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  • Child Health and Development


Child Health and Development

The department produces and disseminates data on the development of mental health and quality of life in children and young people over time – from childhood to early adulthood.

Within the field of mental health we research subjects such as the development and range of symptoms relating to the most common conditions (anxiety, depression, behavioural problems, eating disorders), amongst other things. Mental health is also about issues associated with positive mental health, quality of life and coping. Other topics include personality development, language, alcohol use, sleep, and obesity and weight loss behaviour.

The department's research takes a developmental and life course approach, focusing on how young people and their environment mutually influence each other over time. We therefore conduct research on the significance of the environment that children and young people grow up in. The family is the single most important factor in the early years, and issues such as the parents' physical and mental health along with interaction, parenting style and family conflicts are of great significance. We also conduct research into issues surrounding kindergarten, school and friendships. We also carry out research on families with migrant backgrounds and on ethnic diversion. The impact of genetics and issues relating to pregnancy and birth are incorporated into many of the department's research projects.


The department is currently involved in a number of research projects looking at various risk and protective factors in child and adolescent mental health and at their current mental health and how it develops over time. We carry out studies into personality, quality of life and well-being, depression and anxiety, language development, obesity and eating disorders, sleep problems and use of medication, as well as behavioural problems and substance use.

The department focuses especially on environmental factors that affect children and young people's development. We look at environmental conditioning in the womb, the impact of the parents' mental health and medication use, family interaction and conflict, the learning environment in kindergarten and school, social support and friendships, bullying and exclusion, and the significance of refugee experiences and growing up in a multicultural society.

The department's research and health analyses are based on the NIPH's vast data collection (epidemiological cohort studies and health registries) and on more or less targeted studies involving specific groups or limited topics. Our researchers hold specialist expertise on complex statistical methodologies such as longitudinal analysis, structural equation modelling and family design.

Health analytics and advice

The department is responsible for monitoring child and adolescent health and well-being and has co-ordinating responsibility for research and health analytics regarding quality of life and positive psychology. The department is charged with obtaining knowledge about the prevalence of mental health issues and disorders in children and young people and about risk and protective factors relating to the development of mental and physical health through childhood and adolescence.


The department's research and health analyses are disseminated through scientific articles in national and international publications, through popular science articles on the NIPH website and in the media. We also publish reports on a range of issues at the request of government ministries and directorates.

About the department

The Department of Child Development currently employs 22 people. Of these, 11 are researchers in either permanent or temporary positions, five are postdoctoral research fellows and three are PhD research fellows. The department has a department co-ordinator, a project co-ordinator and a research assistant.


Switchboard: +47 21 07 70 00

Department Director

Heidi Aase

Fasttelefon: +47 21 07 83 44

Visiting address

Marcus Thranes gate 6

0473 Oslo

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Postal address

Norwegian Institute of Public Health, PO Box 222 Skøyen

N-0213 Oslo

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Photo of Heidi Aase

Heidi Aase

Department Director

Tlf: +47 21 07 83 44

M: +47 975 38 324

Ansatt bilde

Adriano Winterton

Photo of Anne Kristine Nilsen Solhaug

Anne Kristine Nilsen Solhaug

PhD student

Tlf: +47 21 07 83 66

Ansatt bilde

Anne-Siri Øyen

Tlf: +47 21 07 65 58

Photo of Brit Oppedal

Brit Oppedal

Senior researcher

Tlf: +47 21 07 82 26

M: +47

Ansatt bilde

Emilie Ødegård

Photo of Erik Eliassen

Erik Eliassen

Post doc

Tlf: +47 21 07 83 20

M: +47 928 06 172

Ansatt bilde

Espen Røysamb

Tlf: +47 21 07 83 68

Ansatt bilde

Gro Dehli Villanger


Tlf: +47 21 07 82 20

M: +47 916 05 784

Ansatt bilde

Guido Philipp Emmanuel Biele

Research Professor

Tlf: +47 21 07 83 50

Photo of Idunn Brekke

Idunn Brekke

Senior researcher

Tlf: +47 21 07 83 09

M: +47 997 39 000

Photo of Karine Jakobsen

Karine Jakobsen

M: +47 916 08 264

Photo of Lasse Bang

Lasse Bang


Ansatt bilde

Leila Torgersen

Tlf: +47 21 07 83 43

M: +47 996 19 709

Photo of Linda Paarup Neigaard Larsen

Linda Paarup Neigaard Larsen

Post doctoral researcher

Tlf: +47 21 07 83 94

Ansatt bilde

Maren Sand Helland

Post doctoral researcher

Tlf: +47 21 07 83 85

Photo of Mari Vaage Wang

Mari Vaage Wang


Tlf: +47 21 07 83 74

Photo of Maria Morbech

Maria Morbech

Ansatt bilde

Nina Alexandersen

PhD fellow

Photo of Olav Bertin Tveit

Olav Bertin Tveit

Photo of Pål Suren

Pål Suren


Tlf: +47 21 07 83 03

Photo of Ragnhild Eek Brandlistuen

Ragnhild Eek Brandlistuen

Senior researcher

Tlf: +47 21 07 80 31

M: +47 970 68 217

Photo of Silje Kvam Bårdstu

Silje Kvam Bårdstu

Post doctoral researcher

Tlf: +47 21 07 80 82

M: +47 456 88 443

Ansatt bilde

Susan Garthus-Niegel

Tlf: +47 21 07 83 35

Photo of Synnve Schjølberg

Synnve Schjølberg

Projectmanager / clinical director

Tlf: +47 21 07 82 22

Ansatt bilde

Tiril Wilhelmsen

Tlf: +47 21 07 66 89

Photo of Tonje Holt

Tonje Holt

"Researcer," psychologist

Tlf: +47 21 07 88 26