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


Scientific dissemination:

  1. Bekkhus, M., Baldwin, D., Coplan, R.J., von Soest, T., Skaret, S., Ulset, V., Borge, A.I.H. (in press 2021). Examining Launch and Snare Effects in the Longitudinal Associations between Shyness and Socio-Emotional Difficulties in Childhood. Social Development.doi: 10.1111/sode.12528
  2. Ulset, V., Czajkowski, N., Staton, S., Smith, S., Pattinson, C., Allan, A., Thorpe, K., Bekkhus, M. (2021). Environmental Light Exposure, Rest-Activity Rhythms, and Symptoms of Inattention and Hyperactivity: An Observational Study of Australian Preschoolers. Journal of Environmental Psychology.
  3. Bekkhus, M., Oftedal., A., Braithswaithe, E., Haugen, G., & Kaasen, G. (2020). Paternal psychological stress after detection of fetal anomaly during pregnancy. A prospective longitudinal observational study. Frontiers in Psychology (published, online 29.07.20).
  4. Bekkhus, m., von Soest, T., & Fredriksen, E., (2020). Psykisk helse hos ungdom under Covid -19. Ensomhet, venner og sosiale medier. Tidskrift for Norsk Psykologforening, 492-501.
  5. Ulset, V. S., Czajkowski, N. O., Kraft, B., Kraft, P., Wikenius, E., Kleppestø, T. H., & Bekkhus, M. (2019). Are unpopular children more likely to get sick? Longitudinal links between popularity and infectious diseases in early childhood. PloS one14(9), e0222222.
  6. Lezhnieva, N., Fredriksen, P.M., Bekkhus, M. (2018). Peer relationship and quality of life in 11-12-year-old children: The Health Oriented Pedagogical Project (HOPP). Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 46 (21_suppl), 74-81.
  7. Thorpe, K., Staton, S., Bekkhus, M. (2018). Twins and other multiples. The Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Development. In press.
  8. Bekkhus, Mona; Lee, Yunsung; Nordhagen, Rannveig; Magnus, Per; Samuelsen, Sven Ove & Borge, Anne Inger Helmen (2017). Re-examining the link between prenatal maternal anxiety and child emotional difficulties, using a sibiling design. International Journal of Epidemiology.  ISSN 0300-5771. . doi: 10.1093/ije/dyx186 Fulltekst i vitenarkiv.
  9. Ulset, Vidar; Vitaro, Frank; Brendgen, Mara Rosemarie; Bekkhus, Mona & Borge, Anne Inger Helmen (2017). Time spent outdoors during preschool: Links with children's cognitive and behavioral Development. Journal of Environmental Psychology.  ISSN 0272-4944.  52, s 69- 80 . doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2017.05.007
  10. Wikenius, Ellen; Bekkhus, Mona; Martinsen, Pål Gunnar & Myhre, Anne Margrethe (2017). Betydningen av stress tidlig i livet for epigenetisk variasjon : hva vet vi, og hva betyr det?. Tidsskrift for Norsk Psykologforening.  ISSN 0332-6470.  54(7), s 626- 636
  11. Bekkhus, Mona; Brendgen, Mara; Czajkowski, Nikolai Olavi; Vitaro, Frank; Dionne, Ginette & Boivin, Michel (2016). Associations between Sibling Relationship Quality and Friendship Quality in Early Adolescence: Looking at the Case of Twins. Twin Research and Human Genetics.  ISSN 1832-4274.  19(2), s 125- 135 . doi: 10.1017/thg.2016.9
  12. Küenzlen, Heidi; Bekkhus, Mona; Thorpe, Karen & Borge, Anne Inger Helmen (2016). Potential traumatic events in early childhood and behavioural resilience: a longitudinal case control study. European Journal of Developmental Psychology.  ISSN 1740-5629.  13(3), s 394- 406 . doi: 10.1080/17405629.2016.1150174
  13. Bekkhus, M. (2016). Resiliens – hva kjennetegner ungdom som klarer seg bra? (Ch 10). I Lingås , K. og Høisøien, U. (eds). Utdanningsvalg – identitet og danning.  Gyldendal Akademisk          
  14. Bekkhus, Mona (2014). Kan barn være utsatt for risiko før de er født? Om prenatale virkningsmekanismer. Psykologi i kommunen.  ISSN 1892-3364.  49(2), s 17- 22
  15. Bekkhus, Mona; Staton, Sally; Borge, Anne Inger Helmen & Thorpe, Karen (2014). Do twins differ from single-born children on rates of behavioral difficulty in early childhood? a study of sibling relationship risk factors. Twin Research and Human Genetics.  ISSN 1832-4274.  17(4), s 288- 295 . doi: 10.1017/thg.2014.39
  16. Holte, Arne; Barry, Margaret M.; Bekkhus, Mona; Borge, Anne Inger Helmen; Bowes, Lucy; Casas, Ferran; Friborg, Oddgeir; Grinde, Bjørn; Headey, Bruce; Jozefiak, Thomas; Lekhal, Rabit; Marks, Nic; Muffels, Ruud; Nes, Ragnhild Bang; Røysamb, Espen; Thimm, Jens; Torgersen, Svenn; Trommsdorff, Gisela; Veenhoven, Ruut; Vittersø, Joar; Waaktaar, Trine; Wagner, Gert G.; Wang, Catharina E.; Wold, Bente & Zachrisson, Henrik Daae (2014). Psychology of Child Well-Being, In Asher Ben-Arieh; Ferran Casas; Ivar Frønes & Jill E. Korbin (ed.),  Handbook of child well-being : theories, methods and policies in global perspective. Springer.  ISBN 978-90-481-9062-1.  20.  s 555 - 631
  17. Bekkhus, M. (2013). Prososial utvikling, Kan å hjelpe føre til psycopathologi?. Psykologitidsskriftet, 13, 14-19.
  18. Bekkhus, Mona (2012). Familierisiko og atferdsvansker : årsak og virkning. Psykologi i kommunen.  ISSN 1892-3364.  47(2), s 3- 8
  19. Bekkhus, M. (2012). Resiliens. Hvorfor klarer noen barn seg på tross av risiko? Publisert online på, mai, 2012.
  20. Bekkhus, Mona; Rutter, Michael; Barker, Edward D & Borge, Anne Inger Helmen (2011). The Role of Pre- and Postnatal Timing of Family Risk Factors on Child Behavior at 36 months. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.  ISSN 0091-0627.  39(4), s 611- 621 . doi: 10.1007/s10802-010-9477-z
  21. Bekkhus, Mona; Rutter, Michael; Maughan, Barbara & Borge, Anne Inger Helmen (2011). The effects of group daycare in the context of paid maternal leave and high quality provision. European Journal of Developmental Psychology.  ISSN 1740-5629.  8(6), s 681- 696 . doi: 10.1080/17405629.2011.602232
  22. Bekkhus, Mona; Staton, Sally; Borge, Anne Inger Helmen & Thorpe, Karen (2011). Conflict, Closeness and Comfort: The Inter-Twin Relationship as a Risk Factor for Behavioral Difficulties. Twin Research and Human Genetics.  ISSN 1832-4274.  14(5), s 444- 451 . doi: 10.1375/twin.14.5.444
  23. Bekkhus, M; Skjøthaug, Thomas; Nordhagen, Rannveig & Borge, AIH (2010). Intrauterine exposure to caffeine and inattention/overactivity in children. Acta Paediatrica.  ISSN 0803-5253.  99(6), s 925- 928 . doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2010.01744.x
  24. Bekkhus, M., (2008). i M. Helgeland (Ed,). Mestring (pp 147-162). Forebyggende Arbeid i Skolen. Kommuneforlaget, Oslo.

