Developmental Psychopathology

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 mission

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.

Core topics

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.

Research projects

Discover our research projects 

Trajectories of heavy alcohol use during the transition to emerging adulthood

This PhD project aims to develop an integrative model of resilience to heavy drinking in emerging adulthood. This model will focus on two key resilience mechanisms (cognitive control and emotion regulation).

Emotion differentiation

This project attempts to answer how emotion differentiation (ED) facilitates effective emotion regulation, develops over adolescence, and contributes to psychopathology.

‘Samen Happie!’

the main aim of this project is to develop and test the Samen Happie! app, in which both healthy parenting practices (related to the main risk factors of energy intake and expenditure) and parenting are manipulated to prevent early childhood obesity.

Our Team

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.

Contact information


Maria Montessori building

Thomas Van Aquinostraat 4
6525GD Nijmegen
Postal address
Postbus 9104