PhD defence Sabine Veldkamp
Childhood individual development: risk and protective factors in twin and population cohorts
On Wednesday 18 September 2019 Sabine Veldkamp (VU, WP3) defends her PhD dissertation. Within the overarching question ‘What makes some children vulnerable to developmental difficulties and others resilient?’, Sabine aimed to expand our knowledge about bullying in primary school and influences of parental age.
For bullying, Sabine found general risk factors (i.e. being a boy) as well as general protective factors (i.e. classroom sharing for girl-girl twins). Sabine also considered the close bond between twins as a model for the protective effects of ‘close companionships’. Even after accounting for these general factors, large individual differences remained that were mainly due to genetic differences between children.
For parental age, offspring of older parents tend to have fewer behavioural- and neurodevelopmental problems and higher cognitive functioning. This effect was mostly due to parental socioeconomic status (SES). This underlines that parental characteristics can influence multiple aspects of child development.
List of CID PhD dissertations: