Employee Profile

Ratib Lekhal

Adjunct Associate Professor - Department of Communication and Culture


Eng, Kristin Fjæra; Lekhal, Ratib, Helseth, Sølvi, Småstuen Hagen, Milada & Lekhal, Samira (2024)

Enhancing adherence to recommended food practices in Norwegian kindergartens: The role of knowledge and application of national guidelines for food and meals

Health Education Journal Doi: 10.1177/00178969241249977

Ovati, Tone Sofie Røsholt; Rydland, Veslemøy, Grøver, Vibeke & Lekhal, Ratib (2024)

Teacher perceptions of parent collaboration in multi-ethnic ECEC settings

Frontiers in Education, 9 Doi: 10.3389/feduc.2024.1340295

Eng, Kristin Fjæra; Lekhal, Ratib, Helseth, Sølvi, Lekhal, Samira & Småstuen, Milada Cvancarova (2024)

The effect of the association between food budget and food quality on adherence to national guidelines in kindergartens, and the impact of budget limit on the food quality

Food & Nutrition Research (FNR), 68, s. 1- 9. Doi: 10.29219/fnr.v68.9524 - Full text in research archive

In Norway, almost 97% of children attend kindergartens. Most of the daily food intake happens during the day in kindergartens, and the quality of food and meals being served is essential to promote healthy food habits. There is variation in the food that kindergartens provide, and kindergartens can ask for additional payment from parents to cover the food. There are no rules neither across kindergartens for the food offering nor how much additional payment kindergarten can request. Objective: Our main objective is to investigate possible associations between the food budget and the quality of food offered in kindergartens. We specifically aimed to identify budget levels that were associated with better adherence to national guidelines, thereby the quality of the food provided, as recommended by the Norwegian Directorate of Health. Design: A cross-sectional study design, based on kindergarten pedagogical leaders’ answers to a web-based questionnaire. Settings: Private and public kindergartens across Norway are included in this present study. Participants: A total of 324 kindergarten staff attending on behalf of kindergartens participated. Results: The food budget thresholds over NOK 199 are associated with higher quality of served food, in adherence to national guidelines of food and meals (odds ratio 5.2, CI = [1.5, 16.5]), compared to thresholds under 199 NOK. However, increasing the monthly food budget per child to low (200–299 NOK), medium (300–399 NOK), high (400–499 NOK), or very high (>500 NOK) levels did not lead to an improvement in food quality. Conclusion: The main results reveal that budget plays a limited role in the quality of food and meals served as long as it is above ‘very low’ (199 NOK) food budget threshold. We assume that other contextual factors can influence the quality of food and meals in a more prominent role.

Drugli, May Britt; Buøen, Elisabet Solheim & Lekhal, Ratib (2023)

Erfaringer med Trygg før 3 - profesjonsutvikling på småbarnsavdelinger - en kvalitativ studie

Paideia - Tidsskrift for professionel pædagogisk praksis, 26, s. 20- 31.

Lekhal, Ratib; Drugli, May Britt, Karlsen, Lisa-Marie, Lydersen, Stian & Buøen, Elisabet Solheim (2023)

Does thrive by three, a quality-building intervention in childcare centres, strengthen children’s language skills?

European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, s. 1- 16. Doi: 10.1080/1350293X.2023.2260131 - Full text in research archive

This study examined the effectiveness of the Thrive by Three intervention for 1- to 3-year-old’s language development. Data from 78 childcare centres, 187 toddler classrooms, and 1561 children (91.4% native Norwegian) were included. Results revealed that children in the intervention group had slightly steeper language development than those in the control group, but the difference was not statistically significant. Since previous studies find language stimulation in childcare to differ based on gender, we also examined if the Thrive by Three intervention affected boys and girls differently. We found that effects of the intervention were only present for girls’ language development. Girls in the intervention group had an increase of 17 more words from baseline to post-intervention than those in the control group. There was no statistical difference in change of boys’ language development between the intervention and control group. Results are discussed in light of theories and literature that may explain our findings.

