Research Interests

Development of language and cognition, interrelations between domains of development; typical and atypical development, developmental diagnoses, promotion and intervention; educational psychology and learning

Funded Research Projects and Current Grants

BamBI: Bamberger Baby Institute

The Bamberger Baby Institute is a research unit at the chair of developmental psychology. A special focus is on early child development, specifically the development of language and cognition, their mutual interrelations as well as their relation to socio-emotional development, on influencing variables and how early child development impacts later development. Thereby we study mother-child interaction as well as early child characteristics and the emergence of early competencies in various developmental domains. Longitudinal methods and experimental studies (habituation paradigm, eye-tracking methods, video-taped interactions situations, data from questionnaires and tests etc.) are used to learn more about the mechanisms and impact of early child development.

Further information: BamBI-homepage (in german language)

EarlyMath: Mathematical Development and the Impact of Interaction Quality in early Childcare

How the different facets of early interaction quality in preschools affect the development of mathematical competences of children from the age of two is the main question of the EarlyMath project. Within the project, global and mathematical interactional behavior of preschool teacher is promoted through various interventions. In order to be able to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of the interventions, their effects will be comparatively investigated. The project will be a collaborative project between the German Youth Institute (DJI) and the University of Bamberg.

Further information you can find here.

BRISE: Bremen Initiative to Foster Early Childhood Development (joint project)

funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

The “Bremen Initiative to Foster Early Childhood Development” (BRISE) is a longitudinal study investigating the effects of systematically coordinated early childhood intervention on various areas of child development (including cognitive, social, and emotional development).

With a projected total of 1,000 children and families participating, the survey starts shortly before birth and continues until children reach school age. The study focuses on children from socially or culturally disadvantaged families, and will support and evaluate their cognitive and social development from early on. The study seeks to identify the effects of coordinated interventions on early childhood development. The reference group is comprised of children whose families do not take systematic advantage of programs offered in the city of Bremen. In addition, intervention effects will be evaluated by comparing BRISE data with data from the Newborn Cohort Study of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS-SC1) and the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). To link BRISE to the NEPS is the joint responsibility of the network partners Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg and Leibniz-Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi).

Further information: BRISE

ELSIE - (Parent behavior, language, inhibitory control and socio-emotional development)

The project "ELSIE” addresses the interrelation between parental behavior and child development in early childhood. For this purpose, different developmental domains (e.g., facets of language, socio-emotional, and cognitive development) are assessed longitudinally in 3-year-old children and traced over time. Parental interaction behavior is assessed by means of video coding of a play situation as well as by means of parent questionnaires.

Special attention is given to the situation of deaf and hard of hearing children. Therefore, part of the sample consists of children with a permanent, bilateral hearing loss. In this way, we aim to investigate whether and to what extent parental behavior differs when raising a deaf or hard of hearing child. We further investigate how this relates to child characteristics and developmental differences.

The research is conducted in the context of the PhD project of K. Hermes and a preparatory project of S. Weinert & K. Hermes.

EarlyEd - Leibniz Competence Centre for Early Education

The Leibniz Competence Centre for Early Education was founded with the aim of exploring the developmental processes of children in the first eight years of life and the support they receive from family and institutional learning environments. For this purpose intervention studies are conceived and carried out with the expertise of various disciplines. Scientists from the following disciplines are represented

- educational psychology (IPN),

- developmental psychology (DIPF, JLU Gießen, OFU Bamberg),

- educational science (IPN, Goethe University),

- cognitive psychology (IWM),

- elementary education (FU Berlin, OFU Bamberg),

- the subject didactics mathematics and chemistry (IPN)

- and the Economics of Education (DIW).

The substudy „EarlyEd“, which is located at the Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg, focuses especially on the early roots of competence development as well as connections between general cognitive abilities and domain-specific competence development (linguistic, mathematical competences) in early childhood.

