Supervision by René Veenstra

Jan Kornelis Dijkstra, PhD: Status and Affection among (Pre)adolescent Peers and their Relation with Antisocial and Prosocial Behavior
[Adam's Appel, October 2007]
[Kennislink: 'Puberstrijd om populariteit', October 2007]
[NRC Handelsblad: 'Wie we stom vinden en wie juist leuk is', October 2007]

Funding: ICS. Thesis defended: Groningen, October 22, 2007. 

Supervisors: Siegwart Lindenberg and René Veenstra (RUG).
Manuscript committee: Ernest Hodges (St Johns University, USA), Terrie E. Moffitt (King’s College London, UK), Sijmen A. Reijneveld (RUG), and Rafael Wittek (RUG).
Currently employed as Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Groningen.
Winner of a VENI grant for his project titled Belonging and Status in Peer Networks as Crucial Factors for Understanding Peer Influence Processes in the Realm of Adolescent Risk Behavior.

Miranda Sentse, PhD: Bridging Contexts: The Interplay between Family, Child, and Peers in Explaining Problem Behavior in Early Adolescence
[Press Release: 'Important role parents on problem behavior adolescent', March 2010]
[Kennislink: 'Probleemgedrag bij jongeren: een beetje karakter, vleugje vrienden en een scheut ouders', March 2010]

Funding: NWO. Thesis defended: Groningen, March 4, 2010 (cum laude). [Pictures of the defense]
Supervisors: Siegwart Lindenberg and René Veenstra (RUG).
Manuscript committee: John E. Bates (Indiana University, USA), Marcel van Aken (UU), and Melinda Mills (RUG).
Cum laude committee: Karen Bierman (Pennsylvania State University, USA) and Brett Laursen (Florida Atlantic University, USA).
Currently employed as Assistant Professor at the Department of Criminology, Leiden University.

Jelle Sijtsema, PhD: Adolescent Aggressive Behavior: Status and Stimulation Goals in Relation to the Peer Context
[Press Release: 'Aggressive boys in search of affection find problem friends instead', October 2010]
[OOG Radio: 'Agressieve jongens zoeken affectie maar krijgen probleemvrienden', October 2010]
[Trouw: 'Ook asociale jongens willen sociale vrienden', October 2010]

Funding: ICS. Thesis defended: Groningen, October 7, 2010 (cum laude). [Pictures of the defense]
Supervisors: Siegwart Lindenberg and René Veenstra (RUG).
Manuscript committee: Noel Card (University of Arizona, USA), Pol van Lier (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam), and Tom Snijders (Oxford University / RUG).  
Cum laude committee: Michel Boivin (Universite Laval Quebec, Canada) and Bruce Ellis (University of Arizona, USA).
Currently employed as Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Tilburg University.
Winner of ISSBD Young Scientist award 2014.

Tina Kretschmer, Postdoc 2011-2015
PhD, University of Sussex (UK), 2010, Supervisor: Alison Pike. 
Currently employed as Assistant Professor, Department of Pedagogy and Educational Sciences, University of Groningen.
Winner of a College for Life Sciences Fellowship at the Wissenschaftskolleg – Berlin Institute for Advanced Study 2015. Winner of a Teaching Excellence Fellowship at the University of Groningen 2015.
Winner of the ERC Starting Grant 2017 for her project titled Ghosts from the past: Consequences of Adolescent Peer Experiences across social contexts and generations.

Tobias Stark, PhD: Integration in School Classes: Students' Interpersonal Attitudes and Interpersonal Relationships
[Persbericht RUG: 'Gemengde scholen bevorderen integratie. Kabinetsbeleid eenzijdig', September 2011]
[OOG TV: 'Toch een positief effect gemengde schoolklassen', September 2011]
[Mens en Maatschappij: Boekbespreking, September 2012]

