Employee Profile

Elisabet Solheim Buøen

Adjunct Associate Professor - Department of Communication and Culture


Solheim, Elisabet; Wichstrøm, Lars, Belsky, Jay & Berg-Nielsen, Turid Suzanne (2013)

Do Time in Child Care and Peer Group Exposure Predict Poor Socioemotional Adjustment in Norway?

Child Development, 84(5), s. 1701- 1715. Doi: 10.1111/cdev.12071 - Full text in research archive

Extensive exposure to nonparental child care during the first 4.5 years of life has been demonstrated in some American studies to negatively affect children's socioemotional functioning. Data from 935 preschool children who averaged 54.9 (SD = 3.0) months of age, from Trondheim, Norway were used to examine whether such negative effects, would emerge in Norway, a country with a different child-care system. The children's externalizing problems and social competence were unrelated to their child-care experience. More time spent in child care during the first 4.5 years of life and experiencing peer groups of < 16 or > 18 children predicted greater caregiver–child conflict. The effect sizes were small. The results are discussed in terms of cross-national child-care differences.

Nystad, Kathrin; Drugli, May Britt, Lydersen, Stian, Lekhal, Ratib & Buøen, Elisabet Solheim (2022)

Change in toddlers' cortisol activity during a year in childcare. Associations with childcare quality, child temperament, well-being and maternal education.

Stress, 25(1), s. 156- 165. Doi: 10.1080/10253890.2022.2048371 - Full text in research archive

Elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol have been found in toddlers in childcare. Measuring cortisol may provide an indication of children’s experiences in childcare and help to adjust practices better to their needs. To the best of our knowledge, toddlers’ cortisol levels in childcare have not yet been investigated longitudinally. Furthermore, it is unclear which child and childcare factors contribute to cortisol elevation in toddlers. Using linear mixed model analyses, we investigated the full-day cortisol activity (10.00 h, 15.00 h, 18.00 h) of 156 toddlers (81 female, 56 male) during a year in childcare (September, January, June). We also investigated child cortisol levels at home in January. In addition, we tested the relation between cortisol activity and changes in cortisol activity across the year and childcare quality, temperament, well-being in childcare, and maternal education. We found increasing evening cortisol levels through the year while controlling for age. Afternoon cortisol levels were stable, but above morning cortisol levels in September and January and only slightly below morning cortisol levels in June. At home in January, afternoon levels were significantly below morning levels. Higher well-being in childcare was associated with lower overall cortisol levels and less increase in evening cortisol levels through the year in childcare. Further, less active toddlers seemed to accumulate some stress during the childcare day, indicated by higher evening cortisol levels. Rising evening cortisol levels may indicate accumulating stress across the year. Results point toward childcare being demanding for toddlers and their need for consideration from caregivers and parents, also after a longer period of childcare attendance. The findings underline the importance of observing, promoting, and further researching children’s well-being in childcare.

Buøen, Elisabet Solheim; Lekhal, Ratib, Lydersen, Stian, Berg-Nielsen, Turid Suzanne & Drugli, May Britt (2021)

Promoting the Quality of Teacher-Toddler Interactions: A Randomized Controlled Trial of “Thrive by Three” In-Service Professional Development in 187 Norwegian Toddler Classrooms

Frontiers in Psychology, 12 Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.778777 - Full text in research archive

The effectiveness of the Thrive by Three intervention, a 10-month, multicomponent, in-service professional development model to promote the quality of caregiver-toddler interactions (i.e., process quality), was tested utilizing a clustered randomized controlled design. Eighty childcare centers with 187 toddler classrooms in Norway were randomly assigned to either the Thrive by Three intervention group (n=87) or a usual-activity wait list control group (n=100). Interactional quality was assessed with the Toddler version of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS-Toddler) at three timepoints: pre-, mid-, and post-intervention. There were significant group differences in change in quality during the intervention period in both CLASS domains, Emotional and Behavioral Support (EBS), and Engaged Support for Learning (ESL), with greater overall differences in the ESL domain. Quality increased in the intervention groups, but quality decreased in the control group from baseline to post-intervention. There were significant group differences in quality at baseline. The Thrive by Three intervention had a positive effect on teacher-toddler interactions in both the EBS and ESL domains. Results need to be replicated preferably in more diverse samples.

