Adolescents' learning and development in education and sports (ALDES)

Research group

Adolescents' learning and development in education and sports (ALDES)

ALDES is a multidisciplinary research group that aims to explore the interaction between the mutually influential individual/contextual factors within and across different microsystems in adolescence life-ecology, especially the microsystems related to sports and education. This entails analyzes of how factors both at the individual, group and system level are associated with the students' development of feelings, commitment, relationships, experience of meaning, mastery and learning. In addition, we are interested in how the structure, form and content of the class/team and school/organization affects these factors. Our research findings continually form the basis for the future development of targeted interventions and effect research.

Adolescents` learning and development in education and sports (ALDES)

Stack of stones. Photo.
Photo: Markus Spiske/Unsplash

Adolescence is a period of pronounced physical, psychological, and social growth. This implies an increase of, both external and internal, demands and resources. Adolescence are learning and developing in their families, with peers, at school and in connection with leisure activities. Being an adolescent also includes dealing with a variety of ecological transitions, both when it comes to transitioning from lower to upper secondary school, as well as changes in the home, housing situation, leisure activities, social networks etc. All these contexts and experiences are influencing adolescent development.

ALDES' theoretical framework is biopsychosocial theory from an ecological perspective. This implies that we incorporate both biological (e.g. physical health, sleep), psychological (e.g. self-concept, executive functioning), and social (e.g. relationships, socioeconomy) factors in our scrutiny of adolescence development and learning within and across microsystems. We focus specially on the implementation of digital tools, transformation of pedagogical practices, and emphasize the ways in which pedagogical education and social environment could be revised to maximize outcomes for adolescence in different contexts.

The theoretical framework forms the basis of our research designs. Based on the notion that development involves intraindividual change and interindividual differences in intraindividual change, we integrate data from levels of organization spanning biology through psychological and social contexts to emphasize the plasticity and specificity that characterizes the developmental pathway of each adolescent. As such, we aim to adopt rigorous longitudinal mixed methods designs in all our studies on development and learning.

Research and development projects:

  • YOURMOVE: RCN-funded research project (13.8 mil. NOK, PI: Frode Stenseng) over the period 2023 to 2026. In this project, we will develop, and test, the effect of an app-integrated intervention program for physical activity education in high-schools. The main aim is to improve longer-term motivation for exercise through internalisation of better self-regulation regarding physical activity. International and national collaborators are Jacques Forest and Jöelle Carpentier (UQAM, Canada), Pål Kraft (UIO), John Kjøbli (UIO/RKBU Øst), Silje K. Berg (RKBU Øst).
  • DROPOUT: RCN-funded project (12 mil. NOK, PI: Frode Stenseng) over the period 2022 to 2026. The primary aim of this project is to reveal true causal risk - and resilience factors for high-school dropout. Informed by the prospective studies Tidlig trygg i Trondheim and Helseundersøkelsen i Nord-Trøndelag, the research group investigates variables on the individual,- family-, and school contexts using innovate statistical methods. International and national collaborators are Jay Belsky (USA), Robert Pianta (USA), Edward Barker (UK), Eva Pomerantz (USA), Lars Wickstrøm (NTNU), Steinar Krokstad (NTNU), Terje A. Eikemo (NTNU).
  • BETTER COACHING/TRENERLØFTET (with Olympiatoppen, PI: Frode Moen). Funded by the Gjensidige-foundation with 26 mil. NOK over the period 2019 to 2024. The project's main aim is to contribute to skills development for young talented coaches, who need young talented athletes. The program largely consists of guidance in training and competition. Over the course of one year, each trainer receives 10 visits from an experienced and trained supervisor from Olympiatoppen. The supervisor's task will be to support, follow up and challenge the trainers' work with their personal development goals. In the work to map the coach's development goals for the project, we take the Olympic Summit model as a starting point for coaches in Norwegian top sports. The research group conducts longitudinal surveys to assess the effect the coaching lift has on the coaches' (and their athletes') experience of e.g. coaching competence, performance development, working alliance, stress, well-being, etc.
  • THE RELATIONAL LIFE IN THE TRONDHEIM SCHOOLS/DET RELASJONELLE LIVET I TRONDHEIMSSKOLEN (RLT), PI: Jan A. Haugan: The purpose of the study is, based on previous findings about the importance of social support and the experience of loneliness from the project "Life in school", to explore the connection between students' experience of well-being, belonging and selected predicting/mediating factors based on the following problem: "Which factors predict the development of the pupils' experience of well-being and belonging from the 7th grade onwards to upper secondary school?" This problem further provides direction for three underlying research questions that deal with how factors at the individual, group (pupil) (class) and system (school) level affect the pupils' experience of well-being and belonging at the various grade levels. The project is a longitudinal study of approx. 2,000 students who started in 7th grade in autumn 2021 and will last until the same students leave upper secondary school in spring 2028. The study will use a mixed-methods design, where both quantitative and qualitative methods are used as data collection methods (focus group -interviews, surveys and sociometric surveys). We have entered into a data processor and a data sharing agreement between the Department of Teacher Education/Department of Pedagogy and Lifelong Learning, NTNU and Trondheim municipality.
  • SOMNOFY (with Vital Things AS, PI: Jan A. Haugan): In this collaborative project with VitalThings in Trondheim, who has developed a sleep radar (SOMNOFY) which monitors sleep contactless, we aim to determine the role of several sleep characteristics, in adolescence, in e.g., school performance, motivation, and general well-being, and vice versa. Eight classes (a total of approx. 150 pupils) at four secondary schools in four different municipalities carried out a sleep measurement with the sleep radar over two weeks during 2020. The pupils also answered questionnaires before and after the sleep measurement (including date of birth, gender, experience of own sleep time and sleep quality, physical activity, mood, stress, mental breaks, screen use, and experience of own school performance).

