Research Interests & Collaborations

Currently, my main research topic is the study of mental health resilience and well-being. Resilience can be described as the process of positive adaptation following exposure to adversity. Adverse experiences are strongly associated with the development of mental health problems. Therefore, one aim of my PhD research is to study how we best can define and measure adversity. Moreover, I believe that it is crucial that the various interrelated factors that increase resilience and well-being, such as high self-esteem and low rumination, are examined and understood. Accordingly, the main aim of my PhD research is to investigate the mechanisms through which protective factors operate and prevent mental health problems. Shedding light on how protective factors operate can inform translational research aiming to promote mental health and may thus eventually improve intervention efforts for individuals with and without exposure to adversity. To this end I use cross-sectional and longitudinal data, spanning adolescence and young adulthood, and apply network psychometrics, structural equation models, machine learning techniques, as well as moderation and mediation analyses.

Generally, I am also interested in researching anxiety, (complicated) grief, as well as trauma and stress-related disorders. More specifically, I am interested in identifying factors that help explain the development and maintenance of those conditions. Moreover, I am passionate about psychotherapy research, particularly if it has a transdiagnostic and/or strength-based focus. Along those lines, I am always keen to learn new statistical methods that can help us to better model and eventually better understand the complex nature of mental health problems, their prevention and their treatment.

Key words: protective factors, childhood adversity, psychopathology, mental health, well-being, network analysis, psychological/epidemiological methods


To achieve the above aims, I work(ed) together with:


  • Dr. Paul Wilkinson, MD (PhD)
  • Dr. Jan Stochl (PhD)
  • Dr. Anne-Laura van Harmelen (PhD & MSc)
  • Professor Ian Goodyer, MD (PhD & MSc)
  • Professor Bernet Elzinga (MSc)


  • Professor Raffael Kalisch
  • Dr. Eiko Fried
  • Dr. Rogier Kievit
  • Dr. Claudia van Borkulo
  • Dr. Philip Jefferies
  • Helen Caisley, MBBChir
  • Anne de Graaff, MSc
  • Katja Schueler, MSc
  • Pascal Schlechter, MPhil (former MPhil student)