Psychosocial Epidemiology – University of Copenhagen

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Research group in psychosocial epidemiology

The aim of the research group is to study health effects of social adversity and stress, as well as to elucidate the underlying behavioral, psychological, and physiological mechanisms that might explain these effects. The research group works with large national and international datasets in order to address these issues. The group includes researchers with different scientific backgrounds and employs a wide variety of epidemiological research methods. In addition, the group is actively involved in developing methods for causal inference in social epidemiology.

Our research is guided by the following objectives:

  • Investigating health consequences of the accumulation of psychosocial stressors across the life span
  • Investigating the role of timing of exposure to stress and social adversity and identifying sensitive periods in life course studies
  • Identifying groups of individuals particularly vulnerable to psychosocial stress
  • Investigating the social influence and group dynamics in relation to health effects of stress
  • Investigating the physiological, behavioral and psychological mechanism that can explain the link between psychosocial work exposures and health outcomes
  • Investigating positive organizational and work environment factors that may protect the worker and promote health and well-being

Our current research covers the health effects of the following topics:

Stress at work and in private life

Life course exposure to social adversity

Sleep and restitution

Social networks and mobile phones

Social Capital in hospitals

Personality, emotions, and coping

Work environment resources

Negative interpersonal relationships at work

We are also responsible for the Danish Life Course Cohort Study (DANLIFE)

Group leader: Associate Professor Naja Hulvej Rod


Associate Professor Rikke Lund, Associate Professor Ingelise Andersen, Associate Professor Charlotte Juul Nilsson, Assistant Professor Nadya Dich, Postdoc Ulla Arthur Hvidtfeldt, Postdoc Alice Jessie Clark, Postdoc Jolene Lee Masters Pedersen, PhD student Jesper Mortensen, PhD student Nete Dissing, PhD student Gitte Lindved Petersen, PhD student Tianwei Xu, PhD student Terese Sara Høj Jørgensen, PhD student Kaushik Sengupta, Master student Jimmi Mathisen, Student Assistant Maj Back Nielsen

Activities: The group holds weekly meetings to discuss research ideas and ongoing research projects. In addition the group holds monthly seminars with extended discussions of causal inference in social epidemiology.

The group is also actively involved in the Copenhagen Stress Research Centre. Link:

Teaching: We teach courses in causal inference, social epidemiology, life-course research, medical sociology, stress and prevention. Courses are offered to Bachelor, Master and PhD students of Public Health and Medicine.

Updated July 2016