Prof. Dr. Karina Weichold

Head of Department


Karina Weichold
Karina Weichold
Image: Anne Günther (University of Jena)

Institute of Psychology
Department of Psychology
Am Steiger 3/1
07743 Jena

Room: E015

Phone: +49 (0)3641 9-45221
Fax: +49 (0)3641 9-45202

Office hours: by appointment

Academic Career

Karina Weichold studied Psychology at the Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena, Germany and the University College of Galway, Ireland (Diploma “excellent”). Besides that, she completed training in Family and Systemic Therapy, and finished her studies with an internship at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. Afterwards, Karina Weichold worked at the Department of Developmental Psychology at the Institute of Psychology of the Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena. In 2002, she received her Ph.D. summa cum laude, and in 2012 completed her habilitation. Six years later, Karina Weichold was appointed as Professor of Psychology at the University of Jena. Currently, she is the leader of the Department of Youth Research at the Institute of Psychology and the Vice-President for Learning and Teaching of the University of Jena.

Research Interests and Publications

Karina Weichold’s research interests lie in the study of problem behaviour (e.g., substance use, emotional and social problems), and positive development (e.g., health and competence) in puberty and adolescence under a biopsychosocial and culturally-sensitive research paradigm. Besides basic research, an explicit focus of her work is the application of findings to the development, evaluation, and implementation of intervention programs to promote competence and personality development, and to prevent adolescent problem behaviour. Thereby, she is primarily engaged in interventions at school, community, and social policy levels.

Findings of her research were discussed in more than 140 presentations and symposia at scientific conferences; she has published over 70 national and international scientific papers in journals and book chapters. Professor Weichold published a book, currently two additional book projects are in press. She edited about 40 special issues/sections in high-ranking scientific journals and the Bulletin of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural DevelopmentExternal link (Main Editor of the ISSBD Bulletin).

Positions and Network

Professor Weichold has a broad network with many national and international institutions in the scientific arena, but also in politics and practice. She is member of several interdisciplinary expert groups and consortia, such as The Cross-National Project on Positive Youth Developement (CN-PYD) at the University of Bergen, Norway. Karina Weichold was honoured with an award of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development (ISSBD)External link: ISSBD Fellow – In recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of lifespan human development, in 2022.

Teaching and Coordination of Course of Studies

For many years, Professor Weichold has delivered lectures and taught courses in Developmental Psychology, Developmental Psychopathology, Life Span Psychology, General Psychology, themes of Youth Research, and Methods of Psychology at the Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena. In addition, she is involved in the education of psychological therapists in the further education program „Psychological Psychotherapy“ de. Furthermore, she is a frequent guest lecturer at other European universities. Concomitant with her teaching responsibilities, she has supervised more than 60 qualification theses.

Professor Weichold is the coordinator of the course of studies leading to an B.A. in Psychology at the Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena.

Selected Publications

  • Weichold, K., Blumenthal, A., Kilian, A., & Silbereisen, R. K. (2023). Suchtprävention in der Schule. IPSY – Ein Lebenskompetenzenprogramm für die Klassenstufen 5 bis 7 (2. völlig überarbeitete Ausgabe). Göttingen: Hogrefe. BookExternal link
  • Noack, P., Kracke, B., & Weichold, K. (in press). Entwicklung in Jugend- und frühem Erwachsenenalter. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer. BookExternal link

  • Weichold, K., Mahama, S., & Fehmer, N. (in press). Initiation Ceremonies and Rites of Passage. In: Encyclopedia of Adolescence, Second Edition. Elsevier. Full textpdf, 402 kb · de

  • Weichold, K. & Silbereisen, R. K. (2018). Jugend. In W. Schneider & U. Lindenberger (Hrsg.), Entwicklungspsychologie, S. 239-264. Beltz. BookExternal link

  • Weichold, K. & Blumenthal, A. (2016). Long-term effects of the Life Skills program IPSY on substance use: Results of a 4.5-year Longitudinal Study. Prevention Science, 17(1). Full textExternal link

  • Spaeth, M., Weichold, K., & Silbereisen, R. K. (2015). The Development of Leisure Boredom in Early Adolescence: Predictors and Longitudinal Associations with Delinquency and Depression. Developmental Psychology. 51(10), 1380-1394. Full textExternal link

  • Weichold, K. (2014). Translation of aetiology into evidence-based prevention: The Life Skills program IPSY. New Directions for Youth Development, 141, 83-94. doi: 10.1002/yd.20088. Full textExternal link

Complete CV (in German language)pdf, 381 kb · de

CV short versionpdf, 172 kb · de