Criminality and Ill-health

Course - second cycle - 7.5 credits

Syllabus for students spring 2016, spring 2015, spring 2014

Course Code:
KA721E revision 1
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
No main fields
Date of ratification:
02 December 2013
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Health and Society
Enforcement date:
20 January 2014

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 Masters 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.


An overview of contemporary, national as well as international, research and reports on ill-health related to the field of criminology will be presented. 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 also discussed.

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, and
3. 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.


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 a paper and active participation in class discussions.

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. If the course has been discontinued or undergone major changes, the student has a right to re-examination on two occasions within one year, based on the syllabus that was in place at the time the student registered for the course. 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 s.

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 s.

Dernevik, M. (2004). Structured clinical assessment and management of risk of violent recidivism in mentally disordered offenders. Dissertation. Solna: Karolinska Institutet. 79 s.

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 s.

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 s.

Forsell, Y. & Dalman, C. (Rapport 2004:6). Psykisk ohälsa hos unga. Epidemiologiska enheten: Centrum för folkhälsa: Stockholms läns landsting: Norrbacka, Stockholm. 31 s. 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 s.

Nilsson, I and Wadeskog, A. (2008). Focus on the individual "An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure". Skandia Insurance Company Ltd.

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 s.

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 s.

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 s.

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 s.

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 s.

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.