For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Plenary presentations FMG Research (13.30-14.30)

Faculty Conference 'Health, Behaviour & Society', 18 May, 2019

Economie en Bedrijfskunde, bachelor, master, EP

Caring For Amsterdam

By Anita Hardon

Anita Hardon will presents key insights from ongoing ethnographic studies in Amsterdam, which examine how people confront contemporary health challenges and seek pleasure in their every-day lives. Using a generational perspective, she will outline the techniques that people use, and the values and affordances that shape them. How do aging population confront frailty? How do youth avoid harm from recreational drug use? How is obesity confronted across generations? And how does the city co-produce and amplify successful care?

Hand holding a family cut out of paper

When mummy and daddy get under your skin. A new look at how parenting affects children’s stress reactivity and disruptive behavior

By Geertjan Overbeek

Child maltreatment is a widespread, global phenomenon that affects the lives of millions of children. In children who experience chronic maltreatment or highly dysfunctional parenting, stress reactivity is significantly upregulated towards hyperarousal, vigilance, and alertness. This upregulation reflects a physiological survival response that is extremely harmful in the long run―increasing children’s disruptive behavior and jeopardizing their further development.

In the NWO Vici funded JEOPARDY project, Geertjan Overbeek and his team hypothesize that it is possible to 'flip the methylation switch' that leads to heightened stress reactivity and disruptive behavior. Improved parenting with known-effective parenting interventions can lead to improved stress reactivity that diminishes disruptive behavior in at-risk children and to positive health consequences in the long run.

Overbeek and team will collect data from more than 1000 Amsterdam-based parents and their children, who are currently being enrolled in the Sarphati project, in which they collaborate together with the municipal health services (GGD). This project has the potential to transform developmental and intervention science, showing how experimentally enriched parenting gets under children’s skin―leading to changes in gene expression in children, that improve not only their stress reactivity and disruptive behavior but perhaps also that of their offspring.

Online health information on tablet

Communication technologies for patients and providers: Hell or heaven?

By Julia van Weert

New technologies, such as mobile applications or vitual reality, have the potential to improve the health and well-being of (chronic) patients, while concurrently improving the quality and efficiency of health care. Despite the potential to support patients and healthcare providers, many technologies are insufficiently adapted to patients’ needs and abilities, and not effectively integrated in face-to-face patient-provider communication.

Julia van Weert will discuss the opportunities and challenges of communication technologies in health care and give examples of interventions they developed and evaluated for patients (e.g., a mode-tailored website to support patients’ consultation preparation)  and providers (e.g.,  an interactive, computer-simulated  virtual patient-based eLearning to train providers’ communication skills).


Changing automatically activated cognitive processes in Addiction

By Reinout Wiers

Alcohol Use Disorders (AUDs) are typically treated with psychosocial treatments and/or medication. However, there is a third category of interventions to consider: varieties of Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM). Reinout Wiers will review the current state of affairs. CBM has shown to increase one-year abstinence in several large clinical trials, with effect sizes similar to medication for alcohol (NNT=12). It is also becoming clear for which individuals CBM shows most promise as an add-on treatment (those with a strong cue-reactivity and/or impulsivity), and we are beginning to understand the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying training effects (e.g., reduced cue-reactivity). 

Profile pages

prof. dr. A.P. (Anita) Hardon

Social Sciences (Medical Anthropology)

prof. dr. G.J. (Geertjan) Overbeek

Child Development & Education

Prof. J.C.M. (Julia) van Weert

Communication science

prof. dr. W.G.J. (Jan Willem) Duyvendak


prof. dr. R.W.H.J. (Reinout) Wiers


Overview conference programme

Go to conference homepage