Van Trijp, Catharina Petronella Johanna; Lekhal, Ratib, Drugli, May Britt, Rydland, Veslemøy & Buøen, Elisabet Solheim (2021)

Validation of the Leiden Inventory for the Child’s Well-Being in Daycare (LICW-D) Questionnaire in Norwegian Early Childhood Education and Care Centers

Frontiers in Psychology, 12 Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.767137 - Full text in research archive

The promotion of children’s development and well-being is a core concept in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) quality frameworks. Yet, few validated instruments measuring young children’s well-being exist. This study examined the validity of The Leiden Inventory for the Child’s Well-being in Daycare (LICW-D) (De Schipper et al., 2004b) in a sample of toddlers (n = 1,472) attending ECEC centers in Norway, using confirmatory factor analysis. Factorial invariance across gender and concurrent validity were also investigated. Indicators of concurrent validity were problem behaviors and difficult temperament, as rated by professional caregivers. Results showed a marginally acceptable fit for the hypothesized one-factor model, when allowing the measurement error of four item pairs to be correlated. This slightly modified model showed satisfactory concurrent validity, and factorial invariance across gender was confirmed.

Van Trijp, Catharina Petronella Johanna; Lekhal, Ratib, Drugli, May Britt, Rydland, Veslemøy, van Gils, Suzanne, Vermeer, Harriet J & Buøen, Elisabet Solheim (2021)

The Association between Toddlers’ Temperament and Well-Being in Norwegian Early Childhood Education and Care, and the Moderating Effect of Center-Based Daycare Process Quality.

Frontiers in Psychology, 12 Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.763682 - Full text in research archive

Children who experience well-being are engaging more confidently and positively with their caregiver(s) and peers, which helps them to profit more from available learning opportunities and support current and later life outcomes. The goodness-of-fit theory suggests that children’s well-being might be a result of the interplay between their temperament and the environment. However, there is a lack of studies that examined the association between children’s temperament and well-being in early childhood education and care (ECEC), and whether this association is affected by ECEC process quality. Using a multilevel random coefficient approach, this study examines the association between toddlers’ (N = 1,561) temperament (shyness, emotionality, sociability, and activity) and well-being in Norwegian ECEC and investigates whether process quality moderates this association. Results reveal an association between temperament and well-being. Staff-child conflict moderates the association between shyness and well-being, and between activity and well-being. Moreover, high emotional behavioral support moderates the association between activity and well-being. Extra attention should be paid by the staff to these children’s needs.

Nystad, Kathrin; Drugli, May Britt, Lydersen, Stian, Lekhal, Ratib & Buøen, Elisabet Solheim (2021)

Toddlers' stress during transition to childcare

European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 29(2), s. 157- 182. Doi: 10.1080/1350293X.2021.1895269

In toddlers, the transition from home to childcare might elicit high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Measuring cortisol may give an indicator for children’s experience and hence, may help improve this transition. We applied linear mixed model analyses to investigate the cortisol levels of 119 toddlers during their transition to childcare across time of day (morning, afternoon, and evening) and phase (accompanied by parents, separated from parents, and after four to six weeks in childcare). The influence of age, gender, number of siblings, and childcare group size was analyzed. Time of day and phase influenced cortisol levels significantly. On average, children had elevated cortisol levels in the afternoon throughout transition, with the peak coming in the separation phase. Cortisol levels declined significantly toward the evening. Children younger than 14 months showed higher evening levels and higher afternoon levels after 4–6 weeks in childcare. The findings suggest that the onset of childcare – particularly separation from parents – may be demanding for toddlers. Low evening levels indicate relief of tension at home. Higher levels of afternoon cortisol of under 14- months-old children at the follow-up measurement may indicate that younger children need more time to settle in at childcare.

