Raija-Leena Punamäki

Raija-Leena Punamäki
Tampere University | UTA · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

261
Publications
52,304
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8,697
Citations

Publications

Publications (261)
Article
Full-text available
Optimal sleep quality fosters adolescents' wellbeing and, therefore, learning about its developmental determinants is essential. We examined how early family environment (i.e., parent-reported parenting, marital relationship quality, and mothers' mental health), obstetric factors (i.e., infertility history and assisted reproductive treatments, and...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Schools are considered natural environments in which to enhance students' social-emotional skills and mental health in general, but they can be especially important for students with refugee and immigrant backgrounds. The current study tested the effectiveness of two school-based interventions in enhancing the mental health and wellbei...
Article
Study question Does adolescent attachment to parents and peers differ between singletons and twins born with assisted reproductive treatments (ART) or natural conception (NC)? Summary answer Adolescent attachment anxiety with the father was higher among NC singletons than among ART and NC twins, whereas attachment avoidance with the father was hig...
Article
Full-text available
Background Schools are natural environments in which to enhance young people’s social and emotional skills, mental health, and contact between diverse groups, including students from refugee and immigrant backgrounds. A layered or tiered provision of services is recommended as it can be effective to meet the needs of war-affected adolescents who va...
Article
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This person-oriented study aimed to identify adolescents’ hierarchical attachment profiles with parents and peers, and to analyze associations between the profiles and adolescent psychosocial adjustment. Participants were 449 Finnish 17–19-year-olds reporting their attachments to mother, father, best friend, and romantic partner and details on ment...
Article
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Children share their emotional experiences through narratives, and high-quality narratives are beneficial for their wellbeing and development. This research investigated whether narrative-based interventions in the school context can increase children's emotional intelligence (EI). It tested three intervention settings' effect in their oral and wri...
Article
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The quality of parenting shapes the development of children’s emotion regulation. However, the relative importance of parenting in different developmental stages, indicative of sensitive periods, has rarely been studied. Therefore, we formulated four hypothetical developmental timing models to test the stage-specific effects of mothering and father...
Article
Background Taking care of infants in conditions of war is highly demanding and a few studies reveal the negative impact of war trauma on maternal and infant well-being. Yet, little is known regarding the influence of trauma on infant development and the potential explanatory mechanisms. First, the present study examines how mothers’ prenatal exposu...
Article
Full-text available
Background Maternal prenatal substance use disorder (SUD) represents a dual risk for child wellbeing due to teratogenic impacts and parenting problems often inherent in SUD. One potential mechanism transferring this risk is altered development of children's emotion regulation (ER). The present study examines how mother's prenatal SUD and early moth...
Article
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This prospective longitudinal study examined how maternal prenatal substance use disorder (SUD) and early mother–infant interaction quality are associated with child social cognition (emotion recognition and mentalization) at school age. A sample of 52 poly‐substance‐using mothers receiving early interventions and 50 non‐users, along with their chi...
Article
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Background Sweden is home to a large and growing population of refugee youths who may be at risk of mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Thus, there is a need for interventions that address mental health problems in these populations. Schools have been identified as an ideal setting for delivering such interventions...
Article
Family relationships habitually shape the way traumatic events affect children's mental health in a context of war and violence, but research is scarce on the role these relationships play in the success of psychosocial interventions. This study is a secondary analysis of previously identified family system types that are based on attachment, paren...
Article
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Toxicant, teratogen and carcinogen metal war remnants negatively affect human health. The current study analyzes, first, the persistence of heavy metal contamination in newborn hair in four cohorts across time in Gaza Palestine; second, the change in mothers' and infants' heavy metal contamination from birth to toddlerhood; and third, the impact of...
Article
Theraplay® is a short-term parent–child interaction therapy combining structured, attachment-based, joyful and adult-led playful sessions with reflective guidance work with the parents. This pilot study evaluates the impact of Theraplay® therapy in improving the quality of parent–child interaction and decreasing the internalizing and externalizing...
