… as a sociologist in 2023

  • Friends rarely get credit for good deeds and optimal outcomes. For too long, scholars have allowed a focus on the origins of problem behavior to obscure peer processes that are sources of adjustment, happiness, and flourishing. In this paper in Child Development Perspectives, Brett Laursen and I focus on peer influence as the key to understanding positive outcomes.
  • Sanne Kellij has handed in her dissertation! Her dissertation contains this paper in Development and Psychopathology in which she disentangled within- and between-person associations in the interplay between adolescents’ reports of their peer victimization and rejection sensitivity.
  • The first paper of Zhe Dong appeared in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence: Positive and negative leaders were similar in individual but different in interpersonal characteristics. Positive leaders show the ability to establish and sustain favorable relationships with others, whereas negative leaders lead others to accomplish their own goals by expressing aggression effectively.
  • The second paper of Xingna Qin’s dissertation was published in Child Development. Having vulnerable friends can help and hurt vulnerable adolescents. The findings present an interesting paradox—when victims are friends with other victims, they feel less depressed but are more likely to be the target of continued victimization.
  • Charlotte Vrijen’s preregistered (https://osf.io/s52qr) TRAILS paper in Development and Psychopathology, in which she showcases a method that combines information about heritability from twin studies and molecular genetics studies to assess the magnitude of genetic confounding: the causal links between bullying victimization and internalizing problems and between bullying perpetration and externalizing problems are likely weaker than often assumed.

… as a sociologist in 2022

  1. Excited that our program GUTS is funded by the Ministry of Science with 22 million euros. Eight universities in the Netherlands, and 19 amazing scientists in one consortium with a shared mission. This 10-year program has the ambition to examine and optimize opportunities for growing up together in society.
  2. Gerine Lodder and I edited a special issue (with 10 articles) of the International Journal of Behavioral Development on social norms and presented a conceptual framework for how classroom norms may explain children’s decisions to defend others or refrain from defending, with norm conformity, pluralistic ignorance, and power balance as potential micro-level mechanisms.
  3. Wouter Kiekens defended his thesis, titled Sexual and Gender Minority Youth’s Mental Health and Substance Use, in September. In 2022 he published a daily diary study in Social Science & Medicine. Daily experiences of concealment and prejudice events were associated with daily alcohol use and these associations varied by the sex assigned at birth and gender identity. His paper on the development and validation of the Sexual Minority Adolescent Rejection Sensitivity Scale appeared in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.
  4. Danelien van Aalst defended her Ph.D. thesis, titled Elements Contributing to Teachers’ Role in Bullying, in June. She published a systematic review of primary school teachers’ characteristics and behaviors in identifying, preventing, and reducing bullying in the International Journal of Bullying Prevention.
  5. An intervention study by Chloé Tolmatcheff in Child Development on moral disengagement and social norms as promising ingredients for anti-bullying programs. Provides methodological guidelines for the assessment of anti-bullying components targeting specific bullying processes to determine their potential and design programs with the best cost-effectiveness ratio.
  6. Diego Palacios disentangled dyadic (avoidance of classmates perceived as aggressive) and reputational (attraction of prosocial or popular reputations) perceptions, in a paper in Social Development.
  7. The first paper of Sanne Kellij’s Ph.D. research project is published in Adolescent Research Review. A systematic review of 142 (!) articles on the social cognitions of victims of bullying. Her second paper will come out soon in Development and Psychopathology.
  8. Dori Kisfalusi examined the mechanisms underlying the co-development of dislike and bullying relationships, in Social Development. Children’s antipathies and bullying behavior toward schoolmates influenced and reinforced each other over time.
  9. Marthe de Roo started with this paper as ReMa student. She wrote a systematic review on internalizing and externalizing correlates of parental overprotection in the Socialization course of Tina Kretschmer and me. Later she added a meta-analysis on the findings of the 29 EMBU studies. Overprotection is associated positively with offspring maladjustment.
  10. Co-production with Berna Güroğlu for the special issue in Merrill-Palmer Quarterly (edited by Amanda Rose and Bill Bukowski) on future directions in the study of peer relations. This special issue was based on the Peer Nation Conference in Montreal in 2019.

