Dr. Esther Mertens

PhD Candidate
Clinical Child and Family Studies

Esther received her bachelor degree in pedagogical sciences and her master degrees in the research master ‘Development and Socialization in Childhood and Adolescence’ and clinical master ‘Orthopedagogics’ (cum laude) at Utrecht University. She wrote her thesis about heterogeneity in response to Multisystemic Therapy for which she received the thesis award of the ‘Dutch association of pedagogics and education experts’ (NVO). She is interested in applied research, in particular intervention research.


Currently, she is a postdoctoral researcher at the department of Clinical Child and Family Studies at Utrecht University on the project: Solid as a rock, flexible as water? Improving students’ psychosocial wellbeing in prevocational schools. In this project she examines the effectiveness of the universal school-based intervention Rock and Water in improving students’ socio-emotional adjustment and social safety. In addition, she aims to identify for whom the intervention is effective (moderators) and the working mechanisms of the intervention (mediators).