Karlsen, Lisa-Marie; Rydland, Veslemøy, Buøen, Elisabet Solheim, Vandell, Deborah Lowe & Lekhal, Ratib (2023)

The factor structures of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System Pre-K and mature play observation tool in multi-ethnic Norwegian early childhood centers

Journal of Early Childhood Research Doi: 10.1177/1476718X231195708 - Full text in research archive

The use of standardized assessment tools for the evaluation of quality in early childhood education and care (ECEC) is on the rise, yet a greater understanding of the applicability of these tools across contexts is still needed. This study investigates the factor structure of two assessment tools, the Classroom Assessment Scoring System Pre-K (CLASS) and Mature Play Observation Tool (MPOT) in a free-play focused context serving high numbers of children with diverse language backgrounds in Norway. The study also evaluates the extent to which these tools complement each other to create a more comprehensive understanding of children’s experiences in ECEC in this context. Using confirmatory factor analyses, our results from a sample of 125 multi-ethnic ECEC groups in Norway show a good fit for the two-factor (i.e., adult- and child-focused) model proposed by the authors of MPOT. In line with previous research, the three-factor (i.e., emotional support, classroom organization, and support for learning) model of CLASS required post hoc modifications, resulting in a marginally acceptable model fit. Overall, our findings provide evidence that the original factor structures of these tools can be modeled in urban ECEC centers in Norway, and using these tools provides different insights into children’s ECEC experiences.

van Trijp, Catharina Petronella Johanna; Lekhal, Ratib, Drugli, May Britt, Rydland, Veslemøy & Buøen, Elisabet Solheim (2023)

Examining the longitudinal association between toddlers’ early shyness and their well-being during their first year in Norwegian early childhood education and care

Early Child Development and Care, s. 1403- 1416. Doi: 10.1080/03004430.2023.2247188 - Full text in research archive

Toddlers’ social – emotional well-Being in ECEC Shyness Being shy in ECEC Longitudinal association between early shyness and well-being in ECEC The present study Method Results Discussion Acknowledgements Disclosure statement Additional information References Full Article Figures & data References Citations Metrics Licensing Reprints & Permissions View PDFView EPUB ABSTRACT Using a multilevel random-coefficient approach, we examined the longitudinal association between toddlers’ early shyness and their well-being during their first year in Norwegian early childhood education and care (ECEC) centres. We used data from two measurement points (preintervention and postintervention) from a larger cluster randomized controlled trial study, Thrive by 3. We followed 567 children (answered by 415 mothers and 152 fathers) who were younger than 19 months and had just started in ECEC at preintervention. Our findings indicate that toddlers’ early shyness during their starting period in ECEC is associated with their well-being by the end of their first year in ECEC. Our findings highlight the importance of paying extra attention to shy toddlers, as they seem to show less well-being during their early period in ECEC.

Stensen, Kenneth; Lydersen, Stian, Ranøyen, Ingunn, Lekhal, Ratib, Drugli, May Britt & Buøen, Elisabet Solheim (2023)

Investigating the Measurement Invariance of the Caregiver-Teacher Report Form (C-TRF) Factors in a Norwegian Early Childhood Education and Care Context

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment Doi: 10.1007/s10862-023-10074-4 - Full text in research archive

The Caregiver-Teacher Report Form (C-TRF) is an instrument frequently used by researchers and clinicians to assess psychopathology in preschool children based on information from early childhood education and care professionals. However, the measurement invariance of this instrument has not been investigated. Thus, the aim of the current study was to investigate the measurement invariance of the C-TRF for (1) girls vs. boys, and (2) for children below the age of three years old vs. three years or older, as measurement invariance is a prerequisite for a meaningful comparison of latent means between groups. Based on reports of 2904 children from 353 early childhood education and care professionals, our results showed full scalar invariance for an adapted C-TRF model, which supports the applicability of the instrument. However, awareness of the factor Somatic complaints and items with out-of-range parameters is warranted.

Wilhelmsen, Tiril; Røysamb, Espen, Lekhal, Ratib, Brandlistuen, Ragnhild Eek, Alexandersen, Nina & Wang, Mari Vaage (2023)

Children's mental health: The role of multiple risks and child care quality

Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 86 Doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2023.101546 - Full text in research archive

The benefit of universal access to Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) for children's development can depend on the ECEC quality and children's early childhood risks. This study utilised data from the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa; N = 7355, 50.2% boys) to investigate the relative contribution of children's early childhood risk accumulated up to three years of age and five separate dimensions of ECEC quality on children's mental health (externalising and internalising problems) at five years of age rated by mothers and teachers. Results from the hierarchical regression models indicated that lower ECEC quality added to, and higher ECEC quality counteracted, the risk of mental health problems. Relationship quality was the strongest contributor. Total ECEC quality and relationship quality interacted significantly with early childhood risk, indicating that higher ECEC quality protected against, while lower ECEC quality exacerbated, the detrimental effects of early childhood risk on mental health problems.

