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Personal profile

Personal information

Personal Information

I am an Associate Professor in Sociology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. I have a bachelor’s in 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. I am currently the research manager of the Department of Sociology’s research program “Participation in Society” (PARIS). I also serve 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).



In my research, I am interested in 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 my work I aim to integrate sociological theories on societal changes to individual or dyadic level theories on social relationships. My work has been published in a wide range of journals in the field of gerontology, sociology and demography, 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. At the current moment, I am 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 my work, I use 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 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. I am the group head of the LASA Social theme group since 2017.



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


Ancillary activities

No ancillary activities

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

Research Output 2009 2019

Open Access
old age
retirement age
Social Role

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
Open Access
Social Support
social support
Aging of materials
Longitudinal Studies

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