The Lifecourse project

One of ICSRA projects aside from Planet Youth is the Lifecourse project. The Lifecourse project is
a continuation of ICSRA extensive research work conducted among Icelandic youth from the year 1999.

ERC funded research

Lifecourse is a multilevel analysis on the effects of stress on biology, emotions and behaviour throughout childhood. The project is funded by the European Research Council (2015-2020) and is a cooperation between ICSRA, The University of Reykjavík, the Reykjavík City health care and a group of international scientists.

The principal investigator is ICSRA‘s research Director, Dr. Inga Dora Sigfusdottir, Professor at Reykjavik University. She also serves as a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Folkhälsovetenskap at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and as a Research Professor in the Department of Health and Behavior Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York.

Objectives of the Lifecourse study

In order to better understand how to improve the lives of young people, we need to further investigate how biological and social factors are related and affect the well-being and behavior of our children. The three following objectives have therefore been set to shed a light on these complex interactions:

Inga Dóra Sigfúsdóttir, principal investigator of the Lifecourse project


To examine the links between high levels of early life stress and increased physiological stress (labelled “allostatic load” in the physiology literature), emotional reactions and harmful behaviour in adolescence. 


To study the effects of stress in childhood both on individual level as well as on local community/neighbourhood level. 


To test whether high support in early adolescence may modify/buffer the effects of early life stress on physiological stress, emotional reactions, and harmful behavior later in adolescence.