Eva Oberle, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

University of British Columbia
School of Population and Public Health, The Human Early Learning Partnership

About Me

I am an Assistant Professor with the Human Early Learning Partnership in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. Previously, I completed graduate studies in psychology at the University of Heidelberg, earned my PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of British Columbia, and conducted research as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Illinois at Chicago and at CASEL.

My main research interests are factors linked to positive child and youth development, and how to promote mental health and wellbeing in the school context. I focus on social and emotional learning in schools, risk and resilience, and positive youth development. My research investigates the role of peer relationships, relationships with adults (e.g., family members, teachers, mentors) and school-level factors (e.g., classroom climate) in achieving positive, healthy, and successful child outcomes. I conduct quantitative research with population-based data, intervention evaluations, and large-scale cross sectional and longitudinal studies. In my research, I take a whole-child approach, understanding child development within the ecological contexts in which children grow (i.e., home, school, neighborhood, society).

Current and Past Projects and Funding (selected):

2019-2023: Outdoor play as a way to promote children's social and emotional development in schools and communities (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada).

2017-2020: Student and teacher wellbeing in the classroom (funded by the Spencer Foundation, US).

2017-2020: Population level research on after school time-use and child outcomes in 4th and 7th grade students in British Columbia (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada).

2017-2018: International Research Roundtable on promoting outdoor play in communities and schools in Canada (funded by the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies).

2016-2017: Social and emotional development in schools middle childhood (funded by the UBC Hampton Fund Research Grant).

If you are a current or prospective student who is interested in getting involved in my research, please contact me.

Research Interests

Early adolescence is a stage in developmental during which a multitude of changes happen on social, emotional, cognitive, and biological levels. It provides a unique window of opportunity for promoting positive development, and setting up trajectories of well-being and success that take young people on a pathway through the adolescent years, into early adulthood. My research focuses on positive youth development and resilience throughout the early adolescent years.

In particular, I ask questions such as: What role do peer relationships play in positive youth development? What are core assets that contribute positive developmental outcomes in early adolescence? How can supportive relationships with parents, and non-related adults such as teachers, mentors, and community members foster a positive developmental trajectory in youth? What role does time use after school (i.e., participation in structured and unstructured activities) play in positive youth development? How can we understand positive development holistically, including biological markers, cognitive markers, and social and emotional indices of well-being?
Moreover, I am interested in evaluating the effectiveness of intervention and prevention programs that cultivate positive social, emotional, psychological, and academic outcomes in youth (e.g., mindfulness-based intervention programs, programs fostering social and emotional competences).

I conduct most of my research using quantitative data from small- and large-scale samples collected within the school setting. Applying multilevel research methods, I am interested in investigating in how far individual variables (i.e., student-level data) as well as group-level variables (e.g., data collected at the classroom-/ school-/ neighborhood-level) are linked to positive youth development.


Published Peer Reviewed Articles, Chapters, and Technical Reports

Oberle, E., Ji, X. R., Guhn, M., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Gadermann, A. (2019). Benefits of extracurricular participation in early adolescence: Associations with peer belonging and mental health. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, XX(X), XXX-XXX.

Oberle, E., Ji, X. R., Magee, C., Guhn, M., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Gadermann, A. M. (2019). Extracurricular participation profiles and wellbeing in middle childhood: A population level study. PloS One, 14(7), e0218488.

Magee, C. E., Guhn, M., Schonert-Reichl, K. A. & Oberle, E. (2019). Mental well-being among children in foster care: The role of supportive adults. Child and Youth Services Review, 102, 128-134.

Oberle, E., Guhn, M., Gadermann, A. M., Thomson, K., & Schonert-Reichl, K. A. (2018). Positive mental health and supportive school environments: A longitudinal study of dispositional optimism and school social relationships in early adolescence. Social Science and Medicine, 214, 154-161.

Oberle, E. (2018). Social-emotional competence and early adolescents’ peer acceptance in school: Exploring the role of afternoon cortisol. PlOS One, 13(2): e0192639.

Oberle, E. (2018). Early adolescent emotional wellbeing in the classroom: The role of personal and contextual assets. Journal of School Health. 88, 101-111.

Thomson, K., Oberle, E., Gadermann, A. M., Guhn, M., Rowcliffe, P., & Schonert-Reichl, K. A. (2018). Measuring social-emotional development and well-being in middle childhood: The Middle Years Development Instrument. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. DOI: 10.1016/j.appdev.2017.03.005.

Oberle, E., & Schonert-Reichl, K. A. (2017). Social and emotional learning. Recent research and practical strategies to promote social and emotional competence in schools. In J. L. Matson (Ed.), Handbook of Social Behavior and Skills in Children (pp. 175-197). Springer, Cham.

Oberle, E., McLachlan, K. M., Catherine, N., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Weinberg, J., & Oberlander, T. F. (2017). Afternoon cortisol mediates the link between self regulated anger and peer reported aggression in the school context in typically developing children. Developmental Psychobiology. DOI: 10.1002/de.21522

Taylor, R., Oberle, E., Durlak, J. A., & Weissberg, R. P. (2017). Promoting positive youth development through school-based social and emotional learning interventions: A meta-analysis of follow-up effects. Child Development, 4, 1156-1171.

