Academic staff – University of Copenhagen

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Department of Psychology > Academic staff

Mette Skovgaard Væver

Mette Skovgaard Væver

Associate Professor

Research fields

Infant/Child Mental Health and Developmental Psychopathology

Early identification of Risk, Prevention and Treatment

Sensitive Parenting, Attachment and Family Interventions

Parent-infant interaction, Mutual regulation and Micro-process analysis

Play, Exploration and Learning in Early Childhood


Research group memberships

Department of Psychology, Early Child Development Unit, UCPH Babylab


Research: brief description

Mette Skovgaard Væver is associate professor in clinical child psychology and head of UCPH Babylab at the Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen. Her research focuses on early childhood mental health (0-5 years),  parenting, parent-infant interaction, attachment, play and exploration in early development and learning. Mette Væver integrates basic and applied research in the development of new knowledge regarding early mental development. In her projects she uses innovative methods and she conducts impact evaluations of new assessment methods and interventions programs using randomized control trials to evaluate the effectiveness of social and educational programs for Danish children 0-5 and their families. Mette Væver’s overall vision is to bridge the gap between science and practice in the field of infant mental health and development in assuring the availability of responsive relationships and growth promoting experiences for young children.

Mette Væver is currently PI/Co-PI on 5 larger projects, which include a research team of 2 postdocs, 5 PhD students, 2 scientific assistants, 1 project coordinator, and a number of BA and MA ECTS students.  The projects are carried out in close collaboration with both internal and external partners. In Denmark main external collaborators are the Tryg Foundation Centre for Child Research, Aarhus University and the City of Copenhagen, Administration of Child and Youth.  Internationally, main collaborators include Professors Ed Tronick (University of Massachusetts) and Beatrice Beebe (Columbia University). Mette Væver’s research is currently supported by grants from EU FP7, Tryg Foundation, Lego Foundation and Egmont Foundation.

Current research projects

Babylab Longitudinal Study ( 0-1 year) PI’s Mette Væver, Susanne Harder, Simo Køppe

PhD student Katharina Cordes: “Meaning-making in early mother-infant interaction: A study of Mentalizing and its role in intergenerational transmission of attachment” (supervisor Mette Væver )


Babylab Longitudinal Study ( 2-3 years) PI/ Mette Væver

PhD student Marianne Thode Krogh: “Language, motor and cognitive development from birth to pre-school age: A longitudinal study of Danish typical and at-risk infants (supervisor Mette Væver )


Babylab Longitudinal Study ( 5years) PI/Mette Væver

Marie Curie Scholar Anne Tharner: “Origins of attachment”, project leader of the 5 year follow-up.

PhD student Tine Steenhof: “Children’s Socioemotional Development: The Role of fathers” (supervisors Anne Tharner & Mette Væver)

Copenhagen Infant Mental Health Project (CIMHP) PI/Mette Væver

Post.doc. Johanne Smith-Nielsen, project leader of CIMHP

Associate Professor Theis Lange, Section of Biostatistics, UCPH

Scientific assistant Rie von Wovern

Scientific assistant Katrine Wendelboe

Project coordinator Metteline Lavallée

Play and Exploration in Early Childhood PI’s Simo Køppe og Mette Væver

PhD student Sandra Gufler: ”Play and Exploration in Early Childhood (1.5-2.5 years)” (supervisors Simo Køppe & Mette Væver)  

PhD student Camilla Overbye: Play and Exploration in Pre-school (4.5-5 years)” (supervisors Simo Køppe & Mette Væver)   


Major grants

2015-2016       The Egmont Foundation ”Preparation Project: Effects of a systematic multimodal language intervention in preschool (1.5-3 years): Evidence from a Danish – Norwegian RCT study” (322.000 DKK)

2015-2018       The LEGO Foundation and DUPLO Group (together with Simo Køppe) “Play and Exploration in Early Childhood” (3.300.000 DKK)