Lekhal, Ratib; Drugli, May Britt, Berg-Nielsen, Turid Suzanne & Buøen, Elisabet Solheim (2020)

A model of intervention and implementation of quality building and quality control in childcare centers to strengthen the mental health and development of 1-3-year olds: Protocol for a randomized controlled trial of thrive by three

JMIR Research Protocols, 9(10), s. 1- 12. Doi: 10.2196/17726 - Full text in research archive

Drugli, May Britt; Lekhal, Ratib & Buøen, Elisabet Solheim (2020)

Tilvenning og foreldresamarbeid: de yngste i barnehagen

Cappelen Damm Akademisk.

Denne boken omhandler den viktige overgangen fra hjem til barnehage og inngår i serien «De yngste i barnehagen – fra forskning til praksis». Boken har som målsetting å bidra til at de yngste barna får en «sømløs» tilvenning til barnehagen. Det krever et godt samarbeid mellom foreldre og ansatte, og gode rutiner som passer for små barn. Små barn har grunnleggende behov for trygghet, tilhørighet og forutsigbarhet, samtidig som de er nysgjerrige og lekende utforskere. En god tilvenning til barnehagen ivaretar alle disse aspektene. Boken består av fire deler. I del en viser forfatterne til den nye rammeplanen, samt presenterer bokens teoretiske utgangspunkt som er systemteori, nyere teori om barns utvikling og tilknytningsteori. Del to omhandler foreldresamarbeid, da dette er helt sentralt for en god overgang fra hjem til barnehage. I del tre beskrives forskning som foreligger på tilvenning og i del fire beskrives en rekke praktiske tips til god praksis, samt refleksjonsoppgaver som kan benyttes i arbeidet med å evaluere og utvikle egne tilvenningsrutiner. Bokens målgruppe er først og fremst ansatte i barnehagene og studenter på barnehagelærerutdanningen, samt alle andre som er opptatt av gode barnehager for de yngste barnehagebarna

Lyons-Ruth, K; Nahum, Jeremy, Solheim, Elisabet & Vulliez-Coady, Lauriane (2018)

Role-confusion in parent-child relationships.

Leo, Guiseppe (red.). Infant research and Psychoanalysis

Drugli, May Britt; Solheim, Elisabet, Lydersen, Stian, Moe, Vibeke, Smith, Lars & Berg-Nielsen, Turid Suzanne (2017)

Elevated cortisol levels in Norwegian toddlers in childcare

Early Child Development and Care, 188(12), s. 1682- 1693. Doi: 10.1080/03004430.2016.1278368 - Full text in research archive

Solheim, Elisabet; Berg-Nielsen, Turid Suzanne & Wichstrøm, Lars (2012)

The three dimensions of the Student-Teacher Relationship Scale: CFA validation in a preschool sample

Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 30(3), s. 250- 263. Doi: 10.1177/0734282911423356

The validity of the Student–Teacher Relationship Scale (STRS) was examined in a preschool community sample (N = 925) using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Factorial invariance across genders was also investigated as was concurrent and discriminant validity. Indicators of validity were teacher-rated social competence, problem behavior, and mental health, as well as the children’s score on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. Results showed that the original three-dimensional model of the STRS was not satisfactorily confirmed. However, a slightly modified 25 items, 3-factor version of the STRS showed an acceptable fit. Model fit was acceptable for both boys and girls. The modified three-factor model evidenced good concurrent validity. The discriminant validity of the dependency versus the conflict subscale was somewhat unsatisfactory, mainly due to imperfections in the dependency subscale.

