Focus of research

My research line concerns the neurobiological background of antisocial and disruptive behavior. Main aim is to unravel the neurobiological mechanisms that, in interaction with other individual and environmental factors may explain the development, persistence and effectiveness of treatment of antisocial and delinquent behavior in children and adolescents. The research focuses on neuroendocrinological and neurophysiological factors such as HPA axis and ANS functioning, which are of main importance for adaptation to the (stressful) environment. Studies involve the association between neurobiological factors and current aggressive and/or delinquent behavior, as well as the predictive value for treatment effect or reoffending.

One of the unique assets of my research line is the direct collaboration with societal and clinical partners. Projects involve studies on antisocial and delinquent adolescents in juvenile justice institutions, closed youth care and other groups of children and adolescents that are (at risk of) getting into contact with the police. Research partners involve the police, ministry of justice (WODC), juvenile justice institutions and youth care institutions, and I am also involved in the Academic Workplace Youth at Risk (AWRj). By collaborating with these partners, the research line is of direct relevance for societal issues related to youth delinquency and aggressive behavior. Most studies are designed in collaboration with societal and clinical partners.