Vulnerability and resilience in adolescence

This project is currently running within the research pillar Prevention and Treatment of the Utrecht University strategic theme Dynamics of Youth.


Vulnerability and resilience in adolescence: genetic and epigenetic risk factors in the development of anxiety and depression.


Both genetic and environmental factors determine how we develop, and therefore how well we deal with stressful events. In a major study of children (the RADAR cohort), a lot of information was collected on how environmental factors relate to emotional development and a tendency towards anxiety and depression. In this study, we will explore how genetic factors influence this development.

The research is innovative insofar as it also explores epigenetics: the phenomenon involving genes being activated or deactivated by environmental influences. We suspect that in individuals who have difficulty managing stress the genes that are responsible for resistance to stress have been switched off epigenetically.

Main applicant:

Dr. Marco Boks (Rudolf Magnus Brain Centre)


Prof. dr. W. Meeus (Social and Behavioural Sciences)
Prof. dr.  S. Branje (Social and Behavioural Sciences)
Prof P. van Lier (VU, Social and Behavioural Sciences)
Dr C. Vinkers (UMC Utrecht)


Dynamics of Youth call Seed Money 2013

Read more about the research pillar Prevention and Treatment.