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Social Influence Processes on Adolescent Health

The SIPA (Social Influence Processes on Adolescent health) research group at the Department of Health Promotion and Development, Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen is an interdisciplinary research group that over the past twenty years has developed competence in applying and developing theories and methods of social and developmental psychology in the area of adolescent health. The SIPA group aims at developing new knowledge about how social processes influence the development of subjective health and health behaviours among adolescents.

The group is playing a major role in several large-scale national and international studies in this research area, and continues to set up new studies based on the experiences of ongoing projects as well as on conceptual developments within the group.

Drawing on recent developments within social cognitive theory, self-determination theory and ecological developmental theory, the SIPA research group addresses social processes related to three main phenomena:

  1. Adolescent lifestyles, including health behaviours such as smoking, alcohol use, food habits and physical activity.
  2. Subjective health complaints among adolescents. This includes somatic symptoms such as fatigue, headache, stomach-ache, and back-ache, as well as psychological complaints such as depressive tendencies, irritability, anxiety, and sleeping disturbances.
  3. Quality of life among adolescents, including satisfaction, energy, stamina, feelings of well-being, resilience, and productivity,

Research questions are addressed by a unique combination of (i) large-scale representative international cross-sectional studies, (ii) longitudinal surveys, and (iii) intervention studies.

The leaders of the SIPA research group are Bente Wold and Oddrun Samdal.