Health is highly important for every human being throughout their lifespan. Even though we mostly tend to notice our health status only after problems arise, the foundations of a healthy life are already set at a very young age when we are still vivid and healthy. Considering biological, psychological, and social factors, we can understand the process of health and illness across the course of human development.
To maintain and promote mental and physical health, different approaches of prevention and treatment are necessary not only for the individual but also at the community level. Projects in primary prevention try to promote mental and physical health and recognize health problems at an early stage in life. As an example, our DONUT-Project investigated early knowledge of risk factors facilitating overweight and thus yielding recommendations for nutrition, physical activity, media consumption, and body satisfaction for communities.
In secondary prevention, people with a higher health risk are supported. This approach is more selective and targets specific groups, as it can be seen in our project Bad Parents – Psychotherapy for adult children of mentally ill parents. Children of mentally ill parents do not only have a higher genetic health risk but are often also affected by neglect, maltreatment, social disadvantage, or behavioral and emotional problems. This project tries to develop ideas to support the persons concerned while finding out about resilience factors that can be effective in reducing developmental health risks.
Tertiary prevention concentrates on already existing health problems. The increasing number of older population groups, the higher life expectancy and the growing morbidity require possibilities to offer older people, regardless of their impairments and losses, a self-determined and self-sufficient lifestyle. Those questions have been taken into consideration in our project geri-AKTIV in which we develop prevention and intervention approaches from different perspectives (home residents, nursing staff, and relatives). We try to define symptoms and problem areas and motivate clients toward self-contained coping.
Student staff member
Student staff member
Past and Current Research Projects
DONUT – Obesity prevention for children at preschool age
Overweight and obesity have been on the rise in adults, as well as in children and adolescents worldwide. Factors affecting the infantile BMI range from the parents‘ weight status, familiar nutrition and physical activity habits to the socio-economic background. Current studies also discuss attachment safety and body satisfaction. The project aims to analyze biological, psychological, and social risk factors for the emergence of overweight and obesity. In addition to our interest in basic research, the results should help to develop and pilot prevention measures on a behavioral level as an embedded intervention in kindergarten, thus contributing to improving and maintaining the health of the youngest. Results equally could be used to inform and educate, therefore providing an essential step to improve the obesity problems in the society as a whole.
SAM - Self-compassion, Acceptance, Mindfulness
Mindfulness and self-compassion-based approaches are effective methods to reduce feelings of stress and worry. With the health promotion project SAM – Self-compassion, Acceptance, Mindfulness, students are supported to approach themselves with less self-criticism and to better calm themselves down in difficult life situations. SAM was developed for and with students at the University of Klagenfurt and is evaluated and modified continuously.
Bad Parents - Psychotherapy for adult children of mentally ill parents
In this project, adult women report how they experienced their situation as children of mentally ill parents, what helped them to cope with those stressors, and where they still reach their limits in everyday life. This change of perspective enables an eye-to-eye encounter and serves as the basis for an individualized risk-resilience model to derive intervention strategies for psychotherapy and counseling.
geri-AKTIV focuses on nursing homes as a living and working place. It links psychological and therapeutical practices with application-oriented research activities. We aim at developing concepts and interventions enabling activity and self-determination in older people whilst incorporating the duties, responsibilities and problem areas of relatives and nursing staff.
GER-N: Geriatric aftercare
Within this project, we develop and pilot outpatient aftercare for older, multimorbid individuals and their relatives. This aftercare provides an interdisciplinary team for patients and relatives after hospitalization and provides help and advice in the areas of medicine and care, as well as psychological and psychotherapeutic interventions tailored individually to the needs of patients and their relatives.
50+: Attractive, active, ageless?!
The female beauty ideal has – for many centuries – been linked to youth and reproductive abilities. The fact that women tend to be perceived as older and vanish from public life earlier than men increases the pressure to compensate for decline and modify one’s body. The health industry, which targets women and – less intensely – men with nutrition trends, plastic surgery, and anti-aging products, has been booming since the 1990s suggesting that physical aging can be mastered. Our project investigates which mental and physical challenges are linked to aging and to what extent a good mental adaptability as well as concepts of value orientation and acceptance are important.
Jenull, B., & Hanfstingl, B. (2023). Böse Eltern: Psychotherapie für erwachsene Kinder psychisch kranker Eltern. Springer.