Stensen, Kenneth; Lydersen, Stian, Ranøyen, Ingunn, Klöckner, Christian Andreas Nikolaus, Buøen, Elisabet Solheim, Lekhal, Ratib & Drugli, May Britt (2023)

Psychometric Properties of the Student-Teacher Relationship Scale-Short Form in a Norwegian Early Childhood Education and Care Context

Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 41(5), s. 514- 525. Doi: 10.1177/07342829231166251 - Full text in research archive

The Student-Teacher Relationship Scale-Short Form (STRS-SF) is one of the most frequently used instruments globally to measure professional caregivers’ perceptions of the relationship quality with a specific child. However, its psychometric properties for children younger than 3 years of age enrolled in early childhood education and care (ECEC) centers are largely unknown. Thus, this study aimed to investigate and evaluate the factorial validity of the STRS-SF and measurement invariance across children’s gender and age by combining two large Norwegian community samples (N = 2900), covering the full age range of children enrolled in ECEC (1–6 years olds). Our findings indicate promising psychometric properties for the STRS-SF; thus, its applicability is supported for both younger and older children indiscriminate of their gender. However, some caution is advised when comparing latent means between older and younger ECEC children because professional caregivers interpret the STRS-SF differently based on children’s age.

Biele, Guido; Lekhal, Ratib, Øvergaard, Kristin Romvig, Wang, Mari Vaage, Brandlistuen, Ragnhild Eek, Friis, Svein & Zeiner, Pål (2022)

The effect of special educational assistance in early childhood education and care on psycho-social difficulties in elementary school children

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health (CAPMH), 16 Doi: 10.1186/s13034-022-00442-5 - Full text in research archive

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.

Lekhal, Ratib & Karlsen, Lisa (2021)

Bullying of students who receive special education services for learning and behaviour difficulties in Norway

International Journal of Inclusive Education Doi: 10.1080/13603116.2021.1991487 - Full text in research archive

Wilhelmsen, Tiril; Lekhal, Ratib, Alexandersen, Nina, Brandlistuen, Ragnhild Eek & Wang, Mari Vaage (2021)

Children’s temperament moderates the long-term effects of pedagogical practices in ECEC on children’s externalising problems

European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 29(2), s. 206- 223. Doi: 10.1080/1350293X.2021.1895273 - Full text in research archive

In this study, we explored how free play and scaffolding practices in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) related to children’sexternalising problems both in ECEC and later in school.Furthermore, we aimed to reduce the knowledge gap of whether these relations depended on children’s differences in emotional temperament. We used structural equation modelling to analysedata from 7421 children from the Norwegian Mother, Father an dChild Cohort Study. Results indicated that more free playassociated with less externalising problems in ECEC for children ingeneral. For children with higher emotionality, more free playrelated to increased externalising problems in school. Scaffoldingin ECEC was not associated with externalising problems, butmoderated the longitudinal association of free play for children with higher emotionality. All children benefited from free play in ECEC for their concurrent mental health. However, for childrenwith higher emotionality, more free play in ECEC might be a riskfactor for reduced mental health in school, where there is lessfree play than in ECEC. More scaffolding in combination with freeplay in ECEC can reduce this risk. Further research should addressthe content of play and scaffolding practices in more detail.

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

Karlsen, Lisa & Lekhal, Ratib (2019)

Practitioner involvement and support in children’s learning during free play in two Norwegian kindergartens

Journal of Early Childhood Research, 17(3), s. 233- 246. Doi: 10.1177/1476718X19856390 - Full text in research archive

This research focuses on how practitioners in two Norwegian kindergartens interact with children during free play. The purpose of the study is to draw attention to the way the practitioners supported children’s learning through their interactions with children during free play. Through naturalistic observations of 17 practitioners, results revealed that while more than half of the day in both settings consisted of free play activities (60%), practitioners spent a significant amount of this time completely away from play situations (45.5% of free play). Of the remaining time, practitioners spent 34 percent of free playtime supporting children’s learning through joining in, commenting, instructing, or helping.