Funding: ISW. Thesis defended: Groningen, September 8, 2011 (cum laude). [Pictures of the defense]
Supervisors: Andreas Flache, Roel Bosker, and René Veenstra (RUG).
Manuscript committee: Daniel McFarland (Stanford University, USA), Maykel Verkuyten (UU), and Sabine Otten (RUG).
Cum laude committee: Ken Frank (Michigan State University, USA) and Frank Kalter (Universität Mannheim, Germany).
Currently employed as Assistant Professor at the European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations, Utrecht University.
Winner of a Marie Curie grant for his project titled Networks and Prejudice.
Winner of a Research Prize of
Praemium Erasmianum. Winner of the NSV Dissertation Prize for the best dissertation of 2011 and 2012.
Winner of a VENI grant for his project titled Interethnic Attitudes and Social Influence within Social Networks: Towards an Intervention Program for Ethnically Segregated Schools.

Katya Ivanova, PhD: From Parents to Partners: The Impact of Family on Romantic Relationships in Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood
[Press Release: 'Children with divorced parents date earlier', March 2012]
[Sociologie Magazine: Romantische relaties van adolescenten, , March 2012]
[Mens en Maatschappij: Boekbespreking, March 2013]

Funding: ICS. Thesis defended: Groningen, March 5, 2012. 
[Pictures of the defense]
Supervisors: Melinda Mills and René Veenstra (RUG).
Manuscript committee: Wendy Manning (Bowling Green State University, USA), Maja Dekovic (UU), and Siegwart Lindenberg (RUG).
Currently employed as Postdoc, Department of Sociology, University of Amsterdam.

Anke Munniksma, PhD: Crossing Ethnic Boundaries: Resistance to and Consequences of Adolescents’ Cross-Ethnic Peer Relations
[Persbericht RUG: 'Interetnische vriendschappen leiden tot beter beeld van andere etnische groepen en verhoogd welzijn', January 2013]
[Trouw: 'Veilig gevoel dankzij multiculturele vrienden', January 2013]
[Dagblad van het Noorden: 'Vriendjes oké, verkering even slikken', January 2013]

Funding: ICS. Thesis defended: Groningen, January 17, 2013.  [Pictures of the defense]
Supervisors: Andreas Flache (RUG), René Veenstra (RUG), and Maykel Verkuyten (UU).
Manuscript committee: Adam Rutland (Kent University, UK), Frank van Tubergen (UU), and Sabine Otten (RUG).
Currently employed as Postdoc, Department of Educational Sciences, University of Amsterdam.

Miia Sainio, PhD: Same- and Other-Sex Victimization: Risk Factors, Consequences, and Protection by Peers
Funding: Academy of Finland. Thesis defended: Turku, Finland, September 20, 2013. [Pictures of the defense]
Supervisors: Christina Salmivalli (University of Turku) and René Veenstra (RUG).
Manuscript committee: Philip Rodkin (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA) and Noel Card (University of Arizona, USA).
Currently employed as researcher at the University of Turku, Finland.  

Marina Verlinden, PhD: Population-based studies of bullying in young children
[Folder onderzoek naar vriendschappen en pesten op de basisschool]
[Demo computervragenlijst over vriendschappen en pesten op de basisschool]

Funding: NWO ZonMw (Brainpower). Thesis defended: Rotterdam, December, 2, 2014.  [Pictures of the defense]
Supervisors: Henning Tiemeier (EUR), René Veenstra (RUG), Pauline Jansen (EUR), and Frank Verhulst (EUR).
Manuscript committee: Louise Arseneault (King's College, University of London, UK), Johan Mackenbach (EUR), and Pearl Dykstra (EUR).
Currently employed as researcher at the World Health Organization, Ukraine.

Gijs Huitsing, PhD: A social network perspective on bullying
[Film en Onderwijs: KLASS, May 2009]
[Sociologie Magazine: Wie pest wie?, November 2009]
[BNR Nieuwsradio: Discussie over effectieve anti-pestprogramma's, January 2011]
[Metro: Gepest jongetje zes weken thuis, November 2011]
[de Volkskrant: Pesten houdt nooit op, April 2012]
[Debat op 2 (KRO/NCRV): Stop de pestkoppen, November 2012]
[Volkskrant: Bestseller van Slee had over Tim kunnen gaan, November 2012]
[Dagblad de Limburger: Maak van pesters gewoon losers, November 2012]
[School TV Weekjournaal - vanaf 19:46: KiVa op OJBS de Ommewending in Veendam, February 2013]
[Thema-avond BNN/KRO: Dag Tegen Pesten, February 2013]
[Sociologie Magazine: De waarde van wetenschap, March 2013]
[J/M Ouders: Pesten - Veel ouders merken niets, March 2013]
[RTL Nieuws: Scholen doen maar wat tegen pesten, April 2013]
[Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant: Met z'n allen tegen pesten, April 2013]
[Altijd wat (NCRV): Feit of Fictie: Heeft de anti-pestwet nut?, May 2013]
[Dagbladen De Persdienst: Pesten op basisschool gehalveerd met lesmethode uit Finland, October 2013]
[Lijn 1 - Radio 1: Congres Pesten in het Onderwijs (Bussum), October 2013]
[OOG TV: Anti-pestmethode KiVa slaat aan, October 2013]
[Editie NL: Finnen kunnen het wel: Pestkoppen aanpakken - op OBS de Sprenge in Vaassen, October 2013]
[NRC Handelsblad: Super voor tv, dat pesten op school, April 2014]
[KRO Magazine: Achter pesten schuilt een grote moeilijke wereld, April 2014]
[Mikrogids: Wat pesten met je doet, April 2014]
[Dagbladen De Persdienst: Pesten: wat werkt echt?, April 2014]
[Thema-uitzending BNN/KRO: Dag Tegen Pesten: Editie cyberpesten, April 2014]
[Dit is de dag - Radio 1: Pesten geeft status en aanzien, October 2014]
[Voorlichtingsfilm CMTC: voor scholen en artsen, November 2014]
[Press release RUG: A child can be bully, victim and defender within the same classroom, December 2014]
[RTV Noord: Interview: Pester vervult soms meerdere rollen, December 2014]
[Dagblad van het Noorden: Kind soms pester en slachtoffer tegelijk, December 2014]
[NRC Handelsblad: Wie wie pest in de klas verandert voordurend, December 2014]
[de Volkskrant: Pesten is groepsproces waarbij rollen wisselen, December 2014]
[Verus: Kind is pester, slachtoffer en verdediger tegelijk, December 2014]
[Kennislink: De dynamiek van het pesten, December 2014]
[Het Parool: Strijd tegen pesten is een mijnenveld, January 2015]
[Dagbladen De Persdienst: Reactie op Denker des Vaderlands (“pesten hoort bij opgroeien”), April 2015]
[SOAP: Interview, August 2015]
[Het Klokhuis: Serie over pesten, September 2015]
[De Telegraaf: Homo pesten blijft op school groot probleem, April 2016]
[NOS: Door het pesten ben ik soms achterdochtig, April 2016]
[Radio 3FM: Zo ga je de strijd tegen (cyber)pesten aan, January 2017]
[World Anti-Bullying Forum: Victimization and Defending in Early Childhood, May 2017]

Funding: NWO Toptalent 021.002.022. Thesis defended, December 4, 2014.  [Pictures of the defense]
Supervisors: Marijtje van Duijn, Tom Snijders, and René Veenstra (RUG).
Manuscript committee: Clemens Kroneberg (University of Cologne / MZES Mannheim, Germany), Toon Cillessen (Radboud University Nijmegen), and Siegwart Lindenberg (RUG).
Currently employed as Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Groningen.
Winner of a VENI grant in 2017 for his project titled Network Interventions in the Peer Context.