Collaborating partners:

Selected publications: 


  • Hygen, B. W., Skalicka, V., Coplan, R. J., von Soest, T., Fredriksen, E., & Bekkhus, M. (2024). Norwegian adolescents in the initial stages of COVID-19 restrictions: Links between interactions, digital media use, loneliness, and mental health problems. Journal of Media Psychology: Theories, Methods, and Applications
  • Hygen, B. W., Wendelborg, C., Solstad, B. E., Stenseng, F., Øverland, M. B., & Skalicka, V. Gaming Motivation and Well-Being Among Norwegian Adult Gamers: The Role of Gender and Disability. Frontiers in Medical Technology, 6, 1330926.


  • Hrozanova, M., Haugan, J. A., Saksvik-Lehouillier, I., Skalická, V., Krondorf, L., Stenseng, F., & Moen, F. (2023). Quantifying teenagers’ sleep patterns and sex differences in social jetlag using at-home sleep monitoring. Sleep Medicine, 107, 1-8.
  • Hrozanova, M., Haugan, J. A., Saksvik-Lehouillier, I., Skalická, V., Krondorf, L., Stenseng, F., & Moen, F. (2023). The potential impact of adolescent sleep patterns on adulthood fertility: A call for longitudinal studies. Sleep Medicine, 109, 301-302.
  • Hrozanova, M., Meisingset, I., Kallestad, H., Pallesen, S., Nordstoga, A. L., Skarpsno, E. S. (2023). Group-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy versus waiting list in the treatment of insomnia in primary care: Study protocol for a pragmatic, multicentre randomized controlled trial. BMC Primary Care, 24 (64).
  • Lønne, T. F., Karlsen, H. R., Langvik, E., & Saksvik-Lehouillier, I. (2023). The effect of immersion on sense of presence and affect when experiencing an educational scenario in virtual reality: A randomized controlled study. Heliyon, 9(6).
  • Moen, F., Pettersen, S. A., Gjertsås, K., Vatn, M., Liland, K. H., & Mosleth, E. F. (2023). The effect of bio-electro-magnetic-energy-regulation therapy on sleep duration and sleep quality among elite players in Norwegian women’s football. Frontiers in Psychology, 14, 1230281.
  • Saksvik-Lehouillier, I., & Sørengaard, T. A. (2023). Comparing shift work tolerance across occupations, work arrangements, and gender. Occupational Medicine, 73(7), 427-433.
  • Schmid, M. A., Solli, G. S., Talsnes, R. K., & Moen, F. (2023). Place of residence and coach-athlete relationship predict drop-out from competitive cross-country skiing. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 5, 1110060.
  • Smevik, H., Habli, S., Saksvik, S. B., Kliem, E., Evensmoen, H. R., Conde, V., ... & Olsen, A. (2023). Poorer sleep health is associated with altered brain activation during cognitive control processing in healthy adults. Cerebral Cortex, 33(11), 7100-7119.
  • Østerås, M. G., Haugan, J. A., & Moen, F. (2023). Elite-level Coaches’ Coping: Stress Appraisal and Covid-19. The Sport Journal, 1-19.