Article
Full-text available
Parenting beliefs are important to infant wellbeing, but there is a lack of research into their role in war conditions. We examined (1) how maternal traumatic experiences (war events and childhood abuse) and mental health would be associated with parenting beliefs about good childrearing practices (ethnotheories) and desirable child characteristics...
Article
Full-text available
Adolescents are universally expected to be at risk for heightened stress and violence, and subsequently to mental health problems. Good social relationships may protect their mental health, but research has mainly focused on singular relations, such as peer popularity or general social support. The current study analyses the buffering role of multi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Schools are considered as natural environments to enhance students’ social-emotional skills in general and mental health and affiliation among students with refugee and immigrant background. A layered or tiered provision of services are recommended as they can be effective to meet the needs of war-affected adolescents’ who variably show...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates the protective mental health function of high emotional intelligence (EI), and cognitive skills (CS) among Ghanaian adolescents when exposed to stressful life-events and violence. It examines, first, how exposure to stressful life-events and violent experiences is associated with mental health, indicated by depressive and ps...
Article
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Researchers agree that early marriage (EM) and adolescent pregnancy (AP) can form severe risks for women’s somatic, mental, and reproductive health, as well as on educational and social status. Yet, less is known about factors that may moderate or mediate these associations. This study examined, first, retrospectively the impacts of EM and AP on se...
Article
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The published version of the article contains an error in the author name and in the affiliation.
Article
Abundant research has shown that traumatic war experiences can interfere with the mental health and wellbeing of children and adolescents, but less is known about the subjective experiences and views of war survivors. The present study identified and described the different types of war experiences of young refugees in an African context and analyz...
Article
Risk features in mothers’ caregiving representations remain understudied in dangerous environments where infants most urgently need protective parenting. This pilot study examines the feasibility of a novel coding system for the Parent Development Interview (PDI) interview (ARR, Assessment of Representational Risk) in assessing 50 war‐exposed Pales...
Article
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Maternal singing is considered vital to infant well‐being. This study focuses on vocal emotion expressions in infant‐directed singing among mothers in war conditions. It examines the questions: (a) how traumatic war events and mental health problems are associated with the content and valence of vocal emotion expressions and (b) how these emotion e...
Article
Adolescence is an important developmental period for social relationships, identity formation and future planning. Traumatic experiences, such as war and persecution, may interfere with optimal development, including the future orientation of adolescents. The present study examines how young adult war survivors construct, make sense of, and narrate...
Article
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Aim: This randomised control trial (RCT) study examined the effectiveness of a mentalisation-based perinatal group intervention, Nurture and Play (NaP), in improving mother-infant interaction quality and maternal reflective functioning and in decreasing depressive symptoms. Background: Few preventive prenatal interventions have been developed fo...
Article
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Background: Infant care is a demanding task in dangerous war conditions, but research on the wellbeing of mother-infant dyads is mainly available in peaceful conditions. Knowledge on protective versus risking processes is especially vital for tailoring effective help, and the present study proposes the maternal attachment style to play an importan...
Article
Families mobilize psychosocial resources to attune negative consequences of economic hardship, but research is lacking among youth. We propose an Economic Stress Model in Emerging Adulthood (ESM-EA) conceptualizing age-salient social relationships and financial capability as mediators between economic hardship and well-being. The ESM-EA was tested...
Article
Background: The latest version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) proposes a posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis reduced to its core symptoms within the symptom clusters re-experiencing, avoidance and hyperarousal. Since children and adolescents often show a variety of internalizing and externalizing symptoms in th...
Article
Background: Research on psychosocial interventions has been focused on the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions on mental health outcomes, without exploring how interventions achieve beneficial effects. Identifying the potential pathways through which interventions work would potentially allow further strengthening of interventions by empha...
Poster
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We conceptualize a theoretical framework that integrates attachment, personal construct, and appraisal theory as they relate to the narrative of an emotional event. We propose that how the construction of cohesive, reflective narrative in terms of human need and compassion may transfer maladaptive emotion regulation or coping style to a more adapti...
