The development of social behavior in childhood has a lasting effect on the life course in multiple domains, such as friendships, relationships, school, work, offending, and mental health. Development of disruptive behavior problems entails mayor harm and costs for children, their environments, and society.
Our group(s) study how behavior problems develop and how they can be prevented or treated. Key to our approach is understanding and changing the mechanisms that maintain behavior problems, such as social information processing, family interaction patterns, and peer social networks.
This approach does not only incease our understanding of social development, but directly contributes to more effective (preventive) interventions that are increasingly used by children, parents, teachers, and clinicians, with lasting benefits.
Current key projects include a.o.
- YourSkills: CBT treatment of aggressive behavior propblems with Virtual Reality (NWO VICI), with a.o. CleVR, Altrecht, Bascule, GGZ Delfland, Opvoedpoli, RioZorg, Triversum
- ExtrAct: Effective elements in the treatment of externalizing behavior problems (ZonMW) ism a.o. Bascule, Intermetzo, NJI, PI Research, 's Heerenloo, UU, Viersprong
- IY: Parent training in neigborhood settings (ZonMW) with a.o. Gemeente Utrecht, Lokalis
- Better Start: Preventive parent training for incarcerated mothers (Min v Justitie & Veiligheid)
- What Does Effectively Reduce Bullying? (NRO) ism o.a. RUG, RUN, UU, VU
Recent key publications:
De Castro, B.O. & Van Dijk, A. (2017). “It’s Gonna End Up with a Fight Anyway”: Social Cognitive Processes in Children with Disruptive Behavior Disorders. In J.E. Lochman & W. Matthys (Eds). The Wiley Handbook of Disruptive and Impulse-Control Disorders, ch 15. Wiley: New York.
Gardner, F., Leijten, P., Harris, V., Mann, J., Hutchings, J., Beecham, J., … Landau, S. (2019). Equity effects of parenting interventions for child conduct problems: a pan-European individual participant data meta-analysis. The Lancet Psychiatry, 6(6), 518–527. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(19)30162-2
Van Dijk, A., Poorthuis, A. M. G., Thomaes, S., & de Castro, B. O. (2018). Does Parent-Child Discussion of Peer Provocations Reduce Young Children’s Hostile Attributional Bias? Child Development, 89(5), 1908–1920. http://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13087
Verhoef, R. E. J., Alsem, S. C., Verhulp, E., & Castro, B. O. De. (2019). Hostile Intent Attribution and Aggressive Behavior in Children Revisited : A Meta-Analysis, Child Development, 1–23. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13255
See also publication list & open access at