Tinka Veldhuis, PhD: Captivated by fear: An evaluation of terrorism detention policy
[RUG Press Release: Terrorist wing may lead to new security risks, April 2011]
NOS: [Terroristenafdeling Vught opgeheven, April 2011]
[OOG Forum: Terroristenafdeling Vught, April 2011]
[Contrast: 'Terroristenafdeling kan averechts werken', June 2011]
[PAUW: Over de Jihad-processen, December 2014]
[Radio 1 - Dit is de dag: Zet terroristen bij 'witte boord' criminelen, December 2014]
[Studium Generale: Lezing Mark Hamm en Tinka Veldhuis, March 2015]
[Press Release RUG: Little empirical evidence for recruitment in prisons: Terrorism detention policies should focus on re-integration, March 2015]
[NRC Handelsblad: Moet het regime echt zó streng voor jihadisten?, March 2015]
[Dagblad van het Noorden: Angst voedt haast in terroristenbeleid, March 2015]
[Sociologie Magazine: Gevangen door angst, June 2015]

Funding: ICS/Faculty. Thesis defended March 26, 2015.  [Pictures of the defense]
Supervisors: Siegwart Lindenberg, Ernestine Gordijn, and René Veenstra (RUG).
Manuscript committee: Arie Kruglanski (University of Maryland, USA), Mark Hamm (Indiana State University, USA), and Rafael Wittek (RUG).
Was assistant professor, Department of Criminology, Leiden University. Currently living in Wales and employed as researcher, doing research for Clingendael and ICCT.
Dissertation published as a book: Veldhuis, T.M. (2016).
Prisoner radicalization and terrorism detention policy institutionalized fear or evidence-based policy making?. Oxford: Routledge.

Britta Rüschoff, PhD: Peers in careers: Peer relationships at the transition from school to work

Funding: ICS. Thesis defended June 4, 2015. 
[Pictures of the defense]
Supervisors: Jan Kornelis Dijkstra, Siegwart Lindenberg, and René Veenstra (RUG).
Manuscript committee: Jari-Erik Nurmi (University of Jyväskylä, Finland), Marcel Van Aken (Utrecht University), Andreas Flache (RUG).

Kim Pattiselanno, PhD: At your own risk: The importance of group dynamics and peer processes in adolescent peer groups for adolescents’ involvement in risk behaviors
[Sociologie Magazine: Groepsdruk bij jongeren, March 2016]
[RUG Persbericht: Jongeren onderschatten hoeveel hun vrienden roken of drinken, March 2016]

Funding: NWO (Youth & Family). Thesis defended on March 10, 2016. [Pictures of the defense]
Supervisors: Jan Kornelis Dijkstra, Christian Steglich, René Veenstra (RUG), and Wilma Vollebergh (UU).
Manuscript committee: Wayne Osgood (Pennsylvania State University), Rutger Engels (Radboud University Nijmegen), Tom Snijders (RUG).
Currently employed as Lecturer, Stenden University of Applied Sciences, Leeuwarden.  

Rozemarijn van der Ploeg, PhD: Be a buddy, not a bully? Four studies on emotional and social processes related to bullying, defending, and victimization
[Kinderwijz: 'We zijn allemaal verantwoordelijk voor het stoppen van pesten', 2014]
[Dagblad van het Noorden: Pester wisselt van slachtoffer, April 2016]
[Schooljournaal: Zowel pesten als verdedigen kan leiden tot hogere status in de klas, May 2016]

Funding: Onderwijs Bewijs. Thesis defended on April 14, 2016. [Pictures of the defense]
Supervisors: René Veenstra, Christian Steglich (RUG), and Christina Salmivalli (University of Turku).
Manuscript committee: Anthony Volk (Brock University, Canada), Toon Cillessen (Radboud University Nijmegen), and Siegwart Lindenberg (RUG).
Currently employed as Postdoc, Department of Sociology, University of Groningen.

Gerine Lodder, Postdoc 2015-2019
PhD, Radboud University Nijmegen / University of Leuven (Belgium), 2016, Supervisors: Rutger Engels, Luc Goossens, Ron Scholte, and Maaike Verhagen. 
[Jacobine op Zondag: Is eenzaamheid je eigen schuld?, September 2016]
[World Anti-Bullying Forum: Classroom bullying norms and individual bullying, May 2017]
[TEDx Talk: What you don't know about adolescent loneliness, October 2017]