Van Trijp, Catharina Petronella Johanna & Lekhal, Ratib (2018)

Promoting children's well-being in ECEC: A challenging goal.

Journal of International Doctoral Research, 7(1), s. 30- 54.

The promotion of children’s development and well-being through high Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC), quality is one of the core concepts in many international ECEC quality frameworks and guidelines (Bagdi & Vacca, 2005; Sylva, Ereky-Stevens, & Aricescu, 2015). However, this goal has multiple challenges regarding children’s well-being. Firstly, there is a lengthy debate regarding the definition of well-being (Dodge, Daly, Huyton, & Sander, 2012), which mainly focused on adults’ well-being. Children’s well-being is underexposed (Røysamb, 2014). Secondly, children participate in different environments, such as at home and in ECEC centers (Bronfenbrenner, 1979), which might result in discrepancies regarding their well-being between these environments. This may be through the presence of protective and/or risk factors in the different environments, but also with regard to the individual child (AalbersVan Leeuwen, Van Hees, & Hermanns, 2002; Asscher, Hermanns, & Dekovic, 2008). The influence of these factors is dependent on the interplay between the child’s genes and the environment (Røysamb & Nes, 2018). These challenges and the large international political focus on children’s well-being in ECEC require a universal conceptual framework. The current study conducts a literature review regarding children’s well-being in ECEC. Based on this review, a new framework regarding zero-to-five-year olds’ well-being is presented. With this framework, organizational tools are provided for research, policies and practices to understand the complexity of children’s well-being, to develop instruments that measure well-being directly, and to see what is needed from the different environments to promote children’s well-being.

Lekhal, Ratib (2018)

Receiving extra support in Norwegian centre-based childcare: the role of children's language and socioemotional development

Early Child Development and Care, s. 1- 14. Doi: 10.1080/03004430.2018.1485671

This study adds to the current literature by examining how different developmental areas (language problems or externalizing and internalizing behaviour problems) affect the possibility of a child receiving extra support early in life. The data were drawn from an online survey of 2779 children in Norway conducted in 2015 and included information about children's development and on their background and family factors. There was a strong connection between children's development and the possibility of receiving special education. However, relatively large gender differences were found. Furthermore, only a fairly small proportion of the children characterized as having a problem with language or with internalizing or externalizing behaviour were detected and actually received any special education support.

Løken, Gro; Lekhal, Ratib & Haug, Peder (2018)

Observasjon av kjønnsforskjeller og forskjeller mellom spesialundervisning og ordinær opplæring i det tilrettelagte klasserommet

Smith, Kari (red.). Norsk og internasjonal lærerutdanningsforskning : hvor er vi? hvor vil vi gå? hva skal vi gjøre nå?

Lekhal, Ratib (2018)

Does special education predict students’ math and language skills?

European Journal of Special Needs Education, 33(4), s. 525- 540. Doi: 10.1080/08856257.2017.1373494 - Full text in research archive

A large number of children are today receiving special education in Norway. The high cost to society and possible long-term consequences for the students make it important to understand the interrelationship of the causes and effects related to receiving special education services. Unfortunately, at present there are only few rigorous studies of the effects of receiving special education services. This study examined the interrelationship between receiving special education services and students’ math and language skills in upper secondary school in Norway. Data from 2756 students in the large population-based special education study (SPEED) was used that included information from questionnaires on students’ development, learning environment and family background. Results showed that students receiving special education services had slightly lower scores on their language test but similar scores on their math test compared to the group of students not receiving special education services, when conservative methodological approaches were used to control for possible covariate bias.

Lekhal, Ratib (2017)

Elever med vedtak om spesialundervisning: Hva vet vi, hvordan har de det, og trives de på skolen?

Haug, Peder (red.). Spesialundervisning – Innhald og funksjon

Løken, Gro; Lekhal, Ratib & Haug, Peder (2017)

Lavt presterende elever og kjønnsforskjeller – hvem får og hvem får ikke spesialundervisning?

