Personal profile

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Victor van der Geest is associate professor in Criminology at VU Amsterdam. He is a graduate in developmental psychology, and in 2011 he received his PhD (with honours) for a dissertation on the criminal careers and employment pathways of formerly institutionalized youths.

His current research focuses on developmental features of the criminal career, the link between work and crime, life-course explanations of white-collar crime, and the working lives of organized crime offenders. He is one of the principal investigators who initiated the 17Up Project, a longitudinal study on the life-course outcomes of formerly institutionalized youth. Het is also one of the principal investigators who initiated the IN-CARE Project in 2021, a longitudinal study on vulnerable parenthood in formerly institutionalized youth.

Victor conducts research in the programme Empirical and normative studies, coordinates the Criminology research track programme, and chairs the European working group for developmental and life-course criminology. He has experience in using quantitative research methods (e.g. group-based trajectory modeling and fixed-effects models), conducting semi-structured interviews, and analyzing population-based microdata (CBS).

Victor's research has shown that high frequency offenders, who seem more entrenched in a deviant lifestyle, benefit less from regular employment, and the effect of incarceration (over and above selection) on employment differs between groups. More recently, he also started to develop an interest in white-collar criminology and organized crime, and he used his insights from life-course criminology to explain specific types of work-related criminal behavior.

His studies appeared in criminological journals (Criminology, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Crime and Delinquency) and he is co-editor of the International Handbook of Life-course Criminology.


  • Statistiek II (Statistics II)
  • Methoden en Technieken van Onderzoek in de Criminologie (Research Methodology for Criminology)
  • Voortgezette Methoden voor Criminologisch Onderzoek (Analysis Techniques for non-Experimetal Data)
  • Academic Skills
  • Master theses

Ancillary activities

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Ancillary activities are updated daily


The intergenerational transmission of vulnerable parenting (IN-CARE)

Together with several consortium partners, and NSCR researcher Veroni Eichelsheim, Victor van der Geest is principal investigator of the Intergenerational Continuity of Adversity and Resilience (IN-CARE) project. During this four-year study, they study the causes and consequences of vulnerable (young) parenting. The project is funded by ZonMw.

The IN-CARE Project focuses on the possible consequences of vulnerable parenting for parent and child. A group of parents is followed who have been treated in the closed youth care in their youth. The researchers follow parents and children over the years and even involve several generations.

The aim is that, upon completion of the research, there will be more knowledge about the underlying mechanisms and intergenerational transmission of frail parenting. This knowledge is translated into aid practice and the training of future professionals, so that interventions can be developed to break this cycle.


Perpetrators of environmental crime

Together with researchers Joost van Onna (Functioneel Parket, OM) and Jessica Hill, Victor van der Geest (PI) analyses longitudinal patterns of criminal or rule-violating behavior and background profiles of perpetrators of environmental crime. The sample consists of a cohort of environmental criminals who were prosecuted in serious environmental cases between 2012-2020. Based on crime trajectory analysis, a distinction is made between groups of environmental criminals that show a comparable development. Subsequently, it is examined which background characteristics are associated with these developments. The project is funded by CCV.

Academic qualification

Criminology, PhD, Working their way into adulthood, VU Rechten Faculteit

Award Date: 18 May 2011

Developmental Psychology, Master, Risk factors in institutionalized youths, Universiteit Leiden

Award Date: 1 Feb 2005


  • BF Psychology
  • Life-course criminology
  • Perpetrators of environmental crime
  • Vulnerable parenthood


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