A study on children’s social competence and behavioral control

  • English language proficiency required
  • Leiden

Leiden University

The Leiden Consortium on Individual Development (L-CID) is a large longitudinal twin study in which we investigate the development of social competence and behavioral control in children between 3 and 14 years old. In addition, we closely examine the parent-child interaction and implemented an intervention focused on improving the parent-child interaction (VIPP-SD). We use several measurements including EEG, (f)MRI, physiological measures (saliva), behavioral tasks and video observations. The overall aim of L-CID is to answer the question why some children thrive, while others don’t by investigating individual differences and the influence of environmental factors on development.

We included 500 families with a same-sex twin who were either 3-4 years (early childhood cohort) or 7-8 years (middle childhood cohort) old at the start of the study. All participating families are visited once a year (either at their home or at the lab). During the yearly visits several tasks are completed by parents and children, and we observe parent-child interactions. During lab visit we also collect(ed) EEG and (f)MRI data. Eighteen months after the start of the study half of the participating families were randomly assigned to the intervention program (VIPP-SD) or a control condition. In the fall of 2019 we will start data collection of the sixth wave in the early childhood cohort (8-10 years old) and the fifth wave in the middle childhood cohort (11-13 years old).

We are looking for enthusiastic and highly motivated students that are interested in child development, development of social competence and/or behavioral control, parent-child interaction and neurobiological data. L-CID is a unique, interdisciplinary study that has a lot to offer to students!

Possible tasks during the thesis project:

Contributing to data collection (either lab or home visits)
Processing data from home and lab visits (e.g. experimental tasks, ambulatory measurement devices, brain imaging data)
Analyzing data from home and lab visits
Coding of video observations of parent-child interactions
Assisting in preparation of new waves of data collection

International students are more than welcome within our project. Depending on your proficiency of the Dutch language you will be able to participate in data collection. We will do our best to get you involved in as many aspects of the L-CID study as possible!

Possible thesis topics:

Influence of environmental factors on children’s behavior
Association between brain (MRI) measures and children’s behavior
Moderating or mediating factors in the parent-child relationship
For more information, please contact Bianca van den Bulk (bulkbgvanden@fsw.leidenuniv.nl)


To apply for this job email your details to bulkbgvanden@fsw.leidenuniv.nl