Anna-Karin Andershed, Psychology

Anna-Karin Andershed

Anna-Karin Andershed is Professor of Psychology and researches mainly the risk and protective factors of the adverse psychosocial development in children and adolescents. Of uttermost importance to her is the practical application of research.

1973 Born in Boden, Sweden

2001 PhD in Psychology at Örebro University. Thesis: The Rhythm of Adolescence: Morningness-Eveningness and Adjustment from a Developmental Perspective

2012 Docent of Psychology at Örebro University

2015 Professor of Psychology at Örebro University

She is a Research Director at the Center for Criminological and Psychosocial Research at Örebro University. Her scientific approach is broad and transcends the boundary between normal development and developmental psychopathology.

“My focus changed radically after the public defence of my thesis. It dealt with the differences between morning and evening people, while nearly all my current research concerns criminal development, in various ways studying and attempting to explain antisocial development of individuals and groups.”

Anna-Karin Andershed’s research is mainly longitudinal, meaning that she follows individuals over time to study what drives or prevents different types of negative development. She is one of the research leaders of several such projects.

One of these is the SOFIA study, a longitudinal study of more than 2,000 children, beginning in 2010 while the children were between the ages of 3 and 5 years old. The overall aim is to study the development of children's social, physical and mental health, with a particular focus on antisocial behaviour.

Another major project is the IDA programme, involving citizens of Örebro born in 1955.

“We have followed the majority of the more than a thousand participants from 10 years old to over 40 and we are now planning a new data collection before they have reached their retirement age. We have gathered a great deal of information from the participants themselves, such as social relations, occupational preferences, mental health, physical health, life satisfaction, in addition to information from parents and teachers.”

Of particular importance to Anna-Karin Andershed is the practical application of research.

“One way is to convey research so that it is intelligible even to those who are not researchers. Thereby increasing the knowledge of professionals on effective methods, and to teach parents how they can best foster their children's continued positive development.”

This point of view has led to Anna-Karin Andershed being appointed expert by the National Board of Health and Welfare to develop a research base for the authority’s guidelines for working with children and young people who are at risk. She has also been commissioned nationally to support practitioners in evidence-based development activities.

 

In line with this work, Anna-Karin Andershed's research group has also developed and tested ESTER, an assessment instrument for evaluating the risk and protective factors in children and young people who are at risk of antisocial behaviour, and for facilitating support for improved interventions.

“The point here is that professionals in social services, schools, child and adolescent psychiatry and the police authorities, should all receive support to be able to make better assessments.

Anna-Karin Andershed is Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Örebro University. Previous appointments are as Pro Dean, Head of School at two schools and Deputy Head of School.