Focus of research

My scientific goal is to better understand how differences in mental health between adults arise from an interplay of psychological characteristics and the social and societal environment. I am particularly intrigued by the transition of the Netherlands to a 'participation society', which is particularly salient in health prevention and care. Therefore a key focus in my research is on: i) the role of self-reliance and resilience in determining emotional and cognitive functioning of older adults; and ii) the role of the social environment in supporting self-reliance and resilience. Additionally, I have a particular interest in how different domains of functioning influence each other over time with aging.

With the knowledge generated by my research, I wish to inform preventive health policy and clinical practice that will benefit individuals and reduce systematic health disparities between groups, such as between groups with higher and lower socioeconomic positions. To this end, I realize necessary connections between different disciplines: gerontology, epidemiology, psychology and psychiatry.

Methodologically, I specialize in analyzing longitudinal data from observational cohort studies (e.g. with latent (class) growth modelling) and analyzing qualitative data obtained with interviews.

I obtained my PhD at the department of sociology of the VU University Amsterdam and have realized funding for research projects on cohort differences in socioeconomic inequalities in health and resilience after depression and during the Covid-19 pandemic in older adults. I currently work at the department of psychiatry and the department of epidemiology & data science at Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc in the Netherlands.