Adolescent development

about the upbringing and development of young people

In this programme we study the upbringing and development of young people during adolescence and early adulthood, in the period between 12 and 25 years. We investigate both normal and problematic development, taking various factors into account:

  • genetic and biological factors
  • psychological factors
  • social factors

We investigate how these factors interrelatedly influence the ways in which young people develop. This is known as the socio-ecological approach. For this we conduct primarily longitudinal research, in which we follow the development of adolescents in relation to their dynamic environment for a considerable time.

How a young person develops is dependent on biological, psychological and sociological factors

Research topics

  • the development of identity and personality;
  • changing relationships with parents and peers (for example, peer groups, personal relationships with best friends, brothers and sisters, romantic attachments), connections between these relationships;
  • the development of empathy and its role in behaviour and relationships;
  • problem behaviour in adolescence, such as internalising and externalising problems.

We also carry out research into intervention in and prevention of this type of psychosocial problems.

Programme leader
Head of Department