Early life risk and long-term resilience

mother holding baby

Contact information

Research group leader

Research group description

We are a multidisciplinary international team of researchers who study the interplay of biological and sociocultural early life risks such as preterm birth, immigrant or ethnic minority status, infant regulatory problems, and in-utero opioid exposure. Our main goals are to identify protective factors and developmental processes underlying resilience and differential susceptibility across the life course.

We work closely with different research groups here at University of Oulu in the Faculty of Medicine and across the world, for example with the Adults born Preterm International Collaboration (APIC), the team for family centered care and neonatal follow-up at University Hospital Essen in Germany, and the WECS team at Columbia University (https://nurturescienceprogram.org/nsp-team/martha-welch/).

Selected publications

Dathe, A.-K., Jaekel, J., Franzel, J., Hoehn, T., Felderhoff-Mueser, U., & Huening, B. (2020). Visual perception, fine motor, and visual-motor skills in very preterm and term born children before school entry. Children. https://doi.org/10.3390/children7120276.

Huening, B. & Jaekel, J. (2021). Frühgeburtlichkeit und langfristige Nachsorge bis ins Schulalter.  (Preterm birth and long-term consequences up to school age. Implications for follow-up services and schooling). Kindheit und Entwicklung, 30(1), 37-50. https://doi.org/10.1026/0942-5403/a000326.

Jaekel, J., Anderson, P. J., Bartmann, P., Cheong, J. L. Y., Doyle, L. W., Hack, M., Johnson, S., Marlow, N., Saigal, S., Schmidt, L., Sullivan, M. C., & Wolke, D. (2021). Mathematical performance in childhood and early adult outcomes after very preterm birth: an individual participant data meta-analysis. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 64(4), 421-428. https://doi.org/10.1111/dmcn.15132

Jaekel, J., Heuser, K., Zapf, A., Roll, C., Brevis Nuñez, F., Bartmann, P., Wolke, D., Felderhoff-Mueser, U., & Huening, B. (2020).  Preterm children’s long-term academic performance after adaptive computerized training: an efficacy and process analysis of a randomized controlled trial. Pediatric Research, 89, 1492–1499. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41390-020-01114-w.

Jaekel, J., Kim, H. M., Lee, S. J., Schwartz, A., Henderson, J. M. T., & Woodward, L. J. (2021). Emotional and behavioral trajectories of 2 to 9 years old children born to opioid-dependent mothers. Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, 49, 443–457. 10.1007/s10802-020-00766-w.

Jaekel, J.,  Sorg, C.,  Breeman, L.,  Baumann, N., Bilgin, A., Bäuml, J. G., & Wolke, D. (2020).  Early regulatory problems and parenting: life-long risk, vulnerability or susceptibility for attention, internalizing and externalizing outcomes?  European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. online first, doi: 10.1007/s00787-020-01632-2.

Kajantie, E., Johnson, S., Heinonen, Kati., Anderson, P. J., Wolke, D., Evensen, K. A. I., Räikkönen, K., Darlow, B. A., van der Pal, S., Indredavik, M. S., Jaekel, J., Hovi, P., Morrison, K., Verrips, E., Doyle, L. W., & APIC Adults Born Preterm International Collaboration (2021). Common core assessments in follow-up studies of adults born preterm - recommendation of the Adults born Preterm International Collaboration. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 35(3), 371-387. doi/full/10.1111/ppe.12694.

Recently funded projects


Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation (Finland)

Psychosomatic risk and resilience from birth to adulthood; PI Julia Jäkel



Snellman Foundation (Finland)

Early mother-infant interaction and its long-term effect on FINCA mice with ADHD; Co-PIs Reetta Hintala & Julia Jäkel