Catrin Finkenauer has been appointed Programme Director for Dynamics of Youth, one of Utrecht University’s four strategic themes.
Marcel van Aken, Dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences and coordinator for Dynamics of Youth, is pleased with the appointment: ‘Catrin joined the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences as professor of Child and Adolescent Studies in 2016. Her contributions since then have included becoming closely involved with Dynamics of Youth and setting up one of the six interdisciplinary research themes. I am fully confident that Catrin’s background and experience make her the ideal person to take Dynamics of Youth to the next level.’
Within the Dynamics of Youth theme, researchers from all Utrecht University faculties combine their expertise to answer crucial questions for future generations and gain deeper insight into the development of children and young people in our rapidly changing society. Catrin Finkenauer’s own research focuses primarily on relationships. She commented on this in a previous interview (in Dutch), saying: ‘I'm particularly interested in the question about how people can bring out the best and the worst in each other. Many people think that love and motivation are enough to maintain good relationships between people, but it's hard work. What you also need is self-control: you need to put aside your own interests and avoid escalation. Our research shows that self-control is linked to trust; trust constitutes the basis for maintaining relationships. That's a considerable challenge for many people.’
As Programme Director for Dynamics of Youth, Catrin Finkenauer will seek to promote research on young people more widely, including the studies being conducted at the Child Expertise Centre hub and the six interdisciplinary themes being tackled jointly by researchers and social partners. She is really looking forward to it, she says: ‘Dynamics of Youth is an ambitious initiative taken by the university board to contribute to societal issues surrounding youth. Over the course of the last two years, Dynamics of Youth has provided me with incredible opportunities to meet inspiring people, do research beyond boarders of disciplines, and ensure that our research is meaningful by working with amazing societal partners. I’m grateful for this opportunity to share my enthusiasm with more people and discover the exciting possibilities of Dynamics of Youth.’
Catrin Finkenauer will take over the role of programme director from Chantal Kemner, who stepped down earlier this year to focus on her other duties.