Research Interests

haende

Early adolescence is a stage in developmental during which a multitude of changes happen on social, emotional, cognitive, and biological levels. It provides a unique window of opportunity for promoting positive development, and setting up trajectories of well-being and success that take young people on a pathway through the adolescent years, into early adulthood. My research focuses on positive youth development and resilience throughout the early adolescent years.

In particular, I ask questions such as: What role do peer relationships play in positive youth development? What are core assets that contribute positive developmental outcomes in early adolescence? How can supportive relationships with parents, and non-related adults such as teachers, mentors, and community members foster a positive developmental trajectory in youth? How can we understand positive development holistically, including biological markers, cognitive markers, and social and emotional indices of well-being?

Furthermore, I am interested in evaluating the effectiveness of intervention and prevention programs that cultivate positive social, emotional, psychological, and academic outcomes in youth (e.g., mindfulness-based intervention programs, programs fostering social and emotional competences).

I conduct most of my research using quantitative data from small- and large-scale samples collected within the school setting. Applying multilevel research methods, I am interested in investigating in how far individual variables (i.e., student-level data) as well as group-level variables (e.g., data collected at the classroom-/ school-/ neighborhood-level) are linked to positive youth development.