Prof. dr. Maja Dekovic

Maja Dekovic (1961), developmental psychologist, received her PhD in 1991 at Radboud University Nijmegen. In 1998 she was appointed full professor at University of Amsterdam. Since 2004 she works as full professor, and department chair, at the department of Clinical Child and Family Studies.


She is leader of the Utrecht Centre for Child and Adolescent Studies (CAS), an interdisciplinary research programme that aims to explain how individual characteristics, proximal social relationships, and the wider social and cultural context shape developmental trajectories, with the ultimate aim to improve preventive and/or interventions to help children and families optimally develop. CAS is one of the key players in Utrecht University strategic theme Dynamics of Youth.

Her research interests include children and adolescent normative and deviant development, parent-child relationships, family interaction and effects of family-based interventions. She has extensive expertise (both substantive and methodological) in this field, was project leader of 15 big scale projects, and has several hundred (inter)national publications. She was/is (co) leader of several effectiveness studies (Home-Start, Multisystemic Therapy, Parents of troublesome youth, Intensive Home Visiting Program, Alles Kidzzz, Family Conferencing, Rock and Water). She is one of the PIs in the NWO Gravitation programme, Consortium of Individual Development (CID), with a 10 year long financing of national collaboration between researchers from different discipline based at four Dutch universities. In addition, she is a member of several (inter)national research committees, and editorial boards on (inter)national journals.


She is dedicated to education and training of the new generation of researchers: she coordinates the Research Master programme Development and Socialization in Childhood and Adolescence (DaSCA) and the related PhD training programme Child and Adolescent Studies (CAS). Up to now she has (co)supervised 22 PhD students, 4 of them received cum laude distinction and 19 of them are currently working in academia (University of Amsterdam, Free University, Radboud University, Erasmus University, Tilburg University, Utrecht University and the NWO Institute NSCR). At the moment, she (co) supervises 10 PhD students

Societal impact

As she finds it important that the results of scientific work is well spread among professions and policy makers, she publishes regularly in Dutch scientific and popular journals and writes for Dutch handbooks. She is also involved in the training of professionals through the RINO Clinical Psychologist programme. For more than 10 years she was a member of two national accreditation panels (Behavioural Programs for Offenders and Interventions for Youth). At the moment she is member of three large national consortia: Externalizing problems, Child Abuse, and Anti bullying, in which researchers, professionals and policy makers work together on improving interventions for these problems.




Children and adolescent normative and deviant development (self-regulation, externalizing problems), temperament/personality and differential susceptibility, developmental psychopathology, parent-child relationships, family as a system, cross-cultural perspective of parenting and child development, effectiveness, mediators and moderators of (family-based) interventions; longitudinal, observational, intervention and meta-analytic methods

Clinical Child and Family Studies