. Memory notes from the feedback, including proposals for changes to the course, will be documented and made available on the course website, and will also be relayed to the students who begin the course the next time it is given.

Interim rules

If a course is no longer offered or has undergone major changes, students will be offered two re-take sessions based on the syllabus in force at registration during a period of one year from the date of the implementation of the changes.


The education is provided by the Faculty of Health and Society at the Criminology.

Further information

Marie Väfors Fritz, Course Coordinator
Phone: 040-6657829
Maria O Driscoll, Student Administrator
Phone: 040-6657968