… as a sociologist in 2021

  1. Lydia Laninga-Wijnen received an NWO Rubicon grant for her project Being defended in bullying situations: When does this really help victims? Together with Lydia, I wrote a Current Opinion paper that shows that research is needed to unpack various mechanisms underlying peer selection and influence. Such research can deepen theories on influence and maximize the potential effectiveness of peer-led interventions.
  2. Social network research is the way to examine bullying as a group process. This co-production with Gijs Huitsing is one of the 74 chapters in the Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Bullying. It focuses on both cross-sectional and longitudinal network studies. Further research is necessary on whether and how network interventions can target individuals, relationships, or the entire network structure.
  3. Wonderful collaboration with Brett Laursen on factors that make adolescence a period of special vulnerability to peer influence for the Decade in Review special issue of the Journal of Research on Adolescence (edited by Noel Card, Gus Carlo, Amanda Morris, and Christina Salmivalli), in which we introduce the influence-compatibility model.
  4. PEAR Collaboration with Cassie McMillan and Derek Kreager led to a paper in Social Networks. Dutch adolescent dating network characterized by chain-like spanning tree structure. Youths follow a norm that discourages dating friends’ previous romantic partners. Simulations demonstrate that the norm impacts the structure of dating networks.
  5. With Laura Baams as PI, I received an NRO grant for our project Out in School: how teacher practices and school policies mitigate sexual orientation and gender identity/expression disparities in school safety and experiences with violence and bullying-victimization.
  6. A systematic review by Simon Venema on paternal imprisonment and father–child relationships, published in Criminal Justice and Behavior: Preprison relationships, the frequency and experience of father–child contact, the caregiver’s role in father–child contact, and prison barriers shape father–child relationships and children’s experience of paternal imprisonment.
  7. Great paper by Elsje de Vries in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence: The relative social position of bullying and victimization trajectories are already determined at the start of secondary education and do not change over time.
  8. Paper by Danelien van Aalst (part of my NWO VICI project) in the European Journal of Developmental Psychology: The better the relationship with the teacher the higher the self-esteem of non-bullies and the lower the self-esteem of bullies. Bullies had the lowest self-esteem when they had an efficacious teacher.
  9. First paper by Sofie Lorijn, published in Journal of Youth and Adolescence: Acceptance from parents in preadolescence related to higher and peer rejection related to lower levels of education 11 years later.
  10. Article in Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology by Xingna Qin. Academic success, greater parental autonomy support, and less psychological control are associated with fewer depressive symptoms among Chinese adolescents.

… as a sociologist in 2020

  1. Fun to give a new course: Primary Social Order, with lectures about reciprocity, social capital, and the public realm. I presented sociology as the we-science (see also my favorite book of 2019). Not only several articles but also some documentaries were part of the course material.
  2. The analyses were complex, but Gijs Huitsing, Gerine Lodder, and colleagues succeeded: the KiVa NL evaluation paper came out in Prevention Science. Check also our codebook. And congrats to Gijs for winning the Alberti Center Early Career Award.
  3. Proud that Lydia Laninga-Wijnen defended her Ph.D. and won the EARA Young Scholar Award 2020. This year I wrote with her chapters for the Handbook of Adolescent and Young Adult Development and the Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Health.
  4. Proud that Tessa Kaufman, Marianne Hooijsma, and Diego Palacios successfully defended their Ph.D. theses and found positions as an Assistant Professor at Utrecht University, a researcher at the Netherlands Youth Institute, and as a researcher in Chile (and all three got their first child as well).
  5. Wonderful paper by Ruta Savickaite on friendships, perceived popularity, and adolescent romantic relationship debut in the Journal of Early Adolescence.
  6. Great papers by Wouter Kiekens (on health disparities between heterosexual and LGB adolescents) and by Chaim la Roi (on peers and homophobic attitudes) in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
  7. Excellent paper by Eleonora Marucci in Social Development on halo and association effects. About cognitive biases in teacher attunement to peer-nominated bullies, victims, and prosocial students.
  8. Great papers by Ashwin Rambaran in Child Development (on bullying as a group process) and Journal of Educational Psychology (on stability and change in student classroom composition and its impact on peer victimization).
  9. Wonderful collaboration with Jenna Watling Neal resulted in a systematic review, published in Developmental Review, on network selection and influence effects on children’s and adolescents’ internalizing behaviors and peer victimization.
  10. The research evaluation of Sociology in the Netherlands went very well: absolute excellence and societal relevance.

