Clinical Developmental Psychology

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The section Clinical Developmental Psychology is a knowledge center in the field of social and biological influences in the development of common emotional and behavioral problems and health behaviors in children and adolescents. Knowledge of normal and deviant development of children and adolescents is of great scientific and social interest, including care and prevention. We want to understand how deviant development in childhood contributes to risks in development, possibly into adulthood. In addition to basic research focused on the mechanisms by which problem behavior occurs we also do intervention studies conducted with children and young people and their parents. This research aims to test the effectiveness of interventions and to evaluate the efficacy of modifiable factors in the development of emotional and behavioral problems and health behaviors and how these can be influenced.

With this knowledge, we contribute to the improvement of understanding and (preventive) interventions for common emotional and behavioral problems, the educational psychology, education and health sciences, the GZ training and the work of professionals and policy makers in youth.

The research of Clinical Developmental Psychology works closely among themselves and with numerous groups at the university, in the Netherlands and abroad. It has an obvious attraction to domestic and foreign partners and talented young researchers and research master’s students.

Much of the research of the section is carried out in longitudinal cohorts from before birth to early adulthood, often with intensive labstudies.

Thematic focus areas are: 
• Combination of social and biological influences on the development of children and adolescents – Happy Children Happy Adolescents project 
• Development processes of social and biological vulnerability to psychopathology in adolescence – RADAR study 
• Prenatal and adolescent stress and its influence on normal and deviant development – Amsterdam Stress Lab 
• Development of people with autism – Dutch Autism Registry

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