Wichstrøm, Lars; Berg-Nielsen, Turid Suzanne, Angold, Adrian, Egger, Helen L., Solheim, Elisabet & Sveen, Trude Hamre (2012)

Prevalence of psychiatric disorders in preschoolers

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53(6), s. 695- 705. Doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02514.x - Full text in research archive

Background:  Many disorders in childhood and adolescence were already present in the preschool years. However, there is little empirical research on the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in young children. A true community study using structured diagnostic tools has yet to be published. Methods:  All children born in 2003 or 2004 in the city of Trondheim, Norway, who attended the regular community health check-up for 4-year-olds (97.2% of eligible children) whose parents consented to take part in the study (N = 2,475, 82.0%) were screened for behavioral and emotional problems with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). A screen-stratified subsample of 1,250 children took part in a furthermore comprehensive study including a structured diagnostic interview (the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment, PAPA), which 995 parents (79.6%) completed. Results:  The estimated population rate for any psychiatric disorder (excluding encopresis – 6.4%) was 7.1%. The most common disorders were attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (1.9%), oppositional defiant disorder (1.8%), conduct disorder (0.7%), anxiety disorders (1.5%), and depressive disorders (2.0%). Comorbidity among disorders was common. More emotional and behavioral disorders were seen in children whose parents did not live together and in those of low socioeconomic status. Boys more often had attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depressive disorders than girls. Conclusions:  The prevalence of disorders among preschoolers was lower than in previous studies from the USA. Comorbidity was frequent and there was a male preponderance in ADHD and depression at this early age. These results underscore the fact that the most common disorders of childhood can already be diagnosed in preschoolers. However, rates of disorder in Norway may be lower than in the USA.

Berg-Nielsen, Turid Suzanne; Solheim, Elisabet, Belsky, Jay & Wichstrøm, Lars (2012)

Preschoolers' psychosocial problems: In the eyes of the beholder? Adding teacher characteristics as determinants of discrepant parent-teacher reports

Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 43(3), s. 393- 413. Doi: 10.1007/s10578-011-0271-0

In this study, we explored informant characteristics as determinants of parent–teacher disagreement on preschoolers’ psychosocial problems. Teacher characteristics were included in the analyses, in addition to child and parent factors. Psychosocial problems of 732 4-year olds from a Norwegian community sample were assessed by parents and teachers (CBCL-TRF). Furthermore, teachers reported on their education, experience and relationship to the child. Parental stress and psychopathology were also measured. Teachers rated children considerably lower than their parents did, especially on internalizing problems. When teachers rated more child problems, this was strongly associated with conflict in the teacher–child relationship, which predicted disagreement more than other factors. The highest agreement was on boys’ externalizing problems. Girls’ behavior was rated much lower by teachers than boys’ behavior compared to parents’ ratings. Possible teacher perception biases are discussed, such as teacher–child conflict, non-identification of internalizing problems, and same-gender child preference.

Solheim, Elisabet (2010)

Utviklingssstøttende samspill i barnehagen - fokus på de minste barna

Kvello, Øyvind (red.). Barnas Barnehage 2 - Barn i utvikling

Drugli, May Britt & Buøen, Elisabet Solheim (2021)

Stress hos de minste i barnehagen

TV2 Nyhetskanalen [TV]

Solheim, Elisabet (2019)

Forsker på hvordan barnehagekvaliteten kan bli bedre for de aller yngste

Barnehage.no [Fagblad]

Camilla, Bjørheim & Solheim, Elisabet (2019)

- Du er veldig god til å være forsiktig med kniven, Victoria!

Stavanger aftenblad [Avis]

Bjørheim, Camilla & Solheim, Elisabet (2017)

Sandnesbarnehagene med på forskning

Stavanger Aftenblad [Avis]

Solheim, Elisabet (2015)

Oppdragelse: 5 verdier du må lære barna før de fyller fem år

foreldre.no [Internett]

Solheim, Elisabet (2015)

Ettåringens utvikling: Det er nå barnet skal lære alt det viktigste i livet

Foreldre.no [Internett]

Solheim, Elisabet (2015)

Forskere vil se mer på kvaliteten i barnehagen for de yngste

NTB og Forskning.no [Internett]

Solheim, Elisabet (2013)

- Barnehagen har liten positiv effekt på barns sosiale ferdigheter

Aftenposten.no [Internett]

Solheim, Elisabet (2008)

Utfordrer barnehage-tabuene

Utdanningsnytt.no [Internett]

Buøen, Elisabet Solheim (2022)

Effekten av Trygg før 3 - en modell for å fremme kvalitet gjennom barnehagebasert kompetanseutvikling

[Academic lecture]. Sped og småbarnskomnferansen Nå de Små.

