AFINet trustees: Tuuli Pitkanen

Name: Tuuli Pitkanen
Location: Finnish Youth Research Society
Occupation: Research Manager
Web site:
City: Helsinki
Country: Finland
Phone: +358415178678

Interests: Youth, life-span, addictions, treatment, mental health, affected family members, families.


Tuuli Pitkänen, PhD
Senior researcher, A-Clinic Foundation, Finland

I have got my PhD at the Department of Psychology, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. My dissertation was based on two follow-up studies the Mental Health of Young Adults and the Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Personality and Social Development (JYLS). I studied the development of and precursors to alcohol drinking behaviour. Studying the situation of families and the point of view of substance-using mothers has been very important to me. My master’s thesis concerned parental drinking. Later I worked as a researcher at the Järvenpää Addiction Hospital and the central office at the A-Clinic Foundation.  I have been interested in alcohol issues throughout my research career. I have been a member of a steering group for a large project called Integrating health and social services for families at the National Institute of Health and Welfare in 2008 – 2014. Linked to the national work, I organized and took part in the data collection from substance-abusing parents of young children at Järvenpää Addiction Hospital. I have written reports on the views of mothers and the complexity of family relations in substance-abusing families. I have interviewed several mothers living in difficult life situations. Currently, I study criminality, health problems and causes of death of the children (n=989) who had accompanied their parents into treatment at Järvenpää Addiction hospital.

International experience
I have taken part to several networks. For example, I was one of the principal investigators (PI) in an EU-funded project Psychosocial factors relevant to brain disorders in Europe (PARADISE) from 2010-2013. I have also been involved in the work of the Centre for the Analysis of Pathways from Childhood to Adulthood (CAPCA) coordinated by the University of Michigan, USA. I made comparative analyses with five longitudinal research projects; the results were published in a supplement of Addiction 2008.

Selected publications:
Perälä, M-L., Kanste, O., Halme, N., Pitkänen, T., Kuussaari, K., Partanen, A., Nykänen, S.: (2014) Vanhempi päihdepalveluissa – tuki, osallisuus ja yhteistoiminta. [Parents in substance abuse services - support, involvement and co-operation. In Finnish.] National Institute of Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland. Reports 21/2014.
Pitkänen, T., Kaskela, T., Halme, N., & Perälä, M-L. (2014) Päihdehoidossa olevien vanhempien huolet ja tuen tarpeet sekä kokemukset palveluista. [Point of view of parents in substance abuse treatment. In Finnish.]  In Johanna Lammi-Taskula. & Sakari Karvonen (eds.) Lapsiperheiden hyvinvointi 2014 (s. 274-285). Helsinki:National Institute of Health and Welfare.
Pitkänen, T. (2012). Mothers in the margin. Paper presented at the 54. research seminar by Scandinavian Research Council on Criminology (Nordisk Samarbeidsråd for Kriminologi, NSfK), Selfoss, Iceland 6-9.5.2012. Conference report of the 54th Research Seminar of The Scandinavian Research Council for Criminology, p. 217-228.
Pitkänen T. & Kaskela, T. (2012). Raskaana olevien pakkohoito: laitoshoidossa olevien vanhempien mielipiteitä. [Should pregnant women be forced into treatment: the view of impatients]. Teoksessa Kuin kala verkossa (toim. J. Heinonen). Tallinna: Prometheus s. 30-37.
Pitkänen, T., Kokko, K., Lyyra, A-L & Pulkkinen, L. (2008). A developmental approach to alcohol drinking behavior in adulthood: A follow-up study from age 8 to age 42. Addiction, 103, Supplement, 48-68.
Dick, D.M, Barman, S., Pitkänen, T. & Pulkkinen, L. (2006). Genetic and environmental influences on the age of onset and continuation of smoking and drinking. In L. Pulkkinen, J. Kaprio & R. J. Rose (Eds.), Socioemotional development and health from adolescence to adulthood. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Pitkänen, T. (2006). Alcohol drinking behavior and its developmental antecedents. Jyväskylä Studies in Education, Psychology and Social Research, 293, University of Jyväskylä. Academic dissertation.
Pulkkinen, L. & Pitkänen, T. (1994). A prospective study on the precursors to problem drinking in young adulthood. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 55, 578-587.
Pulkkinen, L. & Pitkänen, T. (1993). Continuities in aggressive behavior from childhood to adulthood. Aggressive behavior, 19, 249-263.
Pitkänen, T. (1990). Alkoholiperheiden lasten kehityksen seuranta kouluikäisistä nuoriksi aikuisiksi. Pro gradu –työ, Helsingin yliopiston sosiaalipsykologian laitos.[Development of Children of Alcoholic Parents from School Age to Young Adulthood. In Finnish. Master's thesis, University of Helsinki.]

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