… as a sociologist in 2019

  1. Honored to have given a keynote at the World Anti-Bullying Forum and to have been appointed as a member of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities. The keynote was published in a book called Always Take Action.
  2. Proud of this Social Networks paper with Rozemarijn van der Ploeg and Christian Steglich, entitled ‘The Way Bullying Works: How New Ties Facilitate the Mutual Reinforcement of Status and Bullying in Elementary Schools.’
  3. Wonderful that Maaike Engels received an NRO postdoc grant for her project ‘Bridging the Gap: The Role of Teachers in the Transition from Primary to Secondary Education.’
  4. Great that we could hire Lydia-Laninga-Wijnen as a postdoc for our project on SterkWerk (Meaningful Roles). She published this year in Child Development and Developmental Psychology.
  5. Proud of Diego Palacios and Marianne Hooijsma, who both published two longitudinal social network papers.
  6. Together with Lienja van Eijkern and Roisin Downes, I contributed to a large project of the Ministry of Justice about domestic violence (led by Annemarie ten Boom).
  7. Proud that Gert Stulp and Anne Beaulieu made our new minor Data Wise: Data Science in Society immediately a success.
  8. Great paper by Loes van Rijsewijk in the Journal of Research on Adolescence, entitled ‘The interplay between adolescents’ friendships and the exchange of help: A longitudinal multiplex social network study.’
  9. Proud that Chaim la Roi and Ashwin Rambaran successfully defended their Ph.D. theses and are doing their postdoc in Stockholm and Ann Arbor.
  10. Great papers by Tessa Kaufman in Development and Psychopathology and the Journal of Research on Adolescence.

… as a sociologist in 2018

  1. Sociology Groningen is alive & kicking. The educational assessment went very well in 2018. In October we celebrated our 80th anniversary. Check here the (subtitled) movies and Dutch presentations.
  2. Proud of this Prevention Science article: WHY DOES A UNIVERSAL ANTI-BULLYING PROGRAM NOT HELP ALL CHILDREN? Results call for tailored strategies in interventions aiming to reduce victimization for more children.
  3. Gijs Huitsing received an NRO grant to develop and evaluate an anti-bullying program for secondary education. Annelies Kassenberg received a grant to investigate how parents and teachers can work together to tackle bullying.
  4. Proud of this article in the Journal of Child and Family Studies about the HEALTHY CONTEXT PARADOX. More depressive symptoms and less self-esteem for victims of bullying in a context where others are no longer bullied.
  5. KNOWLEDGE CLIP: Wonderful that a clear animation explains the findings of our NRO project about WHAT WORKS AGAINST BULLYING (unfortunately without English subtitles)
  6. Gerine Lodder wins the Science for Society Award and receives a VENI grant. Both highly deserved. Check her TEDx Groningen talk
  7. The ICS groups from Groningen and Amsterdam received an NRO grant to investigate how relationships with peers in primary education affect school choice, school performance and social integration in high school
  8. Proud that Loes van Rijsewijk and Mariola Gremmen successfully defended their Ph.D. theses, both using longitudinal social network analysis.
  9. Two TRAILS papers with Odilia Laceulle (Self-regulation, negative social interactions, & young adult psychopathology) and Tina Kretschmer (How competent are bullying perpetrators & victims in mastering normative developmental tasks?)
  10. My trip as visiting professor to Beijing Normal University, where I gave two lectures and a workshop on social network analysis. One student, Xingna Qin, is now working with me as Ph.D. student, with a grant from the Chinese Scholarship Council.