Beau Oldenburg, PhD: Bullying in Schools: The Role of Teachers and Classmates
[LBBO: 'Aantal gepeste leerlingen: leerkracht maakt het verschil', September 2014]
[LBBO: 'Het signaleren van pesten', September 2014]
[Reformatorisch Dagblad:"Neem elk signaal over pesten serieus, September 2016]
[RTL Nieuws: Leraren doen te weinig tegen pesten: 'Ze durven het niet te zien', September 2016]
[Week tegen Pesten: Beau denkt mee, September 2016]
[Unifocus: Leerkrachten mogelijk niet voldoende toegerust om pesten aan te pakken, September 2016]
[Algemeen Dagblad: Vraagtekens bij optimistische pestcijfers OCW, September 2016]
[Radio Noord: Groninger onderzoeker geeft tips aan leraren tegen pesten, September 2016]
[TV Noord:Beau Oldenburg bij Noord Vandaag: Week tegen pesten, September 2016]
[7Days: Gepest in de klas? Dan is de leraar verantwoordelijk, September 2016]
[Other media attention: Radio 1, Radio 3FM, Radio Texel, UVA, September 2016]
[Schooljournaal: Als je pesten niet kunt stoppen, betekent het niet dat jij je baan slecht doet’, October 2016]
[Persbericht NWO: Leerkracht op basisschool haalt pester en slachtoffer door elkaar, January 2017]
[RTL Nieuws: Leraren moeten pesten tegengaan? 'Ze hebben geen idee wie er gepest wordt', January 2017] [TV item]
[Dagblad van het Noorden: Leerkracht weet vaak niet wie wordt gepest, January 2017]
[Algemeen Dagblad: Klaagt leerling over pesters? Wuif het niet weg!, January 2017]
[de Volkskrant: Leraren herkennen pesten slecht ook na training en dat is zorgwekkend, January 2017]
[Radio Drenthe: Interview bij Cassata, January 2017]
[Radio 1:
Waarom niet alle leraren optreden tegen pesten, January 2017]
[OOG TV: Interview bij Stand van Stad, January 2017]
[Jeugdjournaal: Meesters en juffen gaan lang niet altijd goed met pesten om, January 2017]
[RTL Live: Leraren herkennen pesten slecht, January 2017]
[World Anti-Bullying Forum: Co-occurrence of defending, friendship, and dislike relationships, May 2017]
[Sociale Vraagstukken: Leerkrachten zijn nog onvoldoende toegerust om pesten te stoppen, August 2017]
[Sociale Vraagstukken: Die vervelende foto is nog lang terug te vinden, September 2017]

Funding: Onderwijs Bewijs. Thesis defended on January, 19, 2017. 
[Pictures of the defense]
Supervisors: René Veenstra and Marijtje van Duijn (RUG).
Manuscript committee: Wendy Troop-Gordon (North Dakota State University, USA), Beate Volker (University of Amsterdam), and Roel Bosker (RUG).
Currently employed as Postdoc, Department of Sociology, University of Groningen.


Loes van Rijsewijk, MSc: Antecedents and consequences of adolescents' prosocial relationships: Peer group dynamics at the individual, dyadic, network, and contextual level
Prosocial behavior entails voluntary behavior that benefits others or promotes harmonious relations with others. To date, research has concentrated mainly on prosocial behavior as an individual outcome. However, prosocial behavior is inextricably linked to embeddedness in social contexts encompassing social exchange, mutual dependencies, and cooperation among individuals. Thus, in order to understand antecedents and consequences of adolescents’ engagement in prosocial behavior, research should pay attention to prosocial relationships (“who is prosocial towards whom”). Second, although peers are key to adolescent development, their role in prosocial behavior has been largely overlooked. Given the scarcity of research on this subject, knowledge resulting from this project addresses a significant scientific gap. Integrating insights from sociology, psychology, education, and statistics, the results will concern a wider scientific audience. In this project, the influence of individual characteristics on involvement in prosocial behavior (who gives/receives help?) and (dis)similarity between prosocial partners (who helps whom?) is first investigated. Second, we examine the interrelatedness between prosocial relations, friendships, and antipathies to assess whether prosocial relations result in friendships; whether friendships lead to prosocial relations; and whether establishing prosocial relations reduces antipathies. Third, we examine classroom differences in whether prosocial exchanges are restricted to friends or extend also to other classmates. Finally, we examine influence processes in networks of prosocial relations and their consequences for behavioral adjustment. Together, these studies provide insights into initiation, development, and significance of adolescent prosocial relationships with peers.

