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Translational mental health strategy

Cooperating institutions

Core research areas


Infrastructure & facilities


Education & training

Translational impact

Well-being and epidemiological research in children and adolescents


Prof. Dr.
Ulrike Ravens-Sieberer

Research director: Dept. of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Centre for Psychosocial Medicine, University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf

Tel.: +49 (0) 40 7410 – 52205
Mail: j.gallinat@uke.de

Tel.: +49 (0) 40 7410 – 52992
Mail: ravens-sieberer@uke.de

Overview and aims

This growing research focus is dedicated to the following aims:

  1. To validly and reliably measure mental well-being in children and adolescents (via self-report) and to monitor the mental health status of this target group at population level.
  2. To share this knowledge with other research foci/ areas within the MH-TRN in order to:
    a) optimally measure mental health outcomes in children and adolescents across research domains/ and groups and
    b) to inform about the necessity and effectiveness of the development of interventions for this target group.

Research approaches and relevance

Monitoring the mental well-being of children and adolescents is of utmost importance in order to intervene at an early stage, and to assure mental health, social functioning, and quality of life in future adults. U. Ravens-Sieberer represents the methodological expertise for the assessment of quality of life and well-being in the young. She is an expert in longitudinal cohort studies, with experience in the field for more than 20 years. She conducts and participates in national and international survey studies on child- and adolescent health.

U. Ravens-Sieberer cooperates on a regular basis with the Robert-Koch-Institute, such within the scope of the WHO-supported international Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) study, as well as in the current COPSY study on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental well-being in children and adolescents.

Further current studies include the representative BELLA cohort study (mental well-being and behaviour in children and adolescents), or leading the mental health part of the national KiGGS study (epidemiological, longitudinal study on the health of children and adolescents in Germany).

Based on recommendations derived from this research, policy is informed at a national level. For instance, the BELLA study informed the national programme “Schatzsuche” (treasure hunt), a parent-education-intervention aiming at the improvement of child mental health. The programme has now been implemented succesfully in 10 federal states of Germany. As part of the MH-TRN, U. Ravens-Sieberer and her research group provide methodological infrastructure and expertise to assess mental health parameters in children (including modern coputer-based and adaptive tests), adolescents, and their families; providing important monitoring and outcome measures for epidemiological, intervention-, and other research.

Selected present research projects

ADOPT: Affective Dysregulation – Optimization of Prevention and Therapy. This is a BMBF-funded research consortium coordinated by M. Döpfner, with six national partners from Dresden, Ulm, Köln, ZI Mannheim, whereby emotion regulation (difficulties) in children and adolescents are assessed at an epidemiological level, diagnostic tools are developed/ optimized, and prevention and therapeutic strategies are evaluated.

Selected research networks involving researchers from the MH-TRN

PROMIS initivative – with several national and international partners, this NIH initiated initiative aims at the optimization and standardization of mental health measures both in adults and children-/ adolescents, allowing for accurate measures across the lifespan. U. Ravens-Sieberer is involved in the German part of the project, focusing on health-related quality of life and well-being in children and adolescents.