Mona Bekkhus

Associate Professor
Image of Mona Bekkhus
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47-22845229
Mobile phone +47-92626351
Room V04-14
Available hours By agreement
Visiting address Forskningsveien 3A Harald Schjelderups hus 0373 Oslo
Postal address Postboks 1094 Blindern 0317 Oslo

Academic interests

My research is focused on developmental psycopathology and how psychososcial risk is associated with individual differences in early to middle childhood. In particular my research is focused on how early adversity influence developmental psychopathology, using large scale cohort data examining prenatal stress, parental anxiety and depression and potential causal pathways influencing child development. Of particular interest in this context are the transactional mechanisms between children’s genetic liabilities and environmental influences that explain the links between behaviour problems or emotional difficulties, on the one hand, and child adjustment, on the other hand.

My current research involve examining causal mechanisms using informative designs (twin and siblings studies) to examine associations between environmental stress, epigenetic mechanisms, gene-environment interactions and child psychopathology. I am also currently conducting a longitudinal study on associations between loneliness, friendship and gaming on adolescence mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic.   

I collaborate with researchers in Brisbane, (Australia) and Qubec, Ottowa (CANADA), and the UK in understanding how environmental stress and social relationships (family and peers) is associated with child psychopathology and resilience. 



Psyc 2410 Wechsler test (Clinical psychology)

Psyc 3400 Test and observation of children (clinical psychology)

Psy 1200 Introduction in developmental psychology (BA)

Psy2205, Bio-Psychosocial development (BA)

Psy4205, Prevention of mental health disorder (MA)


Research Project

TRACE: Early Adversity and Developmental Psychopathology (PI)

To date several studies suggests that adult disorders can be traced back to early life stress, often referred to as the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD).

Both animal and human studies have found exposure to prenatal stress to be associated with later adult disorders. Thus, investigating early risk pathways is crucial for prevention, as health-economic calculations show that initiatives introduced early in life have a greater impact on mental health, and are much cheaper, than measures that are implemented later. This projects also include examining the linkage between prenatal stress, DNA methyaltion at birth and child psychopathology. In addition we also have a sub-project examining Gene Haplotype associations in family-child- trios. In this project we aim to gain a better understanding of overlapp in genotypes between mother and child by examining  maternal effects and parent-of-origin effects. With TRACE we aim to examine Early Life Stress and child and adolescent psychopathology. TRACE use data from the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort study.

The Project is supported by RCN Grant: 301004 and Promenta Research Centre Grant: 288083.

Cosequences of social distancing for Adolescence during the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people in Norway were encouraged to keep physical distance to persons outside the family. This study examines loneliness, gaming and social media use and contact with friends during the Covid-19 pandemic among 900 adolescence.  This Project was initiated in the first weeks after the lockdown in Norway and contributes with valuable knowledge on how adolescence cope during the early part of the pandemic, about the impact of friends and social media use on mental health. The study have been financed by the Department of Psychology, UiO.

The matter of the first friendship.

The main objective in this study is to examine the development and matter of the first friendship in childhood and implications for later functioning as adolescents. Second we aim examine early predictors of later mental and physical health of young people (i.e. the relationship between children's behavior, quality in family and daycare). We have followed 600 children from the daycare into adolescence in two municipalities outside of Oslo. A main area of focus is on time spent outdoors and how this impacts on behaviour and attention into adolescence. The project have been financed by The Research Council of Norway and the Department of Psychology, UiO.


Higher education and employment history

  Mona  has a Ph.d. in Psychology From the University of Oslo.

  • Mona has a Master degree in psychology from the University of Oslo

  • Mona has been a guest researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London and Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Australia.

  • Mona has experience from the working within the field of drug addiction and Psychiatry, she has also worked In School Psychology, in P.P. Services 


Mona is collaborating with reserachers from Oxford University, Kings College London, University of London and Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Australia. University of Ottawa, and Québec University, Canada.

Tags: Developmental psychology, PROMENTA
Published June 29, 2012 9:05 AM - Last modified June 16, 2021 11:18 AM