Child Health and Development
The department for Child Health and Development collects, produces, and disseminates knowledge about the mental health and development of children and adolescents, the consequences of mental health problems and disorders, and about preventive measures.
Our research is particularly focused on understanding the factors contributing to the development of mental health problems and disorders such as anxiety, depression, or eating disorders in some children and young people, or the diagnosis of conditions such as ADHD or autism. We also examine the consequences of various mental health problems and disorders in the short and long term.
The department is responsible for research projects on the significance of how conditions in preschool and early school years may affect children's learning and development. We also do research on the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic for mental health, development, and learning of children and young people.
The department is responsible for coordinating national knowledge about the mental health of children and young people. We aim to acquire knowledge about the causes of the increase in mental health problems and disorders among youth in Norway, the consequences of this increase, and effective measures. We do this on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Care Services.
We are responsible for the professional development of the Norwegian Mother, Father, and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) and we use data sources such as MoBa, registry data, and self-collected data in our research. We use advanced statistical methods to answer our research questions.
- The significance of early experiences in preschool and school for later development and education
- Language and learning in preschool and school
- Early symptoms of ADHD and later diagnosis
- The connection between ADHD and other mental health problems
- The significance of psychopharmacological treatment and special educational measures for learning and academic outcomes in children with ADHD
- Exposure to environmental toxins during pregnancy and their impact on neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and autism in children
- The significance of exposure to psychopharmaceuticals during pregnancy for children's health
- Changes in mental health in children and adolescents
- Causes of the increase in mental health problems and disorders among children and adolescents in Norway
- The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the mental health (anxiety, depression, eating disorders) of young people
- Child poverty and social inequality
Our research is published in national and international scientific journals. We also disseminate knowledge about the health and upbringing of children and young people in the Public Health Report, in theme reports, through presentations in various forums, and in the media.
The department participates in inter-agency collaboration on vulnerable children and young people, aiming for improved collaboration and coordination of services across sectors for this group. We are also involved in international cooperation in the EU on improving mental health for children and young people in Europe.