Marcel A.G. van Aken (1958) studied developmental psychology and in 1991 defended his PhD thesis at the University of Nijmegen, on a longitudinal study on the development of competence. In 1990 he accepted a post-doc position at the Max-Planck-Institute for psychological research in Munich, Germany. There he worked at the division for Developmental Psychology (director prof.dr. Weinert), mainly on the LOGIC-study, a multidomain longitudinal study on the development of individual competencies. Together with colleagues from the LOGIC-project, he conducted several longitudinal studies on social and personality development.
In 1993, he returned to the Netherlands. After several years as an assistant and later associate professor at the University of Nijmegen, he moved to Utrecht University in 2001. Since 2003, he is full professor at the Department of Developmental Psychology at Utrecht University. His research focuses on personality development in children, adolescents, and young adults, more particular the way that transactional relations between personality characteristics and elements of the social relationships with parents and peers may result in either competence, maladaptation or personality pathology.
Marcel van Aken and his co-workers have published numerous articles on social and personality development. He has also been involved in various international organizations and review committees. Momentarily, he is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development, and he has been involved with the International Journal of Behavioral Development, first from 1998-2002 as associate editor, and then from 2008-2014 as editor. He was president of the European Association for Developmental Psychology (2019-2021). At Utrecht University, he is momentarily Dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences.