I am an assistant professor at the research group Forensic Child & Youth Care of the University of Amsterdam, which serves as a home for scholarship devoted to studying serious developmental problems in children, adolescents, and young adults that warrant judicial interference because of severe externalizing problems (e.g., juvenile delinquency) or severe family problems that pose a threat to a juvenile's safety (e.g., child abuse).
My clinically driven and broad research examines the nature of serious developmental problems and is strongly directed towards improving clinical practice. I study risk factors and their impact across negative developmental outcomes, I develop and validate risk and needs assessment instruments as well as other measures, and I am committed to determining and improving the effectiveness of interventions delivered by professionals in (forensic) clinical practice. Most of my work on the latter is based on meta-analytic techniques in which I have substantial expertise and have shared in a tutorial on three-level meta-analysis (Assink & Wibbelink, 2016) and a recent accompanying paper (Assink & Wibbelink, 2023).
Another line of my research investigates health disparities experienced by sexual minority persons. I am particularly interested in how intraminority stress is experienced by LGBT+ persons, and how this unique type of stress contributes to health disparities of LGBT+ populations over and above stressors that are related to their sexual orientation and come from the heterosexual majority.
I have published 65+ scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Clinical Psychology Review, Child Abuse & Neglect, Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, and Psychological Bulletin. I regularly share knowledge in professional articles for clinical practitioners and policy makers in the Netherlands, and have (co-)authored 20+ professional publications. I have also served as a member of multiple supervisory committees for research projects commissioned by the research department (WODC) of the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security.
A full list of publications can be found on my Google Scholar profile. Some key publications:
In 2021, I was elected into the Works Council of the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences for a three-year term and I serve as a board member of the council since 2023. From 2018 to 2021, I was a member of the Programme Committee of the Child Development and Education department.
The knowledge we have on explaining and predicting behavior and psychological symptoms is only as good as our ability to assess psychological constructs. I am interested in scale development and validation, and (co-)developed several measures:
PI = Principle Investigator;
CI = Co-Investigator.
I co-supervised the following PhD projects:
I am actively involved in teaching, and specifically in the master's programme Forensic Child and Youth Care and the bachelor's programme Child Development and Education.
I coordinate and lecture the Methods and Statistics course in our Master's programme, and also serve as a practical supervisor in this course. I have supervised 60+ Master thesis projects and 30+ Bachelor thesis projects, and I yearly take on new students to supervise in research projects on a broad range of topics.
On both bachelor and master level, I lecture on topics such as research designs, risk assessment, the prevention of child abuse, the Risk, Need, and Responsivity model and applications of this model in clinical practice, and sexual violence.