Anikó Zsolnai


Anikó Zsolnai

Dean of the Faculty of Education and Psychology Eötvös Loránd University

Professor of the Institute of Education,  Eötvös Loránd University Faculty of Education and Psychology


Educational and researc interest

Aniko Zsolnai is a Professor of Education at the Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Budapest. She is the dean of the ELTE PPK and the Director of the Doctoral School of Education at Eötvös Loránd University. She was the founder and former head (2009-2016) of the Social Competence Research Group at the University of Szeged, Hungary. In 1997 she completed her PhD at the University of Szeged, Doctoral School of Education.

She is the author and co-author of over 170 scientific publications and several volumes.

Aniko Zsolnai is the editorial board member of the International Journal of Emotional Education (IJEE) and the European Educational Research Association (EERA) book series ‘Transdisciplinary Perspectives in Educational Research.

She was the joint chair of the European Network for Social and Emotional Competence (ENSEC) between 2018 and 2022. In 2019 she was the chair of the 7th ENSEC Conference titled “Well-being and Social-Emotional Development” in Budapest.

Zsolnai’s research interests are varied and span the field of education, educational psychology and social psychology. Her main research interest is in developing children’s social skills and abilities. She is involved in several other promising research projects in values and attachment. She is the author and co-author of over 160 scientific publications and several volumes.





Room 102, 23-27 Kazinczy Street, Budapest 1075, Hungary



Lectures in PhD programme

Theory and Practice of Education

Socialization and Socio-emotional Development In Childhood

Development of Social Competence

Lecture in MA programme

Educational Social Psychology

Research areas

Anikó Zsolnai's research interests are varied and spans the field of education, educational psychology and social psychology; her main research interest is in developing children’ social skills and abilities.

Head of the Research Group for Cognitive Development and Education (2022-2023) and member of the Research Group for Innovation and Equality in Education at ELTE Institute of Education. This research group studies the pedagogical and educational context of society and education in an inter- and multidisciplinary approach.


International projects
  • Teaching and Learning in Special Education with Information Communication Technologies (TELESEICT) 2016-2019: Contributor.
  • Social and Emotional Learning in Vocational Education - SELVET – 2013-2015: Contributor and Adviser.
  • Promoting Inclusion with Cognitive Approach in European Countries (PICA) 2012-2016: Contributor.
  • Students' International Social Competence Assessment - SISA – 2011-212: Leader of the Hungarian investigations. 
  • The Value and View of Society in the Educational Systems of Main Religious traditions - REVACERN – 2007-2009: Contributor and Coordinator.
Hungarian projects
  • Diagnostic assessment of social skills and abilities on online system; 2012 -2015. Part of the project ’Developing Diagnostic Assessments: Exploration of Options for the Diagnostic Assessment of Further Cognitive and Affective Skills and Competences' Preparing Test Packages' Supported by the Social Renewal Operational Program, TAMOP
  • Assessments of social competence 2013- 2014: Coordinator of the project. Supported by the Social Renewal Operational Program, TAMOP
  • Possibility of diagnostic assessment of social skills and abilities at the ages 6-12. 2009-2012: Part of the project 'Developing Diagnostic Assessments: Development an online diagnostic assessment system for grades 1-6’, Supported by the Social Renewal Operational Program, TAMOP
  • The development of emotional and social competence in preschool children 2005-2008: Head of the project. Hungarian Scientific Research Fund, OTKA
  • The role of mastery motivation in the development of social competence 2002-2004: Director of the project. Hungarian Scientific Research Fund, OTKA
  • Possibilities of developing social skills in the teacher training 2001-2003: Head of the project. Research project supported by the Ministry of Education
  • The role of attachment patterns in the development of children's social competence 1999-2001: Director of the project. Higher Education Research Projects, FKFP
  • Development of social competence in the elementary school 1997-1999: Director of the project to develop elementary students' social skills. Hungarian Scientific Research Fund, OTKA
  • Possibilities of developing social skills in childhood 1994-1996: Director of the project. Hungarian Scientific Research Fund, OTKA


Selected publications in English

Zsolnai, A.  & Szabó, L. (2020): Attachment aware schools and teachers. Pastoral Care in Education, Vol. 38, No 3 (Published online: 29 Sept.)                       

Zsolnai, A. & Kasik, L. (2017): Online testing of Hungarian children’s prosocial behaviour. Journal of School & Educational Psychology, Vol. 5. No. 2. 65-73.

Kasik, L., Fejes, J. B., Guti, K., Gáspár, Cs. & Zsolnai, A. (2017): Social problem-solving among disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged adolescents. European Journal of Special Needs Education,(Published online: 13 March 2017) 1-16.                                

