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Personal Information

I am an Associate Professor in Sociology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. I obtained a bachelor’s and research master’s in Sociology (with honours) and received a PhD in Sociology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2013. Since 2019, I am the research manager of the Department of Sociology’s research program “Participation in Society” (PARIS) and since 2017 the head of the social functioning group of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA). I also served 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).



My research focuses on the impact of large scale societal change, including individualization, digitalization, and welfare state policy change, on loneliness, social networks and isolation, and long-term care use. In my work I aim to integrate sociological theories on societal change (e.g. institutions, cultural preferences), individual or dyadic level theories on social relationships and loneliness, and psychological and health science perspectives. My work has been published in a wide range of journals in the field of sociology, psychology, gerontology 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. My 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 I 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 I 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. For much of my work, I employ data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA), a longitudinal and cohort-sequential study with almost 30 years of information on the physical, cognitive, social and emotional functioning of Dutch older adults. Currently, I am also involved in a project looking at socio-economic status inequalities in care use (IN-CARE), financed by NWO within the ORA scheme, and a multidisciplinary project on understanding the impact of societal and social network influences on blood donor behaviour (https://www.donor-research.org). I also am involved in creating and modifying interventions to counter loneliness and enhance social integration based on scientific evidence, such as the Friendship Enrichment Program based at the VU.


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Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Academic qualification

Sociology, PhD, Societal dynamics and Older Adults' social functioning, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Award Date: 11 Oct 2013

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

1 Sept 200731 Aug 2009

Award Date: 31 Aug 2009

Bachelor Sociaal-Culturele Wetenschappen (cum laude), Bachelor, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

1 Sept 200431 Aug 2007

Award Date: 31 Aug 2007


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