Elia Psouni

Elia Psouni

Senior lecturer

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Personal profile


The focus of my research is on processes and mechanisms underlying the development of attachment, emotion regulation and social cognition. I study how these processes are shaped by specific characteristics of the child and its caregivers, relationships and interactions between family members, and other important contextual influences. I further analyze the outcome and impact of these developmental processes, on the family as a system, and for the well-being of individual family members.

To this end, I have developed a number of clinical, attachment-based psychometric tools, and novel materials for assessing social cognition in young children, and have been licensed for a large number of attachment-based clinical instruments developed by others. My approach is quantitative, and I combine methods from attachment research, cognitive developmental research and social epidemiology, but also experimental neuropsychological techniques.

Evolutionary aspects of how independence from the caregiver develops in humans, with focus on walking onset and weaning, have been investigated in interdisciplinary collaborations encompassing evolutionary genetics and ethology. Using my methodological expertise, I have also moved across research boundaries outside developmental psychology, into neuropsychological assessment in epilepsy patients, perceptions and treatment of itch and development of Brain-Machine Interfaces.  

I am Director of the Division of Developmental Psychology.

My current projects include:

• Attachment and caregiving: development and consequences
Barns psykiska hälsa och välbefinnande


• Structure of cognitive representations of close relationships

Barns psykiska hälsa: Emotionell utveckling och scriptad kunskap om nära relationer


• Socioemotional development in middle childhood and preadolescence

• Socio-cognitive development in early childhood


• Parental caregiving development and its antecedents

Föräldrars vuxna anknytningsrepresentationer påverkar deras tankar, känslor och beteende gentemot sin partner och därmed deras gemensamma föräldraskap


• Emotion regulation, family relationships and dealing with health adversity

Det drabbade barnet och dess familj i sjukvården


• Evolutionary roots of human development

Förhållandet mellan utvecklingen av hjärnan och beteende i ontogenetiskt och evolutionärt perspektiv


Professional preparation

I have an MSc in Organizational Psychology (1997) and a PhD in Developmental Psychology (1999) from the Department of Experimental Psychology, Bristol University, UK. I have training in CBT and am registered clinical psychologist in the UK and Sweden (Psykologlegitimation 2000). I did a post-doc in Medical Psychology and Pediatric Psychology (2000-2002) at the Faculty of Medicine, Lund University.

Method Development

Secure Base Script Test for middle childhood (SBST).

Method Manual: Psouni, E., & Apetroaia, A. (2013). Secure Base Script Test (SBST) for middle childhood: Administration and scoring manual, 2nd revision. Unpublished manuscript, Lund University, Sweden.

Related output: Psouni & Apetroaia, 2014; Psouni et al., 2015; Di Folco et al., 2017.

For enquiries regarding test materials and reliability training, please, contact elia,Psouni@psy.lu.se

Parental Caregiving and Attachment Interview (P-CAI).

Method Manual: Psouni, E. & Bengtsson, H. (2015). Parental Caregiving and Attachment Interview (P-CAI) Coding Manual. Unpublished manuscript, Lund University: Sweden.

Related output: Bengtsson & Psouni, 2008; Psouni (in press).

For enquiries regarding test materials and reliability training, please, contact elia,Psouni@psy.lu.se

Film about MAXI: A measure for assessing young children’s understanding of False Belief.

 Developed by E. Psouni, A. Falck, L. Bostrom, and M. Persson. Persson made all illustrations.

Memory for Maxi: Assessment of young children’s memory (based on “film about MAXI).

Developed and piloted by L. Sidén, M. Wallin, and E. Psouni.

Related output: Psouni, Falck, Boström, Persson, Sidén & Wallin, 2019) (first published 2018).


Method training and reliability

  • Adult Attachment Interview (AAI)
  • Reactions to Diagnosis Interview (RDI)
  • Friends and Family Interview (FFI)
  • Reflective Functioning (RF)
  • Attachment Script Assessment (ASA)
  • Late Childhood Attachment Interview (LCAI/BISK) 


I am responsible for and teach the courses of Developmental Psychology within the (Clinical) Psychologist Program and within the International MSc Psychology Program. I am also course coordinator and head examiner for the undergraduate (Bachelor’s) and Master’s Theses (International MSc Program) courses.

UKÄ subject classification

  • Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
  • Applied Psychology

Free keywords

  • Child development
  • Family
  • Attachment processes
  • emotion regulation
  • parental caregiving
  • Mental health
  • Preschool
  • socio-cognitive development
  • longitudinal studies
  • intervention


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