Oberle, E., & Schonert-Reichl, K. A. (2016). Stress contagion in the classroom? The link between classroom teacher burnout and morning cortisol in elementary school students. Social Science and Medicine, 159, 30-37.

Oberle, E., Domitrovitch, C. E., & Meyers, D., Weissberg, R. P. (2016). Establishing systemic social and emotional learning approaches in schools: The need for school-wide implementation. Cambridge Journal of Education, 46, 277-297.

Taylor, C., Harrisson, J., Haimowitz, K., Oberle, E., Thomson, K., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Roeser, R. (2016). Examining ways that a mindfulness-based intervention reduces stress in public school teachers: A mixed-method study. Mindfulness, 7, 115-29.

Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Oberle, E., Steward Lawlor, M., Abbott, D., Thomson, K., Oberlander, T., & Diamond, A. (2015). Enhancing cognitive and social-emotional development through a simple-to-administer mindfulness-based program for elementary school children: A randomized controlled trial. Developmental Psychology, 51, 52-66.

Oberle, E., & Schonert-Reichl, K. A. (Eds.) (2014). Mindfulness In Adolescence [Special Issue]. New Directions for Youth Development, 138.

Thomson, K., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Oberle, E. (2014). Optimism in Early Adolescence: Relations to Individual Characteristics and Ecological Assets in Families, Schools, and Neighborhoods. Journal of Happiness Studies,16, 889-913.

Oberle, E., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Guhn, M., Zumbo, B. D., & Hertzman, C. (2014). The role of supportive adults in positive development in middle childhood: A population-based study. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 29, 296-316.

Oberle, E., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Zumbo, B., & Hertzman, C. (2014). Social-emotional competencies make the grade: Predicting academic achievement in early adolescence. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 35, 138-147.

Oberle, E., & Resch, J. (2013). Childhood on Yap Island and Fais Island in Micronesia: a psychological and anthropological perspective. In J. Wassmann, B. Trauble, & J. Funke (Eds.), Theory of Mind in the Pacific: Reasoning across cultures. (pp. 109-143). Heidelberg, Germany: Winter Verlag.

Oberle, E., Schonert-Reichl, K. A. (2013). Acceptance in the classroom is mediating the relationship between inhibitory control abilities and math grade. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 45-51.

Roeser, R. W., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Jha, A., Cullen, M., Wallace, L., Wilensky, R., Oberle, E., Thomson, K., Taylor, C., & Harrison, J. (2013). Mindfulness Training and Reductions in teacher stress and burnout: Results from two randomized, waitlist-control Field trials. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105, 787-804.

Layous, K., Nelson, S. K., Oberle, E., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2012). Kindness counts: Prompting prosocial behavior in preadolescents boosts peer acceptance and well-being. PLOS one, 7, e5130.

Oberle, E., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Stewart Lawlor, M., & Thomson, K. C. (2012).Mindfulness and inhibitory control in early adolescence. Journal of Early Adolescence, 32, 564-587.

Oberle, E., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Zumbo, B. D. (2011). Life satisfaction in early adolescence: The importance of personal, neighborhood, school, family, and peer influences. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40, 889-901.

Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Oberle, E. (2011). Teaching empathy to children: Theoretical and empirical considerations and implications for practice. In B. Weber & E. Marsal, (Eds.), "The politics of empathy" New interdisciplinary perspectives on an ancient phenomenon (pp. 117-148). Berlin, Germany: Lit Verlag.

Oberle, E., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Thomson, K. C. (2010). Understanding peer acceptance in early adolescence: Gender-specific predictors and correlates of emotional well-being. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39, 1330-1342.

Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Guhn. M., Hymel, S., Hertzman, C., Sweiss, L., Gadermann, A., Mariott, D., Burroughs, B., Calbick, J., Oberle, E., Smith, A., Pedrini, L., & Harvey, J. (2010). Our children’s voices: The middle years development instrument. Measuring the developmental health and well-being in middle childhood. Technical report prepared for United Way Lower Mainland.

Oberle, E. (2009). The development of Theory of Mind reasoning in Micronesian children. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 9, 39-56.

Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Steward Lawlor, M., Oberle, E., & Thomson, K. C., (2009). Identifying indicators and tools for measuring social and emotional healthy living: Children Ages 5-12 years. Technical report (132 pages) prepared for the Public Health Agency of Canada.


In the School of Population and Public Health, I teach SPPH 301, an undergraduate level class on Social Determinants of Health in Populations.

Previously, I have taught several classes in the Teacher Education Program (e.g., Cultivating Supportive School and Classroom Environments), and a graduate level course on Social and Emotional Development in the Classroom at UBC.

Contact Me

Eva Oberle
School of Population and Public Health, UBC
Suite 440, 2206 East Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3

P: 604–827–4465
E: [email protected]