Haug, Peder (red.). Spesialundervisning – Innhald og funksjon

Faldet, Ann-Cathrin & Lekhal, Ratib (2016)

Voldelige jenters opplevelse av skolen som arena for læring og sosialt samspill

Spesialpedagogikk, 81(3), s. 51- 64.

Nordahl, Thomas; Sunnevåg, Anne-Karin, Qvortrup, Lars, Skov Hansen, Line, Hansen, Ole, Lekhal, Ratib & Drugli, May Britt (2016)

Hold ut og hold kursen. Resultater fra kartleggningsundersøkelse i Kristiansand Kommune 2015

Aalborg Universitetsforlag.

Lekhal, Ratib & Mælan, Ellen Nesset (2015)

Bokstaver, tall og geometriske figurer i barnehagen-preliminære resultater fra en pilotstudie i seks barnehager: En ny vurderingsmetode?

Cepra-striben - tidsskrift for Evaluering i Praksis, s. 22- 29.

Lekhal, Ratib (2015)

Er barnehage en risiko eller gevinst for barns utvikling?

Paideia - Tidsskrift for professionel pædagogisk praksis, 10, s. 46- 55.

Lekhal, Ratib (2015)

What is the Best Way to Assess Quality in Childcare to Understand Its Influence on Children?

Journal of International Scientific Publications: Educational Alternatives, 13, s. 677- 683.

Aasen, Ann Margareth; Lekhal, Ratib, Drugli, May Britt & Nordahl, Thomas (2015)

Kjønnsforskjeller i skolefaglige prestasjoner - forklaringer i elevenes holdninger til og væremåte i skolen, samt relasjonelle forhold

Paideia - Tidsskrift for professionel pædagogisk praksis, s. 76- 89.

Wang, Mari Vaage; Lekhal, Ratib, Aarø, Leif Edvard, Holte, Arne & Schjølberg, Synnve (2014)

The developmental relationship between language and motor performance from 3 to 5 years of age: a prospective longitudinal population study

BMC Psychology, 2 Doi: 10.1186/s40359-014-0034-3 - Full text in research archive

Holte, Arne; Barry, Margaret M., Bekkhus, Mona, Borge, Anne Inger Helmen, Bowes, Lucy, Casas, Ferran, Friborg, Oddgeir, Grinde, Bjørn, Headey, Bruce, Jozefiak, Thomas, Lekhal, Rabit, Marks, Nic, Muffels, Ruud, Nes, Ragnhild Bang, Røysamb, Espen, Thimm, Jens, Torgersen, Svenn, Trommsdorff, Gisela, Veenhoven, Ruut, Vittersø, Joar, Waaktaar, Trine, Wagner, Gert G., Wang, Catharina E., Wold, Bente & Zachrisson, Henrik Daae (2014)

Psychology of Child Well-Being

Ben-Arieh, Asher; Casas, Ferran, Frønes, Ivar & Korbin, Jill E. (red.). Handbook of child well-being : theories, methods and policies in global perspective

Lekhal, Ratib; Wang, Mari Vaage & Schjølberg, Synnve (2013)

Sammenhengen mellom barns deltakelse i norske barnehager og utviklingen av språk og atferd i tidlig barndom. Resultater fra Den norske mor- og barn-undersøkelsen

Holmseth, Sylvia (red.). Utdanning 2013 - fra barnehage til doktorgrad

Zachrisson, Henrik Daae; Dearing, Eric, Lekhal, Ratib & Toppelberg, Claudio O (2013)

Little Evidence That Time in Child Care Causes Externalizing Problems During Early Childhood in Norway

Child Development, 84(4), s. 1152- 1170. Doi: 10.1111/cdev.12040

Wang, Mari Vaage; Lekhal, Ratib, Aarø, Leif Edvard & Schjølberg, Synnve (2012)

Co-occuring development of early childhood communication and motor skills: results from a population-based longitudinal study

Child: Care, Health and Development, 40(1), s. 77- 84. Doi: 10.1111/cch.12003

Lekhal, Ratib (2012)

Do type of childcare and age of entry predict behavior problems during early childhood? Results from a large Norwegian longitudinal study

International Journal of Behavioral Development, 36(3), s. 197- 204. Doi: 10.1177/0165025411431409

Lekhal, Ratib; Soest, Tilmann M von, Wang, Mari Vaage, Aukrust, Vibeke Grøver & Schjølberg, Synnve (2012)

Norway's High-Quality Center Care Reduces Late Talking in High- and Low-Risk Groups

Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 33(7), s. 562- 569. Doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e3182648727

Zachrisson, Henrik Daae; Lekhal, Ratib & Mykletun, Arnstein (2011)

Hva gjør barnehagene med barna?

