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Personal information

Personal Information

Bianca Suanet is an Associate Professor in Sociology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She has a bachelor’s and research master’s in Sociology (with honours/cum laude, obtained in 2007 and 2009 respectively) and received a PhD in Sociology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2013. She is currently the research manager of the Department of Sociology’s research program “Participation in Society” (PARIS). She also serves as a board member of the Dutch Gerontological Society NVG-KNOWS and the Journal for the Social Sciences Mens en Maatschappij published by the Amsterdam University Press (AUP).



Suanet's research focuses on the impact of large scale societal changes such as individualization, digitalization, and welfare state changes, on the structures, functions (e.g. social support and care) and consequences (e.g. loneliness and well-being) of social relationships and social networks. In her work she aims to integrate sociological theories on societal changes and individual or dyadic level theories on social relationships. Her work has been published in a wide range of journals in the field of gerontology, sociology, psychology and health sciences, including: Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, Journal of Marriage and Family, Psychology & Aging, Ageing & Society, European Journal of Ageing, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and Journal of Aging & Health. Her PhD dissertation entitled “Societal dynamics and older adults social functioning” received the Prof. Dr. Schreuder Prize for the best dissertation in gerontology from the Dutch Gerontological Society in 2015. From 2015 to 2019 Bianca worked on a research project funded through a VENI grant of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO): “Informal networks and care in a participation society: changes, mechanisms and consequences”. In this project she studied which people are particularly vulnerable in contemporary society in terms of their social networks, social support and informal and formal care use by employing cohort comparative designs. At the current moment, she is involved in a project looking at socio-economic status inequalities in care use (IN-CARE), financed by NWO within the ORA scheme. For much of her work, Bianca uses data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA), a longitudinal and cohort-sequential study with over 30 years of information on the physical, cognitive, social and emotional functioning of Dutch older adults. LASA involves a long-standing cooperation of researchers from various disciplines such as epidemiology, psychology, psychiatry, health sciences and sociology (https://www.lasa-vu.nl) and is based in both the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Amsterdam University Medical Center, location VU Medical Center. She is the group head of the LASA Social theme group since 2017.



In the academic year 2019-2020 Bianca teaches the courses “Sociological Research 1 and 2” (together with Lisa Sipma, MSc.), and teaches several lectures within the Social Sciences for Society course “Networks 1” (together with dr. Christine Moser and several other colleagues). She is also a mentor of the second-year bachelor Sociology students (together with dr. Mariska van der Horst).


Ancillary activities

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Ancillary activities are updated daily

Education/Academic qualification

Master in Social Research, track Sociology (cum laude), Master, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

1 Sep 200731 Aug 2009

Bachelor Sociologie (cum laude), Bachelor, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

1 Sep 200431 Aug 2007

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  • 4 Similar Profiles
Longitudinal Studies Medicine & Life Sciences
Netherlands Social Sciences
Social Support Medicine & Life Sciences
Patient Care Medicine & Life Sciences
Loneliness Medicine & Life Sciences
Home Care Services Medicine & Life Sciences
home care Social Sciences
Regression Analysis Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2009 2020

Cohort difference in age-related trajectories in network size in old age: are networks expanding?

Suanet, B. & Huxhold, O., 2020, In : Journals of Gerontology. Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. 75, 1, p. 137-147

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
old age
retirement age
Social Role

Loneliness declines across birth cohorts: The impact of mastery and self-efficacy

Suanet, B. & van Tilburg, T. G., Dec 2019, In : Psychology and Aging. 34, 8, p. 1134-1143

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Self Efficacy
Cohort Effect
Multilevel Analysis

Cohort differences in received social support in later life: The role of network type

Suanet, B. & Antonucci, T. C., 2017, In : Journals of Gerontology. Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. 72, 4, p. 706-715

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Who is in the stepfamily? Change in stepparents’ family boundaries between 1992-2009

Suanet, B., van der Pas, S. & van Tilburg, T. G., 2013, In : Journal of Marriage and Family. 75, p. 1070-1083 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

National Council
life situation
social network
Open Access
Multilevel Analysis
Health Resources
Longitudinal Studies
Regression Analysis

Activities 2015 2018

Wie zorgt er voor de mantelzorger?

Bianca Suanet (Participant), Marjolein Broese Van Groenou (Participant)
4 Oct 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventWorkshopSocietal

Editorial Board Member Mens & Maatschappij

B.A. Suanet (Participant)
2015 → …

Activity: Other



Prof. dr. Schreuder Dissertation Prize

Bianca Suanet (Recipient), 2015


Van der Gaag Grant

Bianca Suanet (Recipient), 2015