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Child and Youth Public Health Research competence network

The competence network for Child and Youth Public HEalth Research (CYPHER) brings together ZHAW researchers with decision-makers in policy and practice, thus increasing the ZHAW’s impact on child and youth public health in Switzerland.


Vision and Mission

The network for Child and Youth Public Health Research generates substantial added value for children, adolescents, and young adults in Switzerland through excellent interdisciplinary public health practice and research projects.

The network contributes regionally, nationally and internationally to child and youth public health.

It achieves its objectives in collaboration with practice partners and policy makers in Switzerland and abroad.



Who is CYPHER?

CYPHER is an interdepartmental network of ZHAW researchers working in the field of child and youth public health who wish to share and promote CYPHER’s vision and mission. Members are dedicated to mutual exchange and support and invest in collaboration with practice partners and policy-makers.

CYPHER comprises researchers from several ZHAW departments and institutes, underlining the interdisciplinary nature of public health. The network was founded in February 2022 by four founding partners Julia Dratva (Dept. of Health), Marc Höglinger (School of Management and Law, WIG), David Lätsch (Dept. of Social Work), Agnes von Wyl (Dept. of Applied Psychology). In their research they focus on child and adolescent public health research. The founding members constitute the CYPHER steering board.



Researchers from all ZHAW departments can become members of CYPHER.

Are you interested in becoming a CYPHER member? Contact us at Please add a few sentences on your motivation to join CYPHER.

The admission of members is decided by the steering group.

Members meet twice a year to share ideas and expertise and develop public health projects for children and adolescents.

Member Meetings 2022:


CYPHER works for and with practice and politics.

Are you interested in collaborating with us in a project? Or would you like to become a CYPHER partner? Then contact us under

CYPHER partners are invited to one of the two member meetings per year to enable a direct exchange between partners and CYPHER members. Partners are encouraged to share their interests and expertise with the competence network and are invited to all events that CYPHER organizes.


Why do we need a competence center now?

The Swiss Public Health Conference 2019 on Child and Adolescent Public Health, held at the Department G, showed that an interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral approach is needed to strengthen the health of children, adolescents and young adults. The Manifesto for Child and Adolescent Health adopted at the conference reads as a wake-up call but also as a program for research, practice and policy. Various postulates and motions to strengthen child and adolescent health have subsequently been submitted to parliament. In the meantime, the first national health report on the health of children, adolescents and young adults in Switzerland has been published. The report underlines that the vast majority of children, adolescents and young adults in Switzerland are healthy and grow up in a safe and supportive environment; likewise, many key basic rights of children are anchored and established. At the same time, the report also reveals omissions, gaps in knowledge and a need for improvement on various levels: research, health system and politics. The Federal Council's new Health Strategy 2020 - 2030 calls for "More Health for Children and Adolescents" and formulates key aspects for a successful strategy: the application of the life course approach, cross-sectoral responsibility and consideration of life phases and transitions.

Thus, the time seems favorable for the establishment of a ZHAW competence network since politics is currently focusing more and more on child and adolescent health and is dependent on expertise. In addition, various current societal developments have short- and long-term implications for the health of young people in Switzerland and globally, for example, the current Corona pandemic, global climate change, increasing military operations across the world. Child and youth public health is a socially highly relevant field.

We are convinced that this ZHAW network that promotes exchange, creativity, and activities on "Child and Youth Public Health" together with external partners will create synergies and yield successes for the benefit of the young people. CYPHER will increase the impact of research and practice partnerships in child and youth public health.

Projects & Publications

Check out some more recent interdisciplinary projects taking place at ZHAW on child and youth public health.


GAMEATHON: Improving ADHD treatment through play. (in German)

REACH: Developing segmentation models to appropriately target youth and adults in tobacco prevention and cessation efforts.

HES-C: A longitudinal study of ZHAW student health during the Corona pandemic.

INTEGRATION: Contributing to improved integration of vulnerable groups into the health care system, a key element of social participation and social protection.

BABY-FRIENDLY: Evaluation of the further development potential of the Baby Friendly Hospital Label (BFHI).

CHILDREN’S WORLDS: Well-Being of Children in Switzerland

SMART TODDLERS: How does parental smartphone use affect child development?

TAKE CARE: Strengthening the mental health of children and adolescents.