View all works in Cristin

  • Bekkhus, Mona (2008). Mestring. kommuneforlaget. ISBN 8244612487. 15 p.

View all works in Cristin

  • Bekkhus, Mona (2021). Mental health of adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic - Loneliness, friends and social networks.
  • Bekkhus, Mona (2021). Flere med alvorlige spiseforstyrrelser og økning i ensomhet og angst. Er sosiale medier synderen. [Newspaper]. Aftenbladet.
  • Thorpe, Karen; Staton, Sally & Bekkhus, Mona (2020). Twins and Other Multiples. In Hupp, Stephen & Jewell, Jeremy D (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Development. John Wiley & Sons. ISSN 9781119171492. doi: 10.1002/9781119171492.wecad219
  • Bekkhus, Mona & Skaret, Synne (2020). Betydyningen av sosial sjenanse i barndommen. [Internet].
  • Bekkhus, Mona (2020). Betaler Isolasjon med ensomhet. [Business/trade/industry journal]. Psykologitidsskriftet.
  • Bekkhus, Mona (2020). Forståelsen for de unge under koronarestriksjonene har svikta. [Internet].
  • oftedahl, Aurora; Strand, Martine; Bekkhus, Mona & Kaasen, Anne (2020). PERSONALITY AS A RISK FACTOR FOR DEPRESSION AFTER THE DETECTION OF FETAL ANOMALIES.
  • Skaret, Synne; Bekkhus, Mona & Borge, Anne Inger Helmen (2019). Betydning av sosial sjenanse i barndommen. Psykologi i kommunen (PIK). ISSN 1892-3364.
  • Bekkhus, Mona; oftedahl, Aurora & Kaasen, Anne (2019). Prenatal Risks, Parental Functioning and Child Development .
  • Bekkhus, Mona (2017). Mors angst under svangerskapet skader ikke barnet. [Newspaper]. Nrk.
  • Bekkhus, Mona (2016). Resiliens – hva kjennetegner ungdom som klarer seg bra? . In Lingås, Lars Gunnar & Høsøien, Unni (Ed.), Utdanningsvalg : Identitet og danning. Gyldendal Akademisk. ISSN 9788205491793. p. 147–162.
  • Bekkhus, Mona (2013). Kan "å hjelpe" føre til psykopatologi? Psykologisk tidsskrift. ISSN 1501-7508. 17(01), p. 14–19.
  • Bekkhus, Mona (2012). Resiliens -hvorfor klarer noen barn seg på tross av risiko?
  • Bekkhus, Mona (2012). Pre -and postnatal risk research and behaviour problems in early childhood. A longitudinal cohort study from early preganncy to 36 months. Unipub forlag.

View all works in Cristin

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