Tidsskrift for Norsk Psykologforening, 48, s. 578- 581.

Lekhal, Ratib; Zachrisson, Henrik Daae, Wang, Mari Vaage, Schjølberg, Synnve & Von Soest, Tilmann (2011)

Does universally accessible child care protect children from late talking? Results from a Norwegian population-based prospective study

Early Child Development and Care, 181(8), s. 1007- 1019. Doi: 10.1080/03004430.2010.508558

Zachrisson, Henrik Daae; Lekhal, Ratib & Schjølberg, Synnve (2010)

Barnehage og psykisk helse hos sped- og småbarn

Moe, Vibeke; Slinning, Kari & Hansen, Marit Bergum (red.). Håndbok i sped- og småbarns psykiske helse

Lekhal, Ratib (2008)

Atferdsprogrammet PALS i skolen

Vestre, Svein Egil & Beck, Christian Watkin (red.). Skolen i aftenlandet? Artikkelsamling med ukorrekte innfallsvinkler

Lekhal, Ratib (2015)

Norges viktigste jobb

Barnehage.no [Fagblad]

Lekhal, Ratib (2014)

Leker for livet

Kommunal rapport [Avis]

Hansen, Ole; Lekhal, Ratib, Nordahl, Thomas, Norlund, Anita, Persson, Bengt & Qvortrup, Lars (1)

Temanummer om synlig læring

Paideia - Tidsskrift for professionel pædagogisk praksis [Kronikk]

Lekhal, Ratib; Nordahl, Thomas, Norlund, Anita, Persson, Bengt, Qvortrup, Lars & Hansen, Ole (1)

Målrettede indsatser og forbedringer i skole og dagtilbud

Paideia - Tidsskrift for professionel pædagogisk praksis [Kronikk]

Lekhal, Ratib & Wilhelmsen, Tiril (2024)

Har Språksterk hatt betydning for prosesskvaliteten i barnehagene?

[Academic lecture]. Konferanse for barnehagene og ledelsen i fem bydeler i Oslo kommune.

Rydland, Veslemøy & Lekhal, Ratib (2023)

Presentasjon av Språksterk 1-6

[Academic lecture]. Rektorer i Oslo-skolen.

Øksendal, Elise; Rydland, Veslemøy, Bratlie, Siri Steffensen, Lekhal, Ratib & Grøver, Vibeke (2023)

Latente profiler av språk, kommunikasjon, oppmerksomhet og lek blant barnehagebarn

[Academic lecture]. Barnehageforskningskonferanse 2023.

Reiersen, Camilla; Ovati, Tone Sofie Røsholt, Lekhal, Ratib & Rydland, Veslemøy (2023)

Preschool practitioners’ experiences with the implementation of the Oslo Early Education Study intervention

[Academic lecture]. ECCERA 2023.

Wilhelmsen, Tiril; Rydland, Veslemøy & Lekhal, Ratib (2023)

Associations between teachers' emotion socialisation behaviour and children's social competence and play in Norwegian childcare, and moderations by children's temperament.

[Academic lecture]. Norsk Barnehageforskningskonferanse 2023.

Wilhelmsen, Tiril; Rydland, Veslemøy, Buøen, Elisabet Solheim, Drugli, May Britt & Lekhal, Ratib (2023)

Measuring preschool teachers’ emotion socialisation with young children

[Academic lecture]. European Conference on Developmental Psychology.

Bratlie, Siri Steffensen; Rydland, Veslemøy, Lekhal, Ratib & Grøver, Vibeke (2023)

Profiles of home language use and demographic factors among diverse young Norwegian dual language learners: A latent profile approach

[Academic lecture]. European Conference on Developmental Psychology (ECDP).

Røsholt, Tone Sofie; Rydland, Veslemøy, Grøver, Vibeke & Lekhal, Ratib (2022)

ECEC Teachers’ Perceptions of Parent Collaboration to Support Children’s Dual Language Development in Multilingual Areas of Oslo.

