About YOUth

Two cohorts

YOUth is a prospective cohort study with repeated measurements at regular intervals. YOUth follows two cohorts: YOUth Baby & Child (pregnancy - 7 years)  and YOUth Child & Adolescent (8 - 16 years).

Social competence and self-regulation

The YOUth cohort focuses on neurocognitive development involved in two core characteristics of behavioural development: social competence and self-regulation. From an early age, deficiencies in social competence and self-regulation have been linked to a variety of behavioural, psychological and psychiatric problems.

We include children from the general population to cover the whole range of variation in behavioural development, ranging from uncomplicated development, through problem behaviour, to psychiatric disorders. Understanding this is vital, as psychiatric disorders are the most important cause of burden of disease in high-income countries. Moreover, children without psychiatric disorders also often experience behavioural problems that are equally disruptive at a personal, familial, and societal level. 


To understand why some children develop problematic behaviour, and others show resiliency, we measure a broad range of biological, child-related and environmental determinants. Specifically, we investigate how these determinants influence the development of social competence and self-regulation and how this relationship is mediated by the developing brain. 

The aims of YOUth

The YOUth cohort is embedded in the Utrecht University strategic theme Dynamics of Youth and the Child Health Program of the UMC Utrecht.