Jenull, B., Mayer, C., Awenius, L., Bostjancic, G., Kollitsch, K., & Knobel, P. (2023). Accepting the aging body: Protective factors of body acceptance in persons of advanced age. Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, 9, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1177/23337214221150067
Offurum, C., Leibetseder, M., & Jenull, B. (2022). Understanding compliant behavior during a pandemic: Contribution from the perspective of schema-based psychotherapy. Frontiers in Psychology, 13, Article 805987. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.805987
Jenull, B., Mayer, C., Knobel, P., & Birnbacher, R. (2021). Weight-stigma and body satisfaction among preschool children. Journal of Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health, 5(2), 112–125. https://doi.org/10.26502/jppch.74050069
Frate, N., Jenull, B., & Birnbacher, R. (2019). Like father, like son: Physical activity, dietary intake, and media consumption in pre-school-aged children. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(3), 306. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030306
Jenull, B., & Bostjancic, G. (2019). Resilienz und Demenz. In D. Gebhard & E. Mir (Hrsg.), Gesundheitsförderung und Prävention für Menschen mit Demenz (S. 155–168). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-58130-8_10
Studie zur Vereinbarkeit von Pflege und Erwerbsarbeit an der Alpen-Adria-Universität. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 52, 761–766. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00391-018-01485-0
Jenull, B., Frate, N., & Mayer, C. (2018). Forever young? The desire for attractiveness and youthfulness at advanced age. US-China Foreign Language, 16(9), 487–501. https://doi.org/10.17265/1539-8080/2018.09.007
Frate, N., Jenull, B., & Foran, H. (2018). Overweight and obesity in early childhood: A systematic review of individual, family, and peer risk factors. Advances in Pediatric Research, 5:5, 1–20.
Jenull, B., & Frate, N. (2016). Die vielfältigen Gesichter der Gewalt an alten Menschen. In G. Pinter, R. Likar, O. Kada, H. Janig, W. Schippinger, & K. Cernic (Hrsg.), Der ältere Patient im klinischen Alltag: Ein Praxislehrbuch der Akutpsychiatrie (S. 195–208). Kohlhammer.
Richtig, E., Trapp, E. M., Kapfhammer, H. P., Jenull, B., Linder, M. D., Richtig, G., & Trapp, E. M. (2016). The importance of a biopsychosocial approach in Melanoma Research: Experiences from a single-center multidisciplinary Melanoma working group in middle-europe. Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 96(217), 51–54. https://doi.org/10.2340/00015555-2426
Jenull, B., Frate, N., & Birnbacher, R. (2016). Kindliches Ernährungs- und Freizeitverhalten. Pädiatrische Praxis, 85, 1–11.
Jenull, B., Frate, N., Trannacher, M., & Aydin, N. (2015). “He wanted to talk and I gave him a shower.” A qualitative interview study in three nursing homes in carinthia (Austria) about violent behaviour in elderly care and its causes. The International Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, 3(6), 175–182.
Frate, N., & Jenull, B. (2015). Can we manage a balance between care and employment? —The compatibility of informal care and employment at the Alpen-Adria University. Advances in Applied Sociology, 5(7), 207–217. https://doi.org/10.4236/aasoci.2015.57020
Jenull, B., & Salem, I. (2015). Body satisfaction among preschool-age children in carinthia (Austria). European Scientific Journal, 2, 152–162.
Jenull, B., & Trapp, E. M. (2015). Biopsychosozialer Ansatz der Adipositas im Kindes- und Jugendalter. Psychotherapeut, 60(4), 337–350. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00278-015-0030-y
Grillitsch, A., & Jenull, B. (2015). 50+ und der Traum vom jugendlichen Aussehen. Journal für Psychologie, 23(1), 55–79.
Renner, W., Jenull, B., & Strasser, I. (2014). What will I be like at eighty? How human values contribute to expected real and ideal self-images in old age in a Germanic/Austrian cultural context. Advances in Aging Research, 3(1), 35–42. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/aar.2014.31007
Gaugeler, R., Jenull, B., Renner, W., & Salem, I. (2013). Wird Depression im Alter ausreichend erkannt und behandelt? Psychologische Medizin, 3, 4–9.
Jenull, B., Wiedermann, W., & Pinter, G. (2013). Identifikation und subjektive Wahrnehmung von Beeinträchtigungsmustern bei ehemaligen geriatrischen Patienten. In G. Pinter, R. Likar, W. Schippinger, H. Janig, O. Kada, & K. Cernic (Hrsg.), Geriatrische Notfallversorgung: Strategien und Konzepte (S. 119–127). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-7091-1581-7_8
Jenull, B., & Wiedermann, W. (2013). The different facets of work stress: A latent profile analysis of nurses’ work demands. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 34(7), 823–843. https://doi.org/10.1177/0733464813495472