Intergenerational effects of (childhood) trauma (Symposium)
- Tuesday 23 May 2023Add to my calendar
- 11:00 to
Peter Bos, Marjolein Missler, Marion van den Heuvel, Emma Bolhuis, Corinne Neukel, Lisa Loheide-Niesmann
Trauma, particularly childhood trauma, can have severe and long-lasting negative physical and mental health consequences. Accumulating evidence suggests that these effects of trauma can be transmitted across generations, affecting not only survivors themselves, but also their children: parental (childhood) trauma has been linked to increased risks for various physical and mental health problems in children of trauma survivors. However, the mechanisms underlying this intergenerational transmission of the effects of trauma are not yet fully understood. During this symposium, we will discuss the effects of mothers’ traumatic experiences – specifically experiences of childhood trauma and war exposure – on their children’s neurobiological and behavioural development. We will also discuss the potential mechanisms underlying this intergenerational transmission of the effects of trauma. To do so, six national and international early- and mid-career researchers will present their research:
Dr. Marjolein Missler, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at Utrecht University, has done extensive research on parental distress during the transition to motherhood. She will therefore start off this symposium with a talk about the role of maternal distress during pregnancy in the intergenerational transmission of the effects of trauma.
Dr. Marion van den Heuvel, Assistant Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychology at Tilburg University with a background in infant brain development and neurocognitive functioning, will discuss the impact of maternal childhood maltreatment on the fetal brain. Then, Lisa Loheide-Niesmann, PhD Candidate at the Radboud University whose PhD research focuses on the intergenerational effects of maternal childhood maltreatment on children’s moral development, will discuss the link between maternal childhood maltreatment and child externalizing behaviour and the potential mechanisms underlying this association. Afterwards, Emma Bolhuis, who has a background in Behavioural Science and is currently a teacher and researcher at the Radboud University, will present her work on the effects of preconception exposure to war in an Israeli study cohort and on its effects on children’s sleep quality. Dr. Corinne Neukel, psychologist and researcher at the University Clinic Heidelberg has done extensive research on neurobiological mechanisms and resilience factors in the intergenerational transmission of maltreatment. She will talk about the effects of childhood exposure to violence on mothers and their children, discussing both neurological and behavioural effects. Finally, Dr. Peter Bos, Associate Professor at the Institute of Education and Child Studies at Leiden University and an expert on the neuroendocrinology of caregiving behaviour, will discuss the neuroendocrine mechanisms involved in the intergenerational transfer of childhood trauma and adversity.
Information about the speakers:
Dr. Peter Bos obtained a Master’s degree in Psychology from Utrecht University, where he also completed his PhD (cum laude, 2012) on the role of testosterone in human social behaviour. After his PhD, he worked at a postdoctoral fellow in Social Neuroscience with Prof. Jack van Honk (Utrecht University) and at the University of Cape Town. He is currently an Associate Professor and Director of Research at the Institute of Education and Child Studies at Leiden University. His research focuses on the neuroendocrinology underlying human caregiving behaviour, with a particular interest in modulating factors during child development – such as the quality of parental caregiving and communication – which can affect children’s social-emotional behaviour via endocrine mechanisms such as epigenetic programming. With his work, he aims to contribute to the integration of psychological and neurobiological perspectives on human caregiving behaviour and child development.
Dr. Marjolein Missler studied clinical psychology at Utrecht University and did her PhD on investigating and preventing parental distress during the transition to parenthood (VU University, 2021). After completing a post-doc at the Radboud University on the work/study-life balance of Radboud University students and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, she returned to the VU University Amsterdam for a post-doctoral fellowship on the long-term effects of a psycho-education prevention program to reduce parental distress during the transition to parenthood on infant development and parental health. Currently, she is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at Utrecht University.
Emma Bolhuis completed her Research Master in Behavioural Sciences at the Radboud University and is currently a teacher and researcher at the Radboud University. She has carried out research on the effects of early life risk exposure on cellular aging in the Developmental Psychobiology Lab of Prof. Carolina de Weerth. Currently, she is working on a project on preconception exposure to war and child sleep in an Israeli study cohort, together with Dr. Roseriet Beijers.
Dr. Corinne Neukel studied Psychology at the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg before obtaining her PhD in 2018 (Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg). Her PhD research focused on neurobiological mechanisms and resilience factors in the intergenerational transmission of maltreatment. She currently works as a psychologist and researcher at the University Clinic Heidelberg, where she co-leads the research group personality disorders, together with Prof. Dr. Sabine Herpertz. Her research focuses on the impact of early maltreatment experiences and maladaptive personality traits on social interactions (particularly parent-child interactions) and social cognitions, as well as their neurobiological foundations. Moreover, she carries out research on anger and aggression in relation to borderline personality disorder and on mechanisms of change in psychotherapeutic interventions.
Lisa Loheide-Niesmann completed her Research Master in Clinical and Developmental Psychopathology at the VU University Amsterdam and is currently a PhD student at the Behavioural Science Institute of the Radboud University. Her research focuses on the intergenerational effects of maternal childhood maltreatment on child (moral) development, and on the role of hormonal and parenting factors as mechanisms underlying these intergenerational effects.
Marion van den Heuvel
Dr. Marion van den Heuvel completed a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science (Maastricht University) and a Master’s degree Social and Behavioural Sciences (Tilburg University), before obtaining her PhD (2016, Tilburg University) on the influence of prenatal exposure to maternal anxiety and mindfulness on neurocognitive functioning in infants and young children. Following her PhD, she worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Wayne State University and the Perinatology Research Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/National Institutes of Health (Detroit, MI, USA), where she continued her research in the field of developmental programming and also expanded her knowledge on sleep research and fetal fMRI. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Cognitive Neuropsychology at Tilburg University. Her research focuses on understanding how early life influences can guide brain development from the very beginning.
Programme 10:00 – 10:10 Opening
10:10 – 10:40
Marjolein Missler (Utrecht University) Intergenerational effects of maternal childhood maltreatment on infant development 10:40 – 11:10 Marion van den Heuvel (Tilburg University)
The link between maternal childhood trauma and infant brain development
11:10 – 11:30 Coffee break 11:30 – 12:10 Lisa Loheide-Niesmann (Radboud University) The effects of maternal childhood trauma on child externalising behaviour 12:10 – 12.40 Emma Bolhuis (Radboud University) Preconception exposure to war and its effects on child sleep quality 12:40 – 12:55 Coffee break 12:55 – 13:25 Corinne Neukel (Heidelberg University Hospital) Childhood experiences of violence and their neurological and behavioural effects on mothers and their children 13:25– 13:55 Peter Bos (Leiden University) The endocrinology of human caregiving and its intergenerational transmission