Youth & Family

About the department

In its teaching and research, the Department of Youth & Family focuses on the development and socialisation of adolescents and young adults.


Department office

E-mail address:
Irma Smit,, 030-253 4650
Margriet Soer,, 030-253 4601
Astrid Meijs,, 030-253 4601

Head of Department
Department Manager
Management Coordinator

Martinus J. Langeveld building

Martinus J. Langeveldgebouw
Heidelberglaan 1, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands

Tel: +31 30 253 47 00 (reception)

Opening hours: 
In this building:
- Department of Special Education: Cognitive & Motor Disabilities
- Department of Social Sciences
- Department of Psychology
- Educational Consultancy & Professional Development

We study the upbringing and development of young people during adolescence and early adulthood, the period between the ages of 12 and 25. This involves researching both normal and problematic development, with an emphasis on various factors:

  • genetic and biological factors;
  • psychological factors;
  • social factors.

We investigate how these factors combine to influence the ways in which young people develop. This is known as the socio-ecological approach. For this we primarily conduct longitudinal research, in which we follow the development of adolescents over a protracted period.

Areas of expertise
The development of identity
The development of personality
Changing relationships with parents
Relationships with peers
Problem behaviour in adolescence: problems of internalisation
Problem behaviour in adolescence: problems of externalisation
Social Media in Adolescence
Determinants of Parenthood


A list of staff in the department can be found on the Child and Youth Studies research website.