[Academic lecture]. SIG 5 Biennial Conference 2022.

Rydland, Veslemøy & Lekhal, Ratib (2021)

Språksterk 1-6

[Academic lecture]. Seminar OsloMet.

Lekhal, Samira; Slapø, Helena, Lekhal, Ratib & Drugli, May Britt (2019)

Kosthold og fysisk helse

[Non-fiction book]. Cappelen Damm Akademisk.

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

Små barns læring

[Non-fiction book]. Cappelen Damm Akademisk.

Drugli, May Britt & Lekhal, Ratib (2019)

4 faktorer som fremmer barns livsmestring

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

Drugli, May Britt & Lekhal, Ratib (2019)

4 faktorer som fremmer barns livsmestring

[Article in business/trade/industry journal]. Første steg, s. 50- 53.

Van Trijp, Catharina Petronella Johanna & Lekhal, Ratib (2019)

The influence of ECEC quality on toddlers’ development and well-being in Norwegian ECEC. How to measure these concepts with instruments from the Thrive by 3 intervention?

[Academic lecture]. ICSEI Stavanger 2019.

Drugli, May Britt & Lekhal, Ratib (2018)

Livsmestring og psykisk helse

[Non-fiction book]. Cappelen Damm Akademisk.

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.

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

Barnehagen: Betydningen av kvalitet i barnehagen

[Non-fiction book]. Gyldendal Akademisk.

Lekhal, Ratib (2015)

Mental health problems and grades among minority children: Does high-quality school environment buffers the relationship?

[Academic lecture]. NERA - Nordic Educational Research Association.

Lekhal, Ratib (2015)

Evaluering av LP-modellen med hensyn til barns utvikling og læring i daginstitusjonene

[Article in business/trade/industry journal]. LP-modellen.dk

Lekhal, Ratib (2014)

Relasjon mellom voksen og barn i barnehagen - hva kjennetegner barnehager med gode relasjoner?

[Article in business/trade/industry journal]. LP-modellen.dk

Lekhal, Ratib; Løken, Gro & Knudsmoen, Hege (2014)

Students with behaviour problems in school. Preliminary results from our SPEED study

[Academic lecture]. NERA, SPEED symposium, inkludering.

Lekhal, Ratib & Vigmostad, Inger (2014)

Trivsel og kvalitet i barnehagen

[Report]. Høgskolen i Hedmark.

Engvik, Maria; Evensen, Laura Aniko, Gustavson, Kristin, Jin, Fufen, Johansen, Rune, Lekhal, Ratib, Schjølberg, Synnve, Wang, Mari Vaage & Aase, Heidi (2014)

Sammenhenger mellom barnehagekvalitet og barns fungering ved 5 år

[Report]. Folkehelseinstituttet.

Main findings Children with good relationships to the adult caregivers in their centre-based childcare also have better language and psychological development than those children with poor caregiver relationships. Other measures of Norwegian centre-based childcare quality, such as pedagogic practices, access to material resources, staff size and group size, seem to have little impact on children's linguistic and psychological functioning at five years.

Lekhal, Ratib; Kostøl, Anne Kristoffersen, Nordahl, Thomas, Sunnevåg, Anne-Karin, Løken, Gro, Vigmostad, Inger & Myhr, Lars Arild (2014)

Klasseledelse, lærerautoritet og læringsutbytte. En kvantitativ og kvalitativ evaluering av prosjektet: «Klasseledelse, lærerautoritet og læringsutbytte» i videregående opplæring, 2010–2013

[Report]. Høgskolen i Hedmark.

