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Why are not all children equally responsive to variations in the social environment?

About this project:

Social competence and environment

Most children develop well and find their way into society without many problems, but not all children manage to do so. We know that this difference is related to a combination of the child’s disposition and the environment in which he or she is raised. We want to understand the role of brain development herein, how children’s chances for thriving are determined by their parents, and how we can better guide children’s development.

The Leiden Consortium on Individual Development (L-CID) is an ongoing large-scale longitudinal intervention study in which 500 families with same-sex twins are followed over a six year period. L-CID was initiated at Leiden University and is now a collaborative project between Erasmus University Rotterdam (PI: Eveline Crone), Leiden University (PI: Lara Wierenga) and VU University Amsterdam (PI: Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg).

L-CID has a cohort-sequential design with two cohorts: an early childhood cohort (ECC), aged 3-4 at wave 1, and a middle childhood cohort (MCC), aged 7-8 at wave 1. Annual assessments consist of alternating lab- or home visits during which behavioral and neurobiological data are collected. We are currently collecting data of the sixth wave of the ECC and the fifth wave of the MCC.

The collected data allows, among others, for testing which child characteristics shape the effect of (manipulated) environmental factors. The aim of L-CID is twofold:

  1. To investigate the development of social competence and behavioral control in children between 3 and 14 years old
  2. To dissect the reason why not all children are equally responsive to variations in the social environment.

Our Team:

Prof. dr. Eveline Crone (project leader)
Dr. Lara Wierenga, Dr. Mara van der Meulen (location Leiden University)
Dr. Michelle Achterberg, Dorien Huijser (location Erasmus University Rotterdam)
Simone Dobbelaar, Lina van Drunen (locations Erasmus University Rotterdam and Leiden University)


Our collaborators:

Our collaborators work at the section Clinical Child and Development Studies at VU University Amsterdam (Prof. dr. Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg, Jana Runze, Laura Kolijn). Prof. dr. Marinus van IJzendoorn is involved as scientific advisor (Cambridge University UK and Erasmus University Rotterdam).



L-CID is part of the National Consortium on Individual Development (CID) which is funded by a ‘Gravity’ grant of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

For more information on the national consortium see: www.individualdevelopment.nl.


Learn more about our research: