June 25, 2024

Last week, Dr. Eddie Brummelman was awarded with the Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences (FABBS) Early Career Impact Award.

We congratulate him on this great achievement.

Visit the Society for Research in Child Development website here, for more information and a recording of the presentation.

About Eddie Brummelman

Eddie Brummelman is a leading developmental psychologist and associate professor at the University of Amsterdam studying the developing self. One of his research lines has transformed our understanding of childhood narcissism showing that narcissism develops in childhood. His research also demonstrates the harmful long-term consequences of narcissism. Another of his research lines illuminates the crucial role of self-views in achievement inequality.

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash.
June 7, 2024

The GUTS overview article has been published in DCN.

We are happy to share that the GUTS Team Science Paper has been accepted to be published in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (DCN). This paper examines the long-term goals of the 10-year GUTS program and details its methodology.

The article, ‘Growing Up Together in Society (GUTS): A team science effort to predict societal trajectories in adolescence and young adulthood’, can be found here.

Photo by Unseen Studio on Unsplash.
May 25, 2024

During the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biological Psychiatry (SOBP) GUTS member Carmen-Silva Sergiou was awarded the ‘Best Paper’ award.

She received this award together with Josanne van Dongen for part of her thesis ‘Unraveling the Aggressive Brain’, about the effectiveness of using neuromodulation in forensic care. We congratulate them both on this fantastic achievement.

About Carmen-Silva Sergiou

Carmen-Silva Sergiou works as a postdoctoral researcher at Amsterdam UMC/VUMC as part of the GUTS project. Carmen’s research focuses on the psychological and neural processes involved in aggression and emotion regulation in forensic populations. Her previous work focused on using innovative research methods to investigate (or modulate) criminal decision-making using neuromodulation or Virtual Reality (VR).

May 20, 2024

Rene Veenstra has been appointed as a new member of the KNAW.

Rene Veenstra, professor of Sociology at the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences at the University of Groningen and part of the Steering Committee of GUTS, has been appointed as a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). The approximately 600 members of the KNAW are leading scientists from all disciplines. On Monday 30th of September, he will be officially installed as an Academy member.

Visit the website of the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen for more information.

About Rene Veenstra

René Veenstra’s research focuses on the theoretical and empirical elaboration of a social network approach to bullying, victimization, and pro- and antisocial behavior. He is the Director of the Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS), in the Netherlands.

February 8, 2024

In an interview with de Correspondent, Arne Popma draws attention to the importance of preventive mental health support for youths.

‘We have defibrillators hanging on every street corner in the Netherlands. Many people have taken a resuscitation course. Why wouldn’t we do the same for mental health?’, says Popma in the interview. Popma explains how he collaborates with mental health organizations to prevent youths from developing serious psychological problems. Prevention efforts should extend to schools, community centers, and online platforms.

Read the full article here (in Dutch).


About Arne Popma
Arne Popma is Full professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Head of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Amsterdam UMC – VUmc and part of the GUTS program. Popma’s research focuses on the developmental pathways and underlying mechanisms of antisocial behavior in young people. Together with a group of colleagues, he founded @ease, an organization that has set up walk-in spaces at various locations in the country, including at Lab6.


Image by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

February 7, 2024

In the NPO Luister HUMAN podcast ‘Het Puberbrein: je Hersenen in Verbouwing’, Eveline Crone explains how the brain starts to rewire when hitting teenage years.

Eveline Crone takes the chance to shed a different light on adolescence than we typically hear: young people are a source of creativity rather than being lazy and uninterested. Adolescence is a unique phase full of possibilities, in which you venture out, explore, and discover. All of this is because the brain undergoes a complete renovation once we start our teenage years. Crone explains exactly what happens in the brain and how she investigates this in her lab.

What is the role of the social environment for young people? And are we doing the right thing with the phone ban in the classroom? Three young people also share their experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has impacted their social life and mental well-being.

Listen to the episode (in Dutch) here.

January 25, 2024

‘Persistent shortage of teachers hits vulnerable children even more profoundly’ explains Thijs Bol to NOS.

In an article of Dutch news broadcaster NOS, Thijs Bol emphasizes the need to improve the quality of education and to relieve teachers of their excessive workload. Especially for children facing social vulnerabilities, this is crucial.

Read the article here (in Dutch).


About Thijs Bol

Thijs Bol is Professor of Sociology at University of Amsterdam and part of the GUTS program. His research focuses on inequality in education, the labor market, and science. In his work, Bol mostly focuses on understanding how inequalities between groups arise, and how we can understand why trajectories diverge within these three domains. In current research projects he tries to understand inequality of opportunity in education and studies how the linkage between school and work affects labor market outcomes.


Photo by Taylor Flowe on Unsplash.

January 24, 2024

Eddie Brummelman is elected as new chair of The Young Academy.

The Young Academy is a dynamic and innovative community of young scientists, bringing together different perspectives on science and its connections to policy and society. The group organizes activities for diverse audiences to share and exchange their views.

Eddie Brummelman will start in April 2024 and aims to advocate for a scientific community in which every student, teacher, and researcher has an equal opportunity to succeed. Additionally, he intends to strengthen the connection between science and society.


About Eddie Brummelman

Eddie Brummelman is Associate Professor in Pedagogy at the University of Amsterdam and part of the GUTS program. Brummelman researches self-image development of children, specifically focusing on narcissism and self-esteem. He connects this knowledge to today’s societal issues, such as social inequality.

November 3, 2023

On October 26th, Simone Dobbelaar defended her dissertation entitled ‘Helping me, helping you. Behavioral and neural development of social competence from childhood to adolescence.’

Summary of the dissertation

Why do some children easily find their way in social situations and are satisfied with their social lives, while others experience more difficulties? One key component that may explain this is social competence: the ability to fulfill both own and other’s social goals, for example in social interactions. This thesis focused on individual differences in social competence development from childhood to adolescence, an important developmental period that is marked by an increase in social experiences and interactions. To understand individual differences in social competence development, I examined contextual, developmental, environmental and neurobiological influences on aggressive and prosocial responses to social evaluation. Moreover, I examined whether the co-occurrence of aggression and prosocial behavior may work as predictor for developmental outcomes such as wellbeing later in time.

The results of this thesis can be described in three main findings. First, findings showed that there were robust neural processes related to the processing of social feedback and subsequent aggression already in middle childhood. Additionally, this thesis revealed that the period between childhood and adolescence is important for the behavioral and neural development of inhibition of aggression following negative, neutral and positive social feedback. Aggression following social feedback decreased towards adolescence, but aggression following positive feedback decreased earlier in childhood than aggression following negative feedback. Moreover, the involvement of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, known for its role in executive functioning and inhibition, decreased over time. Finally, results indicated that the co-occurrence of aggression following rejection of oneself and prosocial behavior following observed rejection of others may possibly protect against externalizing behaviors and promote wellbeing. Together, this thesis highlights the importance of examining the interplay of developmental processes across social contexts to understand mental health outcomes later in adolescence.

Simone Dobbelaar will continue as a post-doc for the GUTS project. Within GUTS, she will focus on the role of peer networks and social dynamics in relation to neural processes related to self regulation.

Promotors: Michelle Achterberg, Anna van Duijvenvoorde and Eveline Crone

You can find an interview with Simone regarding her research in the article titled “Een beetje agressie helpt kinderen in hun sociale ontwikkeling, ontdekte Simone Dobbelaar tijdens haar promotie.” To access the interview, please follow this link: Interview with Simone Dobbelaar.

October 20, 2023

Loes Keijsers wins the Dr. Hendrik Muller Prijs 2023. She receives the award for her creative and innovative research using smartphones and serious games to gain insights into the lives of adolescents.

Keijsers’ research among individual adolescents has, for the first time, explicitly demonstrated that what may have a positive effect for one child can have the opposite effect for others. The award ceremony will take place on December 7th in Amsterdam, accompanied by a mini-symposium: “Under pressure?! Naar een mentaal gezonde generatie”. More information about the mini-symposium can be found here.


About Loes Keijsers

Loes Keijsers is professor in Clinical Child and Family Studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her research examines the impact of parenting and social media on adolescent well-being and adjustment. Employing novel longitudinal research designs and analytical methods, she studies how the real-time influences of social interactions in daily lives can trigger the development of internalizing and externalizing problems. In interdisciplinary collaborations, she translates these insights into eHealth tools and products for adolescents, their families, and practitioners.