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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Jenni Kähkönen

PhD student



Project title: Individual Differences in Children's Sensitivity to the School Context

Summary: My research focuses on environmental sensitivity in children in the context of schools. Highly sensitive children are more affected by both positive and negative environmental influences, thus it is important to identify which aspects of the school environmental may be particularly beneficial or particularly disadvantageous to highly sensitive children's socio-emotional and academic development.

Through analysis of data from Swiss and Italian studies and running my own longitudinal study in the UK schools, I will address three main research objectives. Firstly, I will focus on the analysis and development of new sensitivity measures. Secondly, I will research what behavioural, physiological and cognitive characteristics are associated with high sensitivity in children. Thirdly, I will use cross-cultural and longitudinal data to understand sensitivity's influence on children's social and academic skills in the school context over time. 



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