The Domino Effect: Parental Health Shocks and Children’s Health Outcomes

Name of applicant

Maiken Skovrider Aaskoven


Assistant Professor


Monash Business School, Monash University


DKK 450,000



Type of grant

Internationalisation Fellowships


This project studies the impact of parental health shocks on children’s health outcomes such as BMI, infections, and dental health. The effects are likely to vary based on child, parent, and family characteristics, e.g., child’s age at diagnosis, parent’s education, and parents’ living situation. Moreover, there may be underlying mechanisms, such as family income changes, that drive these effects.


Each year, around 42,000 Danish children experience a severe parental health shock, and around 2,000 lose a parent. These events disrupt routines, reducing quantity and quality of parental time and impacting children’s development and wellbeing. Despite attention, the effects and causes of these shocks remain largely unexplored, lacking causal evidence and understanding of the mechanisms involved.


The project defines a parental health shock as a cancer diagnosis, allowing for varying severity levels. It uses data from Statistics Denmark and The Danish Health Data Authority, covering demographics, socioeconomics, healthcare, and specific health details. The goal is to identify influencing factors, explore underlying mechanisms, and deepen the understanding of the impact on children’s health.

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