Academic staff – University of Copenhagen

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Department of Psychology > Academic staff

Janni Niclasen

Janni Niclasen

Assistant professor

Primary fields of research

  • Epidemiology
  • Research methodology
  • Psychometrics
  • Health psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Educational psychology

Current research

Research field

Most of my research is based on questionnaire data from the large-scale Danish birth cohorts. these include data from the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC), the Aarhus Birth Cohort (ABC) and SFIs forløbsundersøgelse. I am specifically interested in the cross-disciplinary field between medicine and psychology, and in particular how psychology can contribute to medical research.

My research interest are braod and covers evrything from epidemiology, research methodology and psychometrics, but also health psychology, developmental psychology and educational psychology

When it comes to research methodology I am particularly interested in how one should control for psychological factors within medical research, and how this (maybe) is being done insufficiently in much medical research today. When it comes to psychometrics mostly work from a classical test theoretical paradigme. I use factor analyses in much of my work, including both Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA). I am further interested in questionnaire studies in general and what the advantages and disadvantages of such studies are.

Regarding health psychology, the majority of my research has been focusing on prenatal exposure to alcohol (but also to smoking and fish oil), and how such exposure are associated with later behavioural and emotional development later in childhood.

My developmental psychological perspective has primary been on children with hearing impairment - either from repeated incidences of otitis media or from congenital or acquired deafness. We have in a number of studies investigated how this is associated withthe children's behavioural and emotional development as well as their learning disabilities.

When it comes to educational psychology i am currently (in 2015) part of a cross-disciplinary team of researchers evaluating the new school reform from 2014. My specific contribution to the project is to evaluate the new measure of well-being that has been developed in order to measure well-being among school-aged children in Danish public schools. This project runs until ultimo 2015.


Research groups

I am officialle part of two research groups; PCARE at the Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen and Mindhood, Institute of Public Health, Aarhus University.

PCARE consist of a group of researcher with a common interest in psychological research which brings together different disciplines. We have a strong focus on cross-disciplinary work, and collaborate with other research areas including medicine, public health, and social scientists. Our research areas are broad and include educational psychology, personality psychology, psychometrics, health psychology, and developmental psychology. We have a strong interest for and focus on empirical-based research.

In Mindhood, Aarhus University, the aim is to develop a scientific and clinically interactive environment within primary child health to meet the large societal challenges of mental health problems. In this research program we use the unique Danish potential in population-based epidemiology to achieve a better understanding of early life causal patterns and consequences for long term mental health. We also develop and test different intervention models to help children, their parents and professionals in primary health care to strengthen the resilience and robustness of Danish children.



2016: The Foundation of Neurological Research (130.000) co-PI

Dec. 2015: Tryg foundation (992.250 DKK) - PI

Dec. 2015: Nordea Foundation (18.000.000 DKK) - co-PI

Dec. 2015: Novo Nordisk Foundation (70.000 DKK) - co-PI

2015: Seed money (200.000 DKK) - PI

2014: Direktør Jacob Madsen Foundation (15.000 DKK) - PI

2014: Lundbeck travel Foundation (18.475 DKK) - PI

2014: Simon Spies Foundation (92.000DKK) - PI

2014: Ivan Nielsen’s Foundation (20.000 DKK) - PI

2014: Aase og Ejnar Danielsens Foundation (100.000 DKK) - PI

2014: Lundbecks travel foundation (20.000 DKK) - PI

2010: Lundbeck Foundation (110.713 DKK) - PI

2010: The A.P. Møller Foundation for the Advancement of Medical Science (60.000 DKK) - PI

2010: Ludvig og Sara Elsass Foundation (200.000 DKK) - PI

2010: Aase og Ejnar Danielsens Foundation (75.000 DKK) - PI

2010: Carl J. Becker’s  Foundation (30.000 DKK) - PI

2010: Børne- og Ungdomspsykiatrisk Selskab i Danmark (40.000 DKK) - PI

2010: Dagmar Marshalls Foundation (40.000 DKK) - PI




I am often contacted by journalists who want to interview me, mostly in relation to the topic 'alcohol and pregnancy'. Since 2014 I have been mentioned/ given an interview more than 150 times, primarily for the written medias but also to the radio and television.

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