  • Hjorthen, S. L., Sund, E. R., Skalická, V., Eikemo, T. A., Getz, L. O., Krokstad, S. (2022). Trends in absolute and relative educational inequalities in health during times of labour market restructuring in coastal areas: The HUNT Study, Norway. Social Science Medicine, 292, 114541.
  • Husby, S. M., Skalická, V., Li, Z., Belsky, J., Wichstrøm, L. (2022). Reciprocal Relations Between. Conflicted Student-teacher Relationship and Children’s Behavior Problems: Within-person Analyses from Norway and the USA. Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, 1-12.
  • Hygen, B. W., Belsky, J., Stenseng, F., Steinsbekk, S., Wichstrøm, L., Skalicka, V. (2022). Longitudinal relations between gaming, physical activity, and athletic self-esteem. Computers in Human Behavior, 132, 107252.
  • Moen, F., Vatn, M., Olsen, M.G., Haugan, J.A., Skalicka, V. (2022). Sleep Characteristics in E-sport Players and Associations With Game Performance: Residual Dynamic Structural Equation Modeling. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 3, 1-13.
  • Morin, A. H. (2022). Promoting positive social classroom environments to enhance students’ mental health? Effectiveness of a school-based programme in Norway. International Journal of Educational Research, 113, 101966.
  • Chahboun, S., Stenseng, F., Page, A. G. (2022). The changing faces of autism: The fluctuating international diagnostic criteria and the resulting inclusion and exclusion-A Norwegian perspective. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 13, 787893.
  • Stensen, K., Lydersen, S., Stenseng, F., Wallander, J. L., Tveit, H., Drugli, M. B. (2022). Childcare Providers’ Nominations of Preschool Children at Risk for Mental Health Problems: Does it Discriminate Well Compared to the Caregiver-Teacher Report Form (C-TRF)? Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 66(3), 458-472.
  • Stenseng, F., Tingstad, E. B., Wichstrøm, L., Skalicka, V. (2022). Social withdrawal and academic achievement, intertwined over years? Bidirectional effects from primary to upper secondary school. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 92, 1354– 1365.
  • Stenseng, F., Steinsholt, I. B., Kraft, P., Hygen, B. W. (2022). Running to Get "Lost"? Two Types of Escapism in Recreational Running and Their Relations to Exercise Dependence and Subjective Well-Being. Frontiers in Psychology, 13, 8229.
  • Olsen, M., Haugan, J.A., Hrozanova, M., Moen, F. (2021) Coping among elite-level sports coaches: A systematic review. International Sport Coaching Journal, 8(1), s.1-20.
  • der Kaap-Deeder, V., Sanchez, A., Johannessen, M. R. A., Stenseng, F., Saksvik-Lehouillier, I., Heissel, A. (2022). The Validation of the Norwegian Basic Psychological Need Satisfaction and Frustration Scale: A Stratified Sampling Procedure.


  • Olsen, M., Haugan, J.A., Hrozanova, M. Moen, F. (2021) Coping among elite-level sports coaches: A systematic review. International Sport Coaching Journal, 8(1), s.1-20.
  • Moen, F., Haugan, J.A., Olsen, M.G., Bjørkøy, J.A. (2021). Effects of a one-year coaching educational program on athlete perception of the coach-athlete working alliance. Journal of Physical Education and Sport (JPES), 21(3), 1395-1405.
  • Moen, F.; Olsen, M., Bjørkøy, J.A. (2021). Investigating Possible Effects from a One-Year Coach-Education Program. Sports, 9(3), 1-13.
  • Haugan, J.A., Frostad, P, Mjaavatn, P. E. (2021). Stressors and vulnerability during upper secondary school: subjective experiences of classroom climate and coping beliefs as predicting factors of school stress in Norway. Social Psychology of Education, 24(5), 1125-1144.
  • Haugan, J.A., Frostad, P, Mjaavatn, P. E. (2021). Girls suffer: the prevalence and predicting factors of emotional problems among adolescents during upper secondary school in Norway. Social Psychology of Education, 24(3), 609-634.
  • Haugan, J.A., Moen, F., Olsen, M.G., Stenseng, F. (2021). Effects of a Mentor Program for Coaches on the Coach-Athlete Relationship. Sports, 8(116), 1-14.
  • Hrozanova, M., Firing, K., Moen, F. (2021). “When I sleep poorly, it impacts everything”: An exploratory qualitative investigation of stress and sleep in junior endurance athletes. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 618379.
  • Stenseng, F., Falch-Madsen, J., Hygen, B. W. (2021). Are there two types of escapism? Exploring a dualistic model of escapism in digital gaming and online streaming. Psychology of Popular Media, 10(3), 319–329.
  • Stensen, K., Lydersen, S., Stenseng, F., Wallander, J. L., Drugli, M. B. (2021). Teacher nominations of preschool children at risk for mental health problems: how false is a false positive nomination and what make teachers concerned? Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 43, 646-656.
  • Steinsbekk, S., Wichstrøm, L., Stenseng, F., Nesi, J., Hygen, B. W., Skalická, V. (2021). The impact of social media use on appearance self-esteem from childhood to adolescence–A 3-wave community study. Computers in Human Behavior, 114, 106528.