Open Positions

There are currently no vacancies.

Research Focus

Health behaviors and environmental risk factors contribute significantly to global burden of disease. Many of these risk factors are preventable, and our research team is interested in understanding these risk factors and their causes. Our research also includes studies on screening, assessment, prevention, treatment, and implementation. Current topics of interest include child nutrition, physical activity, obesity, family maltreatment, mental health, parenting, child behavioral symptoms, stress management, and interpersonal dysfunctions such as social isolation.

Family Psychology

Family problems and family maltreatment are major public health problems that can affect physical and mental health across the lifespan.

  • Improve screening and assessment of family problems and maltreatment
  • Understand the role of interpersonal processes in health behaviors and disease progress
  • Develop and test family-based interventions

Digital Health

Digitalization presents opportunities and challenges for health research and health care.

  • Evaluate online user health behaviors and health information
  • Develop and test innovative technology-based health interventions
  • Conduct implementation studies on behavioral health offers

Public Health

Behavioral risk factors such as poor nutrition, obesity, low physical activity, alcohol use, and psychological disorders are important for reducing global burden of disease. Prevention and early interventions targeting behavioral risk factors among children has wide-ranging implications for public health.

  • Conduct interdisciplinary research on behavioral public health
  • Coordinate the university research cluster on Public Health
  • Disseminate science-based health promotion offers to the community

Selected Projects

RISE, “Prevention of child mental health problems in Southeastern Europe – Adapt, Optimize, Test, and Extend Parenting for Lifelong Health”. EU-Horizon 2020, Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases funded project, 2018-2021
Klagenfurt Team members: Univ.-Prof. Heather Foran (Principal Investigator), Dr. Elena Jansen, Lucia Kuhn, Hugh Murphy

Family Validation Study. Validation of the criteria and interview for parent-child relational problems.
Klagenfurt Team members: Iris Fraude, Janina Mueller, Univ.-Prof. Heather Foran (Principal Investigator) 2018-2020. Collaboration with Prim. Dr. Wolfgang Wladika, Klinikum Klagenfurt, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Neurology.

A Psychoeducation Family Intervention via Social Technology to Improve Social Support, Health and Well-Being among Elderly. Funded project. 2018-2020.
Klagenfurt Team: Janina Müller (Doctoral student), Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heather Foran (Supervisor)

Online Health-Related Information Seeking for Self and Family Members. (since 2018)
Klagenfurt Team: Christian Kubb (Doctoral student), Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heather Foran (Supervisor)

Automated Facial Affect Coding to Understand Couple Processes. (since 2015)
Klagenfurt Team: Iris Fraude, Univ.-Prof.
Dr. Heather Foran, in Collaboration with Ulm University

Relationship Functioning, Depression and Anxiety in American and German couples. DFG-funded project (2011-2015).
This project examines the 10 year course of family functioning and psychopathology among German families who participated in a previously DFG-funded RCT of Triple P Parenting program. We also have been examining the associations between family functioning, psychopathology, and physical health outcomes over the ten year period. Klagenfurt Team: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heather Foran, in Collaboration with TU Braunschweig, Germany.

International Parental Burnout Study. (Austrian lead, 2019-2020).
Klagenfurt team: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heather Foran, Hugh Murphy, Katharina Prandstetter in collaboration with overall international lead (Prof. Isabelle Roskam & Prof. Moira Mikolajczak). This study was supported by a collaboration with FOKUS KIND Medien

Relational Processes and the ICD-11. (since 2009). In collaboration with the Relational processes working group. See recent publications:


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heather Foran
Professor, Head of Health Psychology Unit

Room: N.2.28
Office Hours: Thursday, 15-16

Ao.Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Brigitte Jenull

Room: N.2.29
Office Hours: Thursday 10-12

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sven Rabung

Room: N.2.34a
Office Hours: Tuesday 14-15

Iris Krische

Dr. Elena Jansen

Dr. Xiang Zhao

 Janina Müller, M.Sc.
Doctoral Student

Christian Kubb, M.Sc.
Doctoral Student

Hugh Murphy, M.Sc.
Doctoral Student

Franziska Fides Dichtl, B.Sc.
Student Staff Member

Franziska Waller, M.Sc.
Doctoral Student

Lucia Johanna Kuhn, B.Sc., B.Sc.
Student Staff Member

Jennifer Fierla, B.Sc.
Student Staff Member

Jonas Leo Müller
Student Staff Member





Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt
Institute for Psychology
Unit of Health Psychology
Universitätsstr. 65-67
A-9020 Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Austria

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Aerial view: Lakeside Labs

Unit of Health Psychology University of Klagenfurt