Lekhal, Ratib; Drugli, May Britt & Buøen, Elisabet Solheim (2019)

Små barns læring

[Non-fiction book]. Cappelen Damm Akademisk.

Drugli, May Britt; Solheim, Elisabet & Grip, Maja Sandmo (2017)

Rutiner for tilvenning i norske barnehager

[Popular scientific article]. Barnehagefolk, 1, s. 92- 98.

Drugli, May Britt; Solheim, Elisabet & Berg-Nielsen, Turid Suzanne (2017)

Små barn med lange dager blir mer stresset i barnehagen enn hjemme

[Article in business/trade/industry journal]. Utdanningsnytt.no

Drugli, May Britt; Solheim, Elisabet & Berg-Nielsen, Turid Suzanne (2017)

Liten kan bli sliten - en ny norsk studie av stress blant de yngste barnehagebarna

[Article in business/trade/industry journal]. Første steg, 1, s. 52- 54.

Lekhal, Ratib; Zachrisson, Henrik Daae, Solheim, Elisabet, Moser, Thomas & Drugli, May Britt (2016)

Det ved vi om: Betydningen af kvalitet i dagtilbud

[Non-fiction book]. Dafolo A/S.

Solheim, Elisabet (2016)

Barnehagefunn fra TTiT

[Academic lecture]. 1001 dager.

Solheim, Elisabet (2016)

Barnehagefunn fra tidlig trygg i Trondheim Effekter av barnehage på barns utvikling: Tid i barnehage, gruppe størrelse og førskolelærer-barn relasjonen.

[Academic lecture]. Vi de små - Spoed- og småbarnskonferanse i Namsos.

Lekhal, Ratib; Zachrisson, Henrik Daae, Solheim, Elisabet, Moser, Thomas & Drugli, May Britt (2016)

Barnehagen: Betydningen av kvalitet i barnehagen

[Non-fiction book]. Gyldendal Akademisk.

Solheim, Elisabet (2014)

Effekter av barnehage på barns utvikling: Tid i barnehage, gruppe størrelse og førskolelærer-barn relasjonen

[Academic lecture]. Den 11. norske psykologikongressen: Fra kunnskap til handling.

Solheim, Elisabet (2013)

Utviklingsstøttende samspill i barnehagen - fokus på de minste barna

Kvello, Øyvind (red.). Barnas Barnehage 2 Barn i utvikling

Solheim, Elisabet (2013)

Hva sier barnehageforskningen?

Brandtzæg, Ida; Torsteinson, Stig & Øiestad, Guro (red.). Se barnet innenfra : hvordan jobbe med tilknytning i barnehagen

Sveen, Trude Hamre & Solheim, Elisabet (2008)

Barnehagesannhetens - It ain't necessarily so

[Article in business/trade/industry journal]. Psykologisk tidsskrift, 12(1), s. 6- 11.

Academic Degrees
Year Academic Department Degree
2013 Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) Ph.D Dr. Psychol.
2004 Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) Master Cand. Psychol.
Work Experience
Year Employer Job Title
2017 - Present BI Norwegian Business School Adjunct lecturer
2014 - Present Regional Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Eastern and Southern Norway (RBUP) Researcher
2012 - 2014 The Municipality of Oslo Clinical psychologist
2011 - 2012 Regional Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Eastern and Southern Norway (RBUP) Assistant professor
2011 - 2011 Department of Psycology, NTNU Assistant professor
2010 - 2011 Harvard Medical School Visiting Scholar
2006 - 2010 Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) Doctoral Fellow
2006 - 2006 Family Counseling Services Clinical psychologist
2004 - 2006 Child and Adolescent psychiatric inpatient clinic Clinical psychologist
2000 - 2003 Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Research assistant