Hensikten med denne rapporten er å presentere den kvantitative og kvalitative kartleggingsundersøkelsen som er gjennomført i de sju skolene som har deltatt i utviklings- og forskningsprosjektet «Klasseledelse, lærerautoritet og læringsutbytte» (KLL). Formålet er å undersøke om endringsarbeidet som har blitt gjennomført i KLL-skolene har ført til positive endringer. Problemstillingene som ble undersøkt var følgende: • Hvilken endring og utvikling viser resultatene fra første til andre kartlegging på de ulike fokusområdene (Skolekultur, Undervisning, Elevenes motivasjon og arbeidsinnsats og Opplevelse atferdsproblematikk)? • Skiller KLL – skolene seg fra resten av skolene i fylkeskommunen når det gjelder elevenes gjennomstrømning og læringsutbytte? • Hvilke erfaringer er gjort av de ansatte på skolene i forhold til implementering og gjennomføring i prosjektet? Resultatene fra KLL viser en positiv utvikling for lærerne på samtlige fokus/temaområder med unntak av arbeid med faktoren fagsentrert undervisning (hverken positiv eller negativ). Også når det gjelder resultater på elevnivå viser KLLskolene positiv fremgang. Skolene viser en positiv utvikling på antall fraværsdager (nedgang) og andel elever som har fullført- og bestått videregående opplæring. Videre ser det ut som om det er store variasjoner i hvilke erfaringer de ansatte på skolene har gjort seg gjennom prosjektet, både når det gjelder positive og negative erfaringer. Vi vil understreke at denne studien ikke gir mulighet til å trekke kausale slutninger (det vil si årsakssammenhenger). Vi kan ikke se bort fra at endringen som har skjedd fra T1 til T2 (første og andre måling) kan skyldes andre årsaker vi ikke har kontroll over eller har målt i denne studien.

Ratib, Lekhal; Vartun, Marika, Gustavson, Kristin Brun, Helland, Siri Saugestad, Wang, Mari Vaage & Schjølberg, Synnve (2013)

Den norske mor og barn-undersøkelsen. Variasjon i barnehagekvalitet : beskrivelser fra første datainnsamling fra barnehagene

[Report]. Nasjonalt folkehelseinstitutt, Divisjon for psykisk helse.

Vartun, Marika; Helland, Siri Saugestad, Wang, Mari Vaage, Lekhal, Ratib & Schjølberg, Synnve (2012)

Noen resultater fra Barnehageundersøkelsen: En barnehage preget av kompetanse og trivsel

[Popular scientific article]. Første steg, s. 32- 33.

Saugestad Helland, Siri; Varatun, Marika, Melkevik, Ole, Lekhal, Ratib & Schjølberg, Synnve (2012)

Barnehagen som arena for vekst og trivsel

[Article in business/trade/industry journal]. Første steg, 2, s. 30- 34.

Varatun, Marika; Saugestad Helland, Siri, Wang, Mari Vaage, Lekhal, Ratib & Schjølberg, Synnve (2012)

En barnehage preget av kompetanse og trivsel

[Article in business/trade/industry journal]. Første steg, 3, s. 32- 34.

Zachrisson, Henrik Daae; Dearing, Eric, Toppelberg, Claudio O & Lekhal, Ratib (2011)

Child Care Quantity and Early Childhood Aggression in a Large Norwegian Cohort.

[Academic lecture]. Paper symposium presentation. Biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development.

Lekhal, Ratib (2011)

The relation between child care and language development, Results from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study

[Academic lecture]. Nordic Early Childhood Education and Care -Effects and changes.

Schjølberg, Synnve; Lekhal, Ratib, Vartun, Marika, Helland, Siri Saugestad & Mathiesen, Kristin Schjelderup (2011)

Barnepass fram til 18 måneder. Sammenhenger mellom barnepass fram til 18 måneder og språklige ferdigheter og psykisk fungering ved 5 år

[Report]. Nasjonalt folkehelseinstitutt.

Lekhal, Ratib (2009)

Barnehage og språkutvikling

[Academic lecture]. HIO/NOVA-arbeidsseminar.

Schjølberg, Synnve; Lekhal, Ratib, Wang, Mari Vaage, Zambrana, Imac Maria, Mathiesen, Kristin Schjelderup, Magnus, Per & Roth, Christine (2008)

Forsinket språkutvikling. En foreløpig oversikt basert på data fra Den norske mor og barn undersøkelsen

[Report]. Nasjonalt folkehelseinstitutt.

Academic Degrees
Year Academic Department Degree
2013 University of Oslo Ph.D Dr. Philos.
2007 University of Oslo Master Cand.Ped.
Work Experience
Year Employer Job Title
2016 - Present BI Norwegian Business School Associate professor
2013 - 2015 Hedmark University of Applied Sciences Associate professor
2012 - 2014 Norwegian Institute of Public health Researcher