Supervisors: René Veenstra, Jan Kornelis Dijkstra, Christian Steglich (RUG), and Richard Fabes (Arizona State University).
Funding: NWO (Research Talent Grant); Period: September 1, 2013 - February 28, 2018 


Ruta Savickaite, MSc: Peers and partners: A social network approach to adolescents’ peer and romantic relationships
Adolescent’ romantic relationships are embedded in the broader network of relationship with friends (peer context). Nevertheless, research on romantic relationships integrated with the study of peer relations is scarce. The goal of this project is to bridge this gap by investigating how peer relations shape romantic relationships, using a unique, innovative social network approach. This project investigates 1) the structure and development of adolescent’ romantic relationships; 2) the role of peer status in shaping romantic relations; 3) the influence of peers on the initiation of romantic relations and sexual behaviors; 4) the way peer relations affect (dis)continuation of romantic relations.

[SOAP Groningen: In gesprek met Ruta Savickaite]
Supervisors: Jan Kornelis Dijkstra, René Veenstra, Greetje Timmerman (RUG), and Derek Kreager (Pennsylvania State University).
Funding: NWO (Research Talent Grant); Period: September 1, 2013 - January 15, 2018 


Ashwin Rambaran, MSc: Teachers and classroom composition as context in social network processes and social development
This project aims to identify teacher and classroom characteristics that facilitate the development of academic achievement and prosocial behavior, and buffer against antisocial behavior. We will study: (a) the impact of stability in classroom composition (e.g., the impact of multi-grade classes in primary education) on social development and academic achievement (e.g., are students less often stable victims in such classes?); (b) the impact of teachers: to what extent do they strengthen normative goals of students who are then less likely to show antisocial behaviors and more likely to show prosocial behaviors (e.g., supporting potential victims).

Supervisors: René Veenstra, Jan Kornelis Dijkstra, and Marijtje van Duijn (RUG).
Funding: NWO (PROO); Period: September 1, 2013 - August 31, 2018  


Lydia Wijnen, MSc: Peer norms as context in social network processes and social development
What is considered normative in the classroom/school context might shape selection and influence processes among students with regards to academic achievement, antisocial and prosocial behavior. But who sets the norm? We will study: (a) the impact of descriptive norms (the scores of all peers in a setting) versus status norms (the scores of only popular peers in a setting) on selection and influence processes regarding academic achievement, antisocial and prosocial behavior; (b) to what extent these norms interact and explain the development of these three behaviors.

[Radio 3FM: Interview met Saskia & Olivier over vriendschappen, October 2017]
Supervisors: Wilma Vollebergh, Zeena Harakeh (UU), Jan Kornelis Dijkstra, and René Veenstra (RUG).
Funding: NWO (PROO); Period: September 15, 2013 - January 15, 2020  


Mariola Gremmen, MSc: Social network processes in academic achievement
There is huge variability in the extent to which adolescents maximize their academic performance. However, academic achievement is a key determinant of future occupational and educational success. This project aims to contribute to our understanding of the role of peers in students’ academic achievement, examining the conditions and directions of selection and influence processes in academic achievement. We will study: (a) the extent of selection and influence processes in academic achievement; (b) the direction of influence, that is, under what conditions do high performing students enhance academic achievement of low achieving peers or do low achieving students pull down high achieving students, and why?; (c) to what extent antisocial and prosocial behaviors hinder or facilitate students’ academic achievement. We will make use of longitudinal datasets in both primary schools (KiVa) and secondary schools (SNARE).

