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Dr G. Overbeek (1975) has been appointed professor of Child Development at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

Prof Geertjan Overbeek
Photo: Jeroen Oerlemans

Geertjan Overbeek researches the role of parent-child interactions and interactions with peers in the social-emotional and behavioural development of children and adolescents. In this area, his work includes research into the effectiveness of (preventive) interventions, such as EQUIP (an intervention aimed at tackling law-breaking behaviour among young people) and the school prevention programme De Gezonde School en Genotmiddelen (The Healthy School and Stimulants). In 2011, Overbeek received a grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) for research into children’s genetically-based receptivity to the pedagogical behaviour of their parents, which he is conducting by means of a randomised trial in the ‘Incredible Years’ parent training programme.

As professor, one of Overbeek’s research goals will be to identify the type of child most affected by the pedagogical behaviour of parents. He will seek to determine the dispositional and genetic factors in children that lead to a heightened receptivity to reward and punishment signals in their upbringing. Furthermore, Overbeek will seek to establish whether receptive children (and their parents) have relatively much to gain from pedagogical interventions.

Geertjan Overbeek has worked as associate professor of Development Psychopathology at Utrecht University since 2010. He previously also held the position of assistant professor at Radboud University Nijmegen. Overbeek has received various research grants, including Veni and Vidi grants from the NWO.

Overbeek has published widely in academic journals, including Developmental Psychology, the Journal of Personality and Social Relationships, Psychological Science and the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. In 2011, he was voted Talented Young Professor of the Year at Utrecht University. Overbeek is a member of the executive board of the European Association for Research on Adolescence (EARA) and is involved in post-doctoral education for clinical psychologists and child and youth care workers.