The Department of Developmental Psychopathology conducts fundamental and applied research on the development of psychopathology and well-being from infancy to early adulthood, focusing on family studies and social interactions.
Our ultimate goal is to understand how children, adolescents, and (young) adults develop across time and in relationships with others and which factors can explain inter- and intra-individual differences. We aim to conduct rigorous research, publish in high-impact scientific journals, present at international conferences, collaborate nationally and internationally, and communicate our findings to the general public.
Our research focuses on individual factors and family, parental and peer factors. Most of our studies use longitudinal designs, enabling us to examine development from micro-level to macro-level scales (days until years). Moreover, as a group, we find it essential that our work impacts society. Therefore, we collaborate closely with several youth care institutions, police, municipalities, juvenile prisoners, and addiction care facilities.
We have several core topics that we investigate, including internalising problems (e.g., depressive symptoms and loneliness), externalising problems (e.g., conduct disorder and callous-unemotional traits), eating and lifestyle behaviours, substance use, well-being, effects of trauma and stressors on development, and the development of prosocial and antisocial behaviours. However, we are not only interested in atypical developments because knowledge of typical behaviour is needed to understand why some children adapt better than others. We also study typical behaviour and factors that facilitate resilience and (positive) well-being.
We employ a multi-method approach to study these forms of psychopathology and well-being, including longitudinal surveys, Experience Sampling Methods (ESM), experiments, hormonal measurements, DNA samples, and observations. We cover levels of analyses ranging from genetics to neuroimaging to structural equation modelling and more.
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We are a dynamic team with an open work atmosphere. Our department consists of researchers with different expertise, which we share regularly. We collaborate within our group and outside the department (ranging from within BSI to international outstanding collaborations). We strongly believe that Open Science is important, so we increasingly pre-register our studies and share our data and codes. In the following years, we would like to continue to build our research line while at the same time also applying our knowledge in practice, as we have a strong intrinsic motivation for the dissemination of our findings.