Supervisors: René Veenstra, Jan Kornelis Dijkstra, and Christian Steglich (RUG).
Funding: NWO (PROO); Period: September 1, 2014 - August 31, 2018  


Chaim la Roi, MSc: Towards an improved understanding of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) well-being and health: A lifecourse perspective.
Lesbians, gays and bisexuals (LGB) are exposed to minority stress, yet it is unclear how this stigmatization leads adverse health outcomes. This project compares the health and well-being of LGBs with that of heterosexuals, to understand which factors act as buffers or aggravators across different the life course stages. The mian focus will lie on the life course stage of adolescence, as this is a crucial period for sexual orientation development. Furthermore, the bulk of the current empirical evidence comes from the US. In this project, special attention will be given to the Dutch context , as the Netherlands is generally found to be one of the most progressive contexts with regard to the acceptance of non-heterosexual orientations.

Supervisors: René Veenstra, Jan Kornelis Dijkstra, and Tina Kretschmer (RUG).
Funding: NWO Graduate Program; Period: September 1, 2014 - August 31, 2018  


Marianne Hooijsma, MSc: Clashrooms: Interethnic Peer Relationships in Classrooms in the Philippines and the Netherlands
Peer relations in classrooms are partially formed along ethnic fault lines. Most research has been conducted in countries with relatively mild ethnic tensions. The question is to what extent ethnicity affects peer relationships in countries with prominent ethnic tensions. This project therefore examines the role of ethnicity in peer processes in classrooms in the Southern Philippines and the Netherlands, two culturally different contexts. In addition, interventions will be studied which might have the ability to cut across ethnic fault lines in classrooms. Findings from this project will enhance our fundamental and practical understanding of the role of ethnicity in classrooms.

Supervisors: René Veenstra, Jan Kornelis Dijkstra, Gijs Huitsing, and Andreas Flache (RUG).
Funding: PhD Fund GMW; Period: September 1, 2015 - August 31, 2019  


Tessa Kaufman, MSc: The Position of Chronic Victims and the Effectiveness of the Support Group in Reducing Bullying
Although anti-bullying interventions on primary schools (such as KiVa) are effective, some children are still bullied after implementation of the intervention. This project has three aims to reduce bullying for these chronic victims. The first aim is to find explanations why chronic victims remain victimized and how they can be helped. We will investigate whether victim’s individual and social adjustment can explain why some children are persistently bullied. The second aim is to examine whether a support group intervention is effective for chronic victims. A support group consists usually of 6-8 children, who are asked to provide practical support and improve the victim’s situation. The third aim is to develop an instrument that accurately measures the three key aspects victimization of bullying (goal-directedness, power imbalance, and harm). After developing and testing the instrument we will investigate the effectiveness of the support group using biweekly registrations over a period of six months.
[Faces of Science: Profiel]
[World Anti-Bullying Forum: Tackling Chronic Victimization with the Support Group and Bully-Targeted Approach, May 2017]
[Faces of Science: Uit je comfortzone op een congres, May 2017]
[Kennislink: Wat is pesten?, August 2017]
[Schooljournaal: Het monster van keer op keer: Subtiel pesten zorgt ook voor veel verdriet en frustratie, November 2017]
[Faces of Science: Schooluniformen: wondermiddel tegen pesten?, November 2017]

Supervisors: René Veenstra, Gijs Huitsing, Tina Kretschmer (RUG), and Christina Salmivalli (University of Turku).
Funding: NWO VICI Program; Period: September 1, 2015 - August 31, 2019  


Diego Palacios, MSc: The Co-evolution among Friendship, Prosocial, Aggression and Academic Networks in Adolescence
The social world in schools is organized in a variety of networks. Different relations such as friendship, collaboration, dislike and aggression connect students both within and outside schools. Previous research has studied the effects of friendship ties on prosocial, aggressive, prosocial and academic behavior separately, analyzing them mainly as individual characteristics instead of relational activities. Using social network analyses, this project examines the interrelationship between friendship and three significant types of networks in adolescence: aggression (Who starts fights?), prosociality (Who cooperates?), and academics (Who studies with whom?). The aim of this project is to study the coevolution of these networks by examining processes at actor (e.g., do prosocial students send more friendship ties?), dyadic (e.g., does cooperation lead to friendship?), and triadic level (e.g., do helpers of friends become friends?) both in school and out school contexts (e.g., extracurricular activities).