2015                     EU Office at UCPH, bonus for the Marie Curie grant (DKK 500.000)

2015-2017       EU FP7 Marie Curie Grant “Origins of attachment” together with post.doc. A. Tharner  (DKK 1.600.000)

2015-2017       City of Copenhagen “Copenhagen Infant Mental Health Project (CIMHP)” (DKK 400.000)

2015-2017       TrygFoundation “Copenhagen Infant Mental Health Project (CIMHP): Effects of infant mental health screening and indicated prevention approaches: Evidence from a randomized controlled study (DKK 5.700.000)

2013-2014       Danish Ministry of Social Affairs “A systematic review of methods for assessing parental                                capabilities in cases of adoption without parental consent” (DKK 500.000)



Teaching and supervision at BA, MA and PhD levels:

Bachelor’s theses & Master’s theses

Research Internships


Developmental Psychopathology & Infant mental health

Clinical & Developmental Psychology

Psychological Testing

Practicum reports in clinical child psychology  


Selected publications

Væver, MS., Beebe, B., Kirk, O., Snidman, N., Harder, S. & Tronick, E. (2015): "An automated approach  for measuring infant head orientation in a face-to-face interaction. Behavior Research Methods, 47(2):328-39, DOI 10.3758/s13428-014-0487-6 

Væver, M.S., Krogh, M.T., Smith-Nielsen, J., Kristensen, T. & Tharner, A. (2015): ”Infants of depressed mothers show reduced gaze activity during mother-infant interaction at 4 months”. Infancy, 20(4), pp.445-454.

Harder, S., Lange, T, Hansen, G, Væver, MS, & Køppe, S (in press): ”Development in vocal mother-infant interaction from 4 to 10 months”. Developmental Psychology

Væver, MS (2015): Tilknytningsvanskeligheder og udsathed i spæd- og småbarnsalderen”. Kapitel i ”Udsatte børn og Unge – En grundbog”, pp. 133-148, Hans Reitzel, København

Bundgaard Andersen, D., Stenstrøm, AD., Bilenberg, N., Væver, MS. & Lammers, DV. (in press): "Early onset schizophrenia: Exploring the contribution of the Thought Disorder Index in clinical assessment” Scandinavian Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology

Væver, MS & Henriques, F. & Tharner, A (accepted): “Fathers’ perceptions of caregiving in childhood and current mentalizing with their preschool children”. Nordic Psychology

Clemmensen, L., van Os, J., Skovgaard, A.M., Væver, M.S., Blijd-Hoogewys, M.A., Bartels-Velthuis, A.A. & Jeppesen, P (in press):  A Longitudinal General Population Birth Cohort Study of Psychotic Experiences, Hyper-Theory of Mind, and Putative Antecedents and Correlates in Preadolescence. Psychological Medicine

Smith-Nielsen, J., Steele, H, Mehlhase, H., Cordes, C., Steele, M., Harder S., & Væver, M.S. (in press): “Links among high EPDS scores, Adult Attachment Interview Responses and Symptoms of Personality disorders”.Journal of Personality Disorders, 10.1521/pedi_2014_28_173

Clemmensen, L., van Os, J., Skovgaard, A.M., Væver, M.S., Blijd-Hoogewys, M.A., Bartels-Velthuis, A.A. & Jeppesen, P (in press): ”Hyper-Theory-of-Mind in Children with Psychotic Experiences”. PlosOne

Væver, MS., Krogh, M., Smith-Nielsen, J., Harder, S. & Køppe, S (2013):  “Measuring Spatial Proximity in Mother-infant Interaction: A Kinematic Approach for an Examination of the effects of maternal postpartum depression”. Infant Behavior and Development, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 427–431

Krogh, M.T., Væver, M.S., Harder, S. & Køppe, S (2012): “Cultural differences in infant development during the first year: A study of Danish infants assessed by the Bayley-III and compared to the American norms”. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, vol.9, pp.730-736

Væver, M.S. & Gammeltoft, M. (2009): “Erfaringer med Bayley testen i Danmark”, Danish Manual and Supplementum to Bayley III, Pearson, Inc. USA.

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