René Veenstra (RUG, 1994), Jan Kornelis Dijkstra (RUG, 2002), Herman van de Werfhorst (UVA, 1996), Thijs Bol (UVA), Sara Geven (UU, 2011) & Gerine Lodder have received a €600.000 NRO grant for their project “Peer Relations in the Transition from Primary to Secondary school: Social, Behavioral and Academic Aspects of Social Integration.”

About the project:

Recently, the Inspectorate of Education has shown that segregation and inequalities in education are rising. One moment in the school career in the Netherlands is crucial: the transition from primary to secondary school. In this project, we will study how student peer relations in primary education affect educational decisions and outcomes in secondary education.  Among the same students, we collect complete network data within school classes in the final year of primary education, and ego-network data during primary education and the first year in secondary education. This innovative design enables us to study the impact of peer relations on social, behavioral, and academic outcomes. These new data can form the basis for future research into the role of classmates with the NCO Database.

This project consists of two PhD projects about (1) how peer relations in primary education affect academic aspirations and educational decisions in secondary education, and (2) how positive aspects, such as friendships and helping, and negative aspects of peer relations, such as bullying and loneliness, affect educational outcomes in secondary education.  We do not only collect new data to study short-term consequences during the transition from primary to secondary education but also lay the foundation for research on the importance of the peer context for further educational careers as they unfold in the NCO. This will provide opportunities to investigate how early-life peer relations affect later life outcomes.