Supervisors: René Veenstra, Jan Kornelis Dijkstra, Mark Huisman (RUG), and Christian Berger (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile).
Funding: CONICYT; Period: September 1, 2016 - August 31, 2020  


Julia Fischmann, MSc: Meaningful Roles: Teaching Popular Bullies Acceptable Ways to Maintain Status
The school-wide anti-bullying program KiVa encourages peers to support victims and devalue bullying as a means of obtaining status. Its intervention efforts are focused on bystanders, for whom a change in behavior is not necessarily accompanied by a loss of important goals (most prominently status), as it would be for bullies. Thus, KiVa implicitly aims to increase the costs of bullying (peer interventions) while reducing its benefits (by discouraging peers from granting reputational benefits to bullies). However, a recent analysis suggests that KiVa is only effective against unpopular or average-popular bullies; high-popular bullies are resistant to peer efforts to alter social goals (benefits) or impose social sanctions (costs). This represents an important limitation of peer-initiated efforts, as peers appear to be unable to alter the behavior of the more powerful classmates. To improve intervention outcomes it is necessary to explicitly recognize the goal-directed nature of bullying and incorporate goal striving in the intervention, for example, by teaching or offering bullies prosocial alternative strategies for reaching status and affection goals. The ‘Meaningful Roles’ intervention aims to teach bullies socially acceptable ways to gain or maintain their status. It is an intervention that sets up meaningful roles for all children in a school and also provides positive reinforcements for performing the role through a system of using praise notes. The intervention is inspired by work on pupil responsibilities and school connectedness. The selection of children for various roles is guided by the children’s interests and needs. Bullies are specifically given roles that offer little opportunity to bully, are paired with socially competent children, and are part of a mutual system of peer praise for jobs well done. For that reason, it can be hypothesized that ‘Meaningful Roles’ allows bullies to acquire a prosocial basis for status achievement; build social competencies and adopt prosocial strategies; decrease bullying. If this proves to be correct, ‘Meaningful Roles’ will be the first intervention that is effective against high-popular bullies.

[World Anti-Bullying Forum: Meaningful Roles, May 2017]
Supervisors: René Veenstra, Jan Kornelis Dijkstra, Gerine Lodder (RUG), and Bruce Ellis (University of Arizona).
Funding: NWO VICI Program; Period: September 1, 2016 - August 31, 2020  


Danelien van Aalst, MSc: The Role of Teachers in Taking an Active Stance against Bullying
Teachers who actively stand for anti-bullying norms are the most effective in tackling bullying. If teachers do not feel that they are responsible for preventing bullying, anti-bullying initiatives are unlikely to be optimally successful. Teachers’ beliefs about the causes of bullying are likely to affect how they feel about the occurrence of bullying in their classrooms and whether or not they will intervene in bullying episodes among their students. In order to understand why children behave in problematic ways, teachers tend to make inferences about the causes of this behavior. In general, teachers may take two broad viewpoints with respect to children’s problematic behavior: they either attribute it to factors within the teachers’ control (internal causes) or to factors outside the teachers’ control (external causes). If teachers attribute bullying mostly to external causes — and thus believe that bullying is caused by factors that cannot easily be influenced by them — it is unlikely that they will intervene in bullying incidents. They are likely to believe that their intervention will not make a large difference, that they do not have much influence on bullying, and that handling bullying is not their responsibility. By contrast, teachers who ascribe bullying to internal factors are more likely to perceive the problem as remediable, feel greater responsibility, and are more committed to stop the bullying. It can be hypothesized that a coaching intervention will help teachers to recognize various forms of bullying; become more aware of their potential role as significant other (referring to an increase in teachers’ attribution of bullying to internal causes); become more capable in taking an active stance against bullying. If this proves to be correct, coaching teachers will probably reduce the level of bullying.

Supervisors: René Veenstra, Gijs Huitsing, and Beau Oldenburg (RUG).
Funding: NWO VICI Program; Period: September 1, 2016 - August 31, 2020  


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