Laura Bechtiger

LIFE Zurich

LIFE Fellow since 2019, University of Zurich

I am a PhD student in Clinical Developmental Psychology and a doctoral research associate in the Risk & Resilience research area of the Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development, headed by Lilly Shanahan. My research interests are at the intersection of developmental, clinical and health psychology and focus on influences of social relationships on adaptive and maladaptive psychological and physiological developmental processes in children and adolescents. I am also interested in longitudinal research methods. I received my Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in psychology at the University of Zurich, and also studied abroad at the University of Padua, Italy. In my master’s thesis, I examined how sympathy and self-disclosure in friendships mutually influence one another from ages 15 to 21 using a prospective-longitudinal sample representative of youth in the German- and French-speaking parts of Switzerland. In my dissertation research, I am drawing on several long-term prospective-longitudinal datasets to examine how maternal depression during childhood is associated with children’s and adolescents’ later well-being, including in the domains of academic achievement and health.

Selected Publications

Bechtiger, L., Steinhoff, A., Dollar, J. M., Calkins, S. D., Keane, S. P., Shriver, L., Wideman, L., & Shanahan, L. (2022). Maternal depressive symptoms and adolescents’ unhealthy behavior: A 15-year longitudinal study. Pediatrics, 150(4), Article e2022056562.

Bechtiger, L., Steinhoff, A., Dollar, J., Halliday, S. E., Calkins, S., Keane, S. P., & Shanahan, L. (2022). Pathways from maternal depressive symptoms to children’s academic performance in adolescence: A 13-year prospective-longitudinal study. Child Development, 93(2), 388–404.

Bechtiger, L., Steinhoff, A., Buchmann, M., & Shanahan, L. (2021). Bidirectional associations between sympathy and self-disclosure in friendships from mid adolescence to early adulthood. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 31(2), 368–383.

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