Further information:

ViVAplus: Impact of early childcare arrangements and the home-learning environment on child development

(funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG))

The ViVAplus project aims conducting the developmental impacts of the quality of the home-learning environment (HLE) and the quantity and quality of early institutional and family childcare (ECEC), thereby considering various domain-general and domain-specific cognitive as well as socioemotional outcomes in later kindergarten age. It will draw on data from the NEPS infant cohort study and the ViVA-project with a focus on longitudinal analyses across early childhood up to Wave 6. The main aims of the ViVAplus project are: (1) to describe the actual care arrangements of the representative sample of children growing up under the changing conditions of early childhood and care in Germany (2) to generate various comprehensive indicators that set the stage for the analyses to be conducted in ViVAplus (3) to investigate the impact of HLE and ECEC on child development; and (4) to study the interactions between HLE, ECEC, and child characteristics.

Further information:

DFG Priority Programme 1646 on “Education as a Lifelong Process. Analyzing Data of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS)”

funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

The Priority Programme 1646 "Education as a Lifelong Process. Analyzing Data of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS)" combines different research projects that are devoted to one or more of the following research topics: (1) studying competence development over the life course, (2) utilizing the NEPS database for other relevant substantive analyses, and/or (3) solving methodological issues relevant to the NEPS. The Priority Programme aims to be a starting point to foster widespread public use of the data and the research opportunities of NEPS. The main programme has been approved for six years and started in 2012. It is coordinated by Prof. Dr. Sabine Weinert (University of Bamberg) and Prof. Dr. Dr. Hans-Peter Blossfeld (European University Institute, Florence). Overall the SPP comprises 26 projects from five different disciplines funded by the DFG. For more information please visit the website

Coordination and Organization of the DFG Priority Programme 1646 on “Education as a Lifelong Process. Analyzing Data of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS)”

Principal Investigators: Sabine Weinert (Otto-Friedrich-University of Bamberg) und Hans-Peter Blossfeld (European University Institute, Florence, Italy)

The aim of the coordinator project is to establish an overarching organizational infrastructure to support the individual projects of the Priority Programme 1646. The main objectives of the coordination project are the organization of conferences, colloquia and workshops to pool synergies between the individual projects as well as promote an interdisciplinary discourse. For young scientists a special program will be offered within two Summer Schools which contain a mix of theoretical courses and methodological workshops.

Further information: Coordination and Organization of the DFG Priority Programme

Bamberg Project Paths for Bund-Länder-Program "Quality Offensive Teacher Education"

The core of the Bamberg Quality Offensive 'Wegweisende Lehrerbildung' (WegE) is the systematic further development of communication and technical cooperation between the sciences, as well as the teacher training and counseling services of the University of Bamberg and school practice.The Department of Developmental Psychology is especially involved in the subprojects(1) Educational science in the network (BilVer), case-related networking of educational science training parts and(2) Profiling of the teaching posts "Vocational Education" in the fields of Social Education and Business Education (BeBi).

Further information: /wege

NEPS: National Educational Panel Study

(2008 - 2013 funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF); since 2014 the NEPS is carried out by the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi) at the University of Bamberg)

The NEPS is run by an interdisciplinary network led by Prof. Dr. Hans-Günther Roßbach. The target activity of the NEPS is to collect longitudinal data on the development of competencies, educational processes, educational decisions, and returns to education in formal, nonformal, and informal contexts throughout the life span. As soon as possible, all NEPS data will be made available to the national and international scientific community in the form of a so-called anonymous Scientific Use File. This will provide a rich source of potential analyses for the various disciplines (such as demographics, educational science, economics, psychology, sociology) concerned with educational and training processes, and it will provide the basis for major improvements in educational reporting and the provision of expert advice for policy makers in Germany.

Further information:

DICE: The Development of Inequalities in Child Educational Achievement: A Six-Country-Study

(funded by the Open Research Area for the Social Sciences (ORA / DFG))

The aim of the DICE project is to advance our understanding of disparities in child development (i.e., cognitive development, social-emotional development, and health) according to socioeconomic status by using rich cohort and administrative data from six countries. In particular, such questions as how inequalities develop over time (ages 3 to 16), what factors may influence inequalities, and how national context may strengthen or buffer these processes will be investigated.

Further information:

Former Research Projects

Here you can find a selection of our former research projects in german language.