… as a sociologist in 2017

  1. NWO Gravitation Grant for SCOOP, an initiative by the University of Groningen (Strategic Theme Sustainable Society) and Utrecht University (Institutions for Open Societies), for the interdisciplinary study of sustainable cooperation.
  2. The ERC Research Starting Grant for Tina Kretschmer her project “Ghosts from the past: Consequences of Adolescent Peer Experiences across social contexts and generations.”
  3. The NWO VENI grant for Gijs Huitsing for his project entitled NETWORK INTERVENTIONS IN THE PEER CONTEXT.
  4. My paper with Tony Volk & Dorothy Espelage: SO YOU WANT TO STUDY BULLYING?, in which we do recommendations to enhance the validity, transparency, and compatibility of bullying research.
  5. Our free online course (in English and Dutch), a MOOC, helps adolescents learn to recognize, prevent, and deal with mental health problems.
  6. The TEDx Groningen talk by Gerine Lodder (postdoc at my NWO VICI project) about LONELINESS IN ADOLESCENCE: “Being able to feel lonely is good. Chronic loneliness is not good.”
  7. Two great papers on NETWORKS AND SCHOOL BEHAVIOR by Ashwin Rambaran (Academic functioning and peer influences) and Mariola Gremmen (First selection, then influence).
  8. Tessa Kaufman (Ph.D. student at my NWO VICI project) was selected as blogger at Faces of Science.
  9. The first WALM Newsletters of our research group (5 staff, 3 postdocs, 10 PhDs). Great to be with this group in Austin (SRCD), Stockholm (WABF), or Echten (Writing Week).
  10. New lectures about bullying at the Children’s University. This year in Leeuwarden and Amsterdam. Friesch Dagblad wrote an article about my lecture, entitled DE PEST AAN PESTEN.

… as a sociologist in 2016

  1. Lectures about bullying at the Children’s University for groups of 200 children.
  2. Chapter in Handbook of Peer Interactions, Relationships, and Groups with Jan Kornelis Dijkstra and Derek Kreager, entitled Pathways, networks, and norms: A sociological perspective on peer research.
  3. Ten thousand TRAILS citations & Tina Kretschmer becoming an assistant professor.
  4. Two KiVa dissertations: Rozemarijn van der Ploeg and Beau Oldenburg.
  5. Two SNARE dissertations: Kim Pattiselanno and Aart Franken.
  6. Campaign BEAU DENKT MEE in the Week against Bullying.
  7. Developed a course with Gerine Lodder and Gert Stulp for the Research Master.
  8. Article with Loes van Rijsewijk and Christian Steglich in Developmental Psychology: Who Helps Whom?
  9. Chapter in new handbook of Dutch and Flemish sociologists of education.
  10. Proud of colleague Ben Feringa (Nobel Prize for Chemistry) and, as former draughts player, of student Roel Boomstra (world champion draughts).

… as a sociologist in 2015

  1. Trots op verkrijgen van een VICI: 2 postdocs en 1 aio aangesteld. Nog 2 vacatures.
  2. Nominatie Huibregtsenprijs en deelname Avond Wetenschap en Maatschappij in Ridderzaal.
  3. Inbreng Freek Velthausz bij Antipestclub en Gijs Huitsing bij het Klokhuis.
  4. De mooie reeks zomercolleges NRC Next die ik mocht openen.
  5. Praktijkgericht artikel over betrekken ouders bij tegengaan pesten in HJK, De wereld van het jonge kind.
  6. Eerste SNARE artikel, in Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency.
  7. Kiva School werkt. Staatssecretaris Sander Dekker heeft het OnderwijsBewijs eindrapport aan de Tweede Kamer aangeboden.
  8. Samenwerking UU, VU, RU, RUG en Trimbos voor Wat werkt tegen pesten.
  9. Een nieuwe hoogleraar bij sociologie: Nardi Steverink.
  10. Twee kersverse promovendi: Britta Rüsschoff en Tinka Veldhuis.