Maroesjka van Nieuwenhuijzen graduated in General Linguistics and Developmental Psychology at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). She received her PhD in 2004 at the department of Special Education, Utrecht University. Her dissertation was titled ‘Social information processing in children with mild intellectual disabilities’. From 2005-2010 she was a post doctoral fellow and teacher-researcher at the department of Developmental Psychology, Utrecht University. From 2010-2017 she was an assistant professor at the department of Clinical Child and Family Studies, VU University Amsterdam. During these appointments, from 2009-2011, she was Professor of Applied sciences in Intellectual Disabilities and Youth Care at the Hogeschool Leiden. Since 2017 she has been a senior researcher and head of the researchteam at Expect Jeugd, Expertisecentrum Partners voor Jeugd. As a projectlead and o-promotor she has acquired an supervised many researchprojects, and she is experienced teacher in BA and MA level in the field of mild intellectual disabilities, parenting, youth care and youth protection, and research skills.
She is an expert in the field of risk- and protective factors for behaviour problems of youth with MID, specifically social information processing, parenting by parents with MID, effectiveness of behaviour interventions and diagnostic instruments in youth care, care for people with intellectual disabilities, and forensic care.
The special professorship Mild Intellectual Disabilities, Parenting, and Youth protection has been started by Partners voor Jeugd, a cooperation of organisations being active in the (preventive) youth protection and youth rehabilitation.
The focus is on youth and parentis with MID. Besides problems in learning and processing information, people with MID are at higher risk of health, psychological and financial problems, and traumatic experiences in their youth. Because of this complex problems parenting is a huge challenge for parents with MID, and these families unfortunately are relatively often involved in long and complex youth care and youth protection trajectories.
Professionals have the task to protect the child and at the same time to support the parent in raising their child. In order to identify the needs of families of parents with MID at an early stage, and timely provide the adequate help and support, the focus of the professorship is 1) risk and protective factors of problematic parenting and youth protection trajectories, 2) preventive support, as effective preventive interventions to support families of parents with MID integral and longlasting are lacking, and 3) the effects of youth protection measures. The effects of drastic measures, such as a family supervision order, and predictive factors of outcome of youth protection trajectories are still unknown.