Article
Both severity and type of trauma play a role in mental health consequences. Interpersonal trauma, especially sexual abuse and intentional assaultive violence, form a risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, few studies have factually compared the impact of trauma types on mental health. This study examined whether interpersonal viole...
Article
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Background People in war zones are exposed to heavy metal contamination deriving from new-generation weapons, in addition to exposure to psychologically traumatizing war events. Pregnant women and their children-to-be are particularly vulnerable to both biological and psychological war effects. Objective The aim of the current study was to analyse...
Article
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In the case of a mother with dysregulating attachment experiences and current enrolment in a parent-infant psychotherapy process, we explored which insecure, hostile/helpless, and prementalizing risk features were similar in her attachment and caregiving representations; which risk features were specific to her caregiving representations; and how t...
Article
We examined, first, how prenatal maternal mental health and war trauma predicted mothers' experience of their infant crying, indicated by emotions, cognitions, and behavior; and second, how these experiences influenced the mother-infant interaction and infant development. Participants were 511 Palestinian mothers from the Gaza Strip, reporting thei...
Article
Full-text available
Style of family communication is considered important in the transgenerational transmission of trauma. This study had three aims: first, to identify the contents of family communication about past national trauma; second, to examine how parents’ current war trauma is associated with transgenerational communication; and third, to analyze the associa...
Article
The study examines how dual‐ethnic and single‐ethnic families differ in terms of children's psychological adjustment and its correlates. Among 48 Finnish–Russian and Finnish families, mothers and fathers reported on children's emotional and conduct problems at ages 4 years and 7 years and children's emotion regulation, emotionality, and their own s...
Article
Mental health problems are common in war-affected areas, but children have different levels of vulnerability. Based on ecological theory (Bronfenbrenner, 2005), this study analyses how factors related to the child (cognitive capacity), their family (parental depression and parenting styles), and their school (teachers' practices and peer relations)...
Article
Based on the ecological-transactional model by Bronfen-brenner, this study tested the mediating roles of school, family, and child characteristics between academic achievement and both traumatic war experiences and stressful life events. It further examined which of these characteristics could protect academic achievement from negative trauma impac...
Article
Introduction: The aim of this study was to compare the mental health problems between parents after oocyte donation treatment, those after in vitro fertilization/intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF/ICSI) with own gametes and naturally conceiving (NC) MATERIAL AND METHODS: This is a prospective, longitudinal questionnaire study. The study group...
Article
Background: Results from studies evaluating the effectiveness of focused psychosocial support interventions in children exposed to traumatic events in humanitarian settings in low-income and middle-income countries have been inconsistent, showing varying results by setting and subgroup (eg, age or gender). We aimed to assess the effectiveness of t...
Article
Objective: Women and their infants need special protection in war context, as traumatic events can risk maternal mental and obstetric health and compromise infant development. This prospective study examined, first, how exposure to war trauma is associated with maternal mental health in pregnancy and postpartum, obstetric and newborn health, and in...
Article
Multiple psychosocial factors influence help-seeking behavior among immigrants, but studies have focused on separate issues in single cultural groups. This study tested a model of help-seeking behavior among three ethnically different immigrant groups. Participants were 1356 Somali, Russian, and Kurdish immigrants (18–64 years). They reported past...
Article
Background Women at pre partum and post partum are especially susceptible to war trauma because they struggle to protect their infants from danger. Trauma research suggests increased problems in maternal mental health and infant development. Yet many cognitive-emotional processes affect the trauma survivors' mental health, such as post-traumatic gr...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Trauma affects the family unit as a whole; however, most existing research uses individual or, at most, dyadic approaches to analyse families with histories of trauma. Objective: This study aims to identify potentially distinct family types according to attachment, parenting, and sibling relations, to analyse how these family types diff...
Article
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This study examined (1) how attachment style predicts changes in mental health, and (2) whether change in emotion regulation (ER) intensity mediates that association in the context of psychosocial intervention among war-affected children. Participants were 482 Palestinian children whose school classes were randomized to either intervention (Teachin...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Among adults there is strong evidence about peritraumatic dissociation (PD) predicting posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), yet evidence among children is very limited. It has been suggested that disturbances in memory functioning might explain the association between PD and PTSD, but this has not yet been empirically tested. Objective...
