Child development m.abels@uit.no +4777645343 Tromsø TEO-H5 5.626

Monika Abels

Associate Professor

Publications outside Cristin

Non-peer reviewed publications:

Abels, M & Eickhorst, A. (2016). Von Babys, Familien und Kulturen. [Of babies, families and cultures.] Hebammenforum.

Abels, M. (2010). Pointing- some thoughts on functions and cultural influences. Comments on Carpendale, J.I.M., & Carpendale, A.B.: 'The development of pointing: From personal directedness to interpersonal direction'. Human development: Letters to the editor, 53 (3). http://content.karger.com/ProdukteDB/produkte.asp?Aktion=JournalSpecials&ProduktNr=224249

Abels, M. (2010). Abschlussbericht. Fit für den Start... und das Baby kann kommen. Osnabrücker Modell. Entwicklung eines flächendeckenden Präventionsangebotes für Mütter / Eltern und Kinder. Von der Schwangerschaft bis ins 1. Lebensjahr. [Final report. Ready for the start... let the baby come. A model from Osnabrück. Development of a preventive offer for mothers /parents and children. From pregnancy to the first year of life.] nifbe.de/pdf_show_projects.php?id=42

Abels, M. (2009) Fit für den Start... und das Baby kann kommen. [Ready for the start... let the baby come.] In: nifbe (niedersächsisches Institut für frühkindliche Bildung und Entwicklung)- Forschungsstelle Entwicklung, Lernen und Kultur. Jahresbericht 2008, pp. 35-39.

Abels, M., Elixmann, B. & Hoffmann, U. (2008, 2009). Projektskizze: Fit für den Start. [Project layout: Ready for the start.]

Abels, M. (2006). Das also ist Bangalore. [So this is Bangalore.] In: Autoren ohne Grenzen: Auf nach Indien. Hamburg: traveldiary.de Reiseliteratur Verlag. S.37-39.

Keller, H. & Abels, M. (2001). The socialization of competence. Two cultures of infancy. http://www.unifr.ch/ipg/ARIC/8eCongres/DocsOrig/KellerH%20AbelsM.pdf no longer retrieveable

Research interests

My research focuses on the interplay between eco-cultural factors and child development. 

Among other aspects, I am interested in caregivers' (ethno)theories on childrearing and cultural norms and values. For instance, I have studied (mainly Indian) caregivers' theories on the expression of emotional warmth towards babies and baby massage. More recently we have explored Norwegian mothers' thoughts on infants' sleeping places. Currently, we are conducting research into Norwegian caregivers' resolution of everyday conflicts with their infants and children's emotional development.

I also study caregiving behaviors and infants'/children's experiences which are assumed to shape children's development. An important part of this research consists of observational studies. For example, we have observed which behaviors caregivers from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds prioritize when interacting with infants (such as body contact, playing with objects) or how mobile phone use is related to caregivers' responses to their children's signals. An aspect of these caregiving behaviors is also how infants are spoken to. 

A related topic of research that I am interested in is children's understanding of others (Theory of Mind, emotion understanding) and their emotion regulation. We try to understand how these developments are related to their caregivers' behaviors and values. 

Much of my research has been conducted with farming families in Gujarat, India and more recently with Hadza (hunter-gatherer) families in Tanzania. These experiences have led to an enhanced interest in research ethics and ecological validity of research methods.


I have been or am currently teaching in the following courses:

PSY-1001 Innføring i generell psykologi
PSY-2502 Utviklingspsykologi i et livsløpsperspektiv
PSY-2705 Fordypningsemne i barns utvikling
PSY-2707 Praksis og praksisrelatert undervisning
PSY-3000 Research Proseminar
HEL-8040 Theory of science, research ethics and research design

I am also happy to guide you in the following:
PSY-2002 Bacheloroppgave
PSY-2901 Hovedoppgave
PSY-3000 Research Proseminar
PSY-3900 Masteroppgave

Member of research group

TEO-H5 5.626

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