I am Univeristy Lecturer in Social Psychology. Research interests and selected papers below.
My current research program focuses on three main areas, 1) psychosocial factors in health and well-being, 2) theory-based behavior change interventions, and 3) psychosocial aspects in genomic research.
1) Psychosocial factors in health and well-being
In this research area we are investigating how different psychosocial factors are prospectively related to health and wellbeing. Specifically, we are studying how emotion and emotion regulation, especially anger and hostility, are related to mortality and cardiovascular diseases and its risk factors. Also, in another project we examine how general and behavior-specific psychosocial factors predict weight and obesity. For example, for the mechanism explaining the link between depressive symptoms and obesity, we have examined several behavior specific psychosocial factors such as emotional eating or physical activity self-efficacy.
- Haukkala A, Konttinen A, Uutela A, Kawachi I, Laatikainen T (2010). Hostility, anger control, and anger expression as predictors of cardiovascular disease. Psychosomatic medicine 72: 556-562.
- Konttinen H, Silventoinen K, Sarlio-Lähteenkorva S, Männistö S, and Haukkala A. (2010) Emotional eating and physical activity self-efficacy as pathways in the association between depressive symptoms and adiposity indicators. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 92:1031–9.
2) Interventions targeting health behaviors
Another area of interest is how to use psychological theory to motivate and help individuals to change health-related behaviors. I have been involved in two intervention studies aiming at smoking prevention in Helsinki and substance abuse prevention in Russian Karelia. Other collaboration studies with the National Institute for Health and Welfare are aiming to change eating among conscripts and preventing diabetes by lifestyle changes among middle-aged adults.
- Pennanen M, Haukkala A, De Vries H, Vartiainen E (2010). Longitudinal Study of Relations Between School Achievement and Smoking Behavior Among Secondary School Students in Finland: Results of the ESFA Study. Substance Use and Misuse,
- Hankonen N, Absetz P, Haukkala A, Uutela A (2009). Socioeconomic status and psychosocial mechanisms of lifestyle change in a type 2 diabetes prevention trial. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 38, 160-165.
3) Psychosocial aspects in genomic research
In this area, key questions include what the psychological consequences of genetic testing among families with heritable colon cancer are, and how information of heritable disease has been passed on within families. The most recent collaboration study with German and Austrian partners in ELSAGEN program involves translational research on how genomic information could be used on the patient level.
- Aktan-Collan K, Haukkala A, Pylvänäinen K, Järvinen HJ, Aaltonen LA, Peltomäki P, Rantanen E, Kääriöinen H, Mecklin J-P (2007). Direct contact in inviting high-risk members of hereditary colon cancer families to genetic counselling and DNA testing. Journal of Medical Genetics, 44, 732-738.
- Aktan-Collan K, Kääriäinen H, Kolttola E, Pylvänäinen K, Järvinen H, Haukkala A, Mecklin J-P. Sharing Genetic Risk with Next Generation: Mutation-positive Parents` Communication with their Offspring in Lynch Syndrome. Familial Cancer
- Psychosocial factors, cardiovascular disease and mortality, Signe och Ane Gyllenberg foundation, several small grants 2006-2013, 41.000 €,
- Dietary, life style and genetic determinants of obesity and metabolic syndrome (DILGOM) – Psychosocial factors, Academy of Finland, 2007-2010, 215.450 €
- Translational research in genomic medicine: Institutional and social aspects (TRi-Gen), Academy of Finland, 2009-2012, 82.840 €