Presentation
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In this parent-infant psychotherapy case study we explored the high-risk features of a mother who had experienced withdrawn/fearful-helpless and frightening parenting in her childhood. We found that hostile-helpless/fearful mental states were characteristic to her representations of her own caregivers, and that these features had transmitted to her...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Abstract Effective emotion regulation (ER) is expected to protect mental health in traumatic stress. We first analysed the protective (moderator) function of different ER strategies and the associations between ER and mental health. Second, we tested gender differences in the protective function of ER and the associations between ER strategies and...
Article
Objective To identify interplay of early maternal and paternal mental health symptoms for predicting child mental health and development. Background Research on family mental health has largely excluded fathers, although the well‐being of both parents is likely to be important for child development. In this study, we analyzed (a) intrafamilial dyn...
Article
We examined how diverse and cumulated traumatic experiences predicted maternal prenatal mental health and infant stress regulation in war conditions and whether maternal mental health mediated the association between trauma and infant stress regulation. Participants were 511 Palestinian mothers from the Gaza Strip who reported exposure to current w...
Article
Objectives: The aims of the study were, first, to describe and analyze healthcare services utilization patterns of older immigrants in Finland, and particularly to compare the availability and accessibility of health services between older Somalis and Finns. The second aim was to examine the preferences for mental healthcare within the group of Som...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Metal contamination of humans in war areas has rarely been investigated. Weaponry’s heavy metals become environmentally stable war remnants and accumulate in living things. They also pose health risks in terms of prenatal intake, with potential long term risks for reproductive and children’s health. We studied the contribution of military...
Article
War survivors use multiple cognitive and emotional processes to protect their mental health from the negative impacts of trauma. Because mothers and infants may be especially vulnerable to trauma in conditions of war, it is urgent to determine which cognitive and emotional processes are effective for preventing negative trauma impacts.” This study...
Article
Full-text available
Optimal maternal–fetal attachment (MFA) is believed to be beneficial for infant well-being and dyadic interaction, but research is scarce in general and among risk populations. Our study involved dyads living in war conditions and examined how traumatic war trauma associates with MFA and which factors mediate that association. It also modeled the r...
Article
Objective: Women and their infants need special protection in war context, as traumatic events can risk maternal mental and obstetric health and compromise infant development. This prospective study examined, first, how exposure to war trauma is associated with maternal mental health in pregnancy and postpartum, obstetric and newborn health, and i...
Article
Causal attributions of mental health problems play a crucial role in shaping and differentiating illness experience in different sociocultural and ethnic groups. The aims of this study were (a) to analyze older Somali refugees’ causal attributions of mental health problems; (b) to examine the associations between demographic and diagnostic characte...
Article
Effective emotion regulation (ER) is expected to protect mental health in traumatic stress. We first analysed the protective (moderator) function of different ER strategies and the associations between ER and mental health. Second, we tested gender differences in the protective function of ER and the associations between ER strategies and mental he...
Article
The contents of earliest memories (EM), as part of autobiographical memory, continue to fascinate scientists and therapists. However, research is scarce on the determinants of EM, especially among children. This study aims, first, to identify contents of EM of children living in war conditions, and, second, to analyse child gender, traumatic events...
Article
Forgiving the enemy and perpetrator is considered important for peace building and reconciliation. War victims, however, have been exposed to severe traumas and injustices, which may influence their willingness to forgive. There were 2 study objectives: (a) describe experiences of war, atrocities, and losses of young refugees in an African context...
Article
Full-text available
Early family relationships have been suggested to influence the development of childrentextquoterights affect regulation, involving both emotion regulation and defense mechanisms. However, we lack research on the specific family predictors for these two forms of affect regulation, which have been conceptualized to differ in their functions and acce...
Article
Research has demonstrated the importance of early family characteristics, such as the quality of caregiving, on children's later mental health. Information is, however, needed about the role of more holistic family systems and specific child-related socioemotional mechanisms. In this study, we conceptualize families as dynamic family system types,...