Kasik, L., Gáspár, Cs., Guti, K. & Zsolnai, A. (2016): Relationship between social problem-solving, anxiety and empathy among adolescents in Hungarian context. In.  Newton, K. (ed.): Problem-Solving Strategies, Challenges and Outcomes. Nova Science Publishers, New York. 177-196.

Zsolnai, A. & Kasik, L. (2016): Coping strategies and social problem solving in  adolescence. In. Surian, A. (ed.): Open Spaces for Interactions and Learning Diversities. Sense Publishers, Rotterdam.  2016. 121-126.

Zsolnai, A., Kasik, L., & Braunitzer, G. (2015): Coping strategies at the ages 8, 10 and 12. Educational Psychology, 1. 73-92.

Zsolnai A. & Lesznyák M. (2015): Pluralism and values in education in Hungary - changes between 1990 and 2012. Journal of Beliefs & Values, 2. 142-155.                        

Mortimore, T. & Zsolnai, A. (2015): Inclusive education and social competence development. Hungarian Educational Research Journal, 1. 46-61.

Zsolnai, A. (2015):  Social and emotional competence. Hungarian Educational Research Journal, 1. 1-10.

Zsolnai, A. & Kasik, L. (2014): Functioning of social skills from middle childhood to early adolescence in Hungary. International Journal of Emotional Education, Vol.6, N. 2. 54-68.

Zsolnai, A., Lesznyák, M. & Kasik, L. (2012): Preschool children’s aggressive and prosocial behavior in stressful situations. Early Child Development and Care, Vol.181. No.11. 1503-1522.

Zsolnai, A. & Kasik, L. (2011): Development of coping strategies and social problem solving at the age of 8 and 12. In. Wold, B. (ed.): Proceeding of the XV European Conference on Developmental Psychology. Medimond Publisher, Bologna, 509-514.

Zsolnai, A. & Józsa, K. (2003): Possibilities of criterion referenced social skills development. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 2. 181-196.

Zsolnai, A. (2002): Relationship between children's social competence, learning motivation and school achievement. Educational Psychology, Vo1.22. No. 3. 317-330.

Seected publications in Hungarian 


Csapó Benő – Zsolnai Anikó (szerk.): Online diagnosztikus mérések az iskola kezdő szakaszában. [Diagnostic assessment in primary school age children] Oktatáskutató és Fejlesztő Intézet, Budapest. 2015.

Zsolnai Anikó: A szociális fejlődés segítése. [Helping of social development] Gondolat Kiadó, Budapest. 2013.

Csapó Benő – Zsolnai Anikó (szerk.): A kognitív és affektív fejlődési folyamatok diagnosztikus értékelésének lehetőségei az iskola kezdő szakaszában.[Diagnostic assessment of cognitive and affective development in primary school age children] Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó, Budapest. 2011.

Zsolnai Anikó – Kasik László (szerk.): A szociális kompetencia fejlesztésének elméleti és gyakorlati alapjai. [Theory and practice of social competence development] Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó, Budapest. 2010.

Zsolnai Anikó: A szocialitás fejlesztése 4-8 éves életkorban. [Developing Social Skills in Childhood: Ages 4 to 8 Years] Mozaik Kiadó, Szeged, 2006. (71 o.)

Zsolnai Anikó (szerk.): Szociális kompetencia - társas viselkedés.  [Social Competence –Social Behaviour] Gondolat Kiadó, Budapest. 2003. (259 o.)

Konta Ildikó – Zsolnai Anikó: A szociális készségek játékos fejlesztése az iskolában.[Developing Social Skills in the Primary School] Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó, Budapest. 2002. (118 o.)

Zsolnai Anikó:  Kötődés és nevelés. [Attachment and Education] Eötvös Könyvkiadó, Budapest. 2001. (78 o.)

Zsolnai Anikó:  Összefüggések a szociális kompetencia egyes komponensei, a tanulási motívumok és az iskolai tudás között. . [The Relationship Between Children's Social Competence, Learning Motivation and Academic Achievement] JATE Press, Szeged. 1999. (115 o.)

Pukánszky Béla – Zsolnai Anikó (szerk.): Pedagógiák az ezredfordulón. [Alternative Educational Movements at the End of the Twenty Century] Eötvös Könyvkiadó, Budapest. 1998. (237 o.)

Full list of publications


Other professional activities

Academic service in professional organisations


  • European Network for Social and Emotional Competence – ENSEC (2015-)
  • European Association for Research of Learning and Instruction - EARLI (1990-2009)
  • International Society for Study of Behavioural Development - ISSBD (1991-)
  • Hungarian Psychological Association (1990-)