PhD position, UvA

PhD candidate – Changing peer norms to improve self-regulation in youth

Research PResearch Priority Area Yield of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is looking for a PhD candidate for the project ’Changing peer norms to improve self-regulation in youth’. The project will start in September 2018 and will be supervised by prof. dr. Geertjan Overbeek, dr. Eddie Brummelman, dr. Helle Larsen and dr. Wouter van den Bos.riority Area (RPA)

Yield conducts multidisciplinary research on the bio-ecology of human development, from infancy to young adulthood, with perspectives from Medicine, Psychology, Pedagogics, Education, Communication, Economics, and Psychometrics. With its (NWO funded) Graduate Programme and its associated PhD training programmes, RPA Yield provides an attractive environment in which PhD students are trained in multidisciplinary research on human development.

The hired candidate will join the programme group of Preventive Youth Care (dept. of Child Development and Education), led by prof. dr. Overbeek and will also be part of the department of Developmental Psychology. The Departments of Child Development and Education and Developmental Psychology are located in in the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG).

Project description

Adolescence is a turbulent phase of development. Around the transition to adolescence, self-regulation failures such as aggression typically emerge or worsen. These self-regulation failures come at great cost for individuals, communities, and society at large. How can these failures be prevented so as to help youths thrive? This project examines whether self-regulation can be improved by addressing something that youths care deeply about: the social norms within their peer group. The aim is to conduct a randomized-controlled trial and follow-up experiments to investigate how changing social norms may affect self-regulation, and to examine how this may create effective behaviour change and improve mental and physical health in youths. Moreover, this project examines how specific changes in youths cascade into healthier peer networks (increased feelings of safety, less conflicts and bullying, and fewer signs of physical ill-health). The project combines insights from pedagogics, developmental psychology, and social psychology, and will shed new light on how we can help youths flourish.

Tasks

  • Participation in the PhD-programme of the Graduate School of Child Development and Education and RPA Yield;
  • independently carrying out research, writing scientific articles, and completing a PhD dissertation within four or five years;
  • active participation in the programme group of Preventive Youth Care, and the Research Institute of Child Development and Education;
  • participating in conferences, workshops, seminars, and other scholarly activities.

Requirements

The PhD candidate should have the following credentials:

  • graduated with excellent results on a research-based Research Master or Master thesis in (Ortho)Pedagogics, Psychology, or a closely related discipline;
  • interest in children and adolescents, and how we can use knowledge from psychology and pedagogics to help them flourish;
  • experience in carrying out quantitative research, and interest in learning social network analyses;
  • excellent communication and academic writing skills (Dutch and English);
  • excellent organization and project coordination skills;
  • experience/interest in working with teachers and schools and children and adolescents;
  • knowledge of/interest in peer relations development both in childhood and in adolescence;
  • knowledge of/interest in school-based peer interventions;
  • ability to work in an interdisciplinary team.

Further information

Deadline 25 June 2018.

See vacancy for more information.

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