Alink, Prof. L.R.A. (Lenneke)

  • Full professor of Forensic Family Studies

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 3432
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen, Instituut Pedagogische Wetenschappen, Algemene en Gezinspedagogiek
Office Address: Pieter de la Court gebouw
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 4B45
Personal Homepage:​educationandchildstudies/​childandfamilystudies/​organisation/​alink.jsp

  • Full professor of Forensic Family Studies, Centre for Child and Family Studies, Leiden University (2014 – present)
  • Professor of Prevention and Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect - Jan Brouwer chair, VU University Amsterdam (2012-present)
  • Associate Professor (UHD), Centre for Child and Family Studies, Leiden University (2012-2014)
  • Assistant professor (UD), Centre for Child and Family Studies, Leiden University (2006-2012)
  • Postdoctoral fellow, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota (2006-2008)
  • PhD. Social Sciences, Leiden University. Doctoral thesis: Early childhood aggression. Supervisors: Prof. dr. F. Juffer, Prof. dr. J.M. Koot, Prof. dr. M.H. van IJzendoorn (2006)
  • MA. Developmental Psychology, Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Leiden University (2002)
  • Educational assistant at Leiden University, Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology (2000-2003)

Academic awards

  • Member of De Jonge Akademie (The Young Academy) of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen; KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) (starting 2015)
  • VIDI laureate. Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) (2014)
  • Member of the Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen (Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities) (since 2012)
  • Award for 'Excellent teacher 2009-2010’ of the Department of Education and Child Studies, Leiden
  • Rubicon laureate. Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) (2006)

Teaching activities

  • Child abuse and neglect across the life span: A multidisciplinary approach (2009-present)
  • Child abuse and neglect: Neurobiological consequences and interventions (2009-present)
  • Forensic family studies and psychology of perpetrators and witnesses (2012-2014)
  • Introduction to developmental psychology (2004-2011, except 2006, 2007)
  • Neurobiological backgrounds of parenting and education (2005-2010, except 2007)
  • Research practice (2010)
  • Family studies (2006)
  • Student research participation
  • Bachelor theses
  • Master theses
  • PhD theses
  • Initiator of the minor “Child abuse and neglect: A life course perspective” (start: 2012)
  • Development of Master’s program “Forensic Child and Family Studies” (start: 2014)

Main research activities

In the research cluster Child maltreatment we investigate the prevalence, predictors, and consequences of child maltreatment, using a multidisciplinary approach, focusing on neurobiological factors as well as socio-economic and family processes. We have performed two National Prevalence studies of Maltreatment of youth (NPM-2005 and 2010). The most recent NPM showed that in the Netherlands about 119.000 children have been victims of maltreatment in 2010.
We also study differences between maltreating and nonmaltreating parents to explore risk factors for and processes that lead to maltreatment. In one of our research projects we specifically focus on stress regulation as a process underlying child maltreatment. In addition, we investigate the short- and long-term consequences of child maltreatment on brain development and behavior and study the mechanisms of these effects. One of the most striking consequences is the increased risk for maltreating their own children. Therefore, a central focus of this research cluster is to unravel the process of intergenerational transmission of abuse. We do this in a multigenerational family study in which we focus on individuals who do and ones who do not break the cycle of abuse and neglect. The knowledge that we gain with the different studies in this research cluster is used to design and test the effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing the risk of child maltreatment.

Current research projects:

  • Changing chaos: the causal role of household chaos in child maltreatment
  • Intergenerational transmission of maltreatment.
  • Effectiveness of an intervention- based diagnostic instrument for assessing parenting potential in child protection cases.
  • Effectiveness of a parenting intervention in foster families.
  • Prevalence, risk factors and consequences of child maltreatment in Vietnam.
  • Naughty or clumsy? Predictors and parenting outcomes of maternal hostile attributions of child behavior.
  • Young mothers in deprived circumstances in Egypt.
  • The long-term sequelae of child sexual abuse.
  • Neurobiological risk factors for child abuse and neglect.
  • The full scope of oxytocinergic influences on the parental brain: Maternal defensiveness and grandparent-child interactions
  • Roots of social cognition: Attachment security and social-cognitive information processing in infancy

Selected Publications

  • Riem, M.M.E., Alink, L.R.A., Out, D., Van IJzendoorn, M.H., & Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J. (in press). Beating the brain about abuse: Empirical and meta-analytic studies of the association between maltreatment and hippocampal volume across childhood and adolescence. Development and Psychopathology.
  • Stoltenborgh, M., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., Alink, L. R. A., & Van IJzendoorn, M. H. (2014). The prevalence of child maltreatment across the globe: Review of a series of meta-analyses. Child Abuse Review. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/car.2353
  • Reijman, S., Alink, L.R.A., Compier-de Block, L.H.C.G., Werner, C.D., Maras, A., Rijnberk, C., Van IJzendoorn, M.H., & Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J. (2014). Salivary α-amylase  reactivity to infant crying in maltreating mothers. Child Psychiatry & Human Development. doi:10.1007/s10578-014-0499-6
  • Compier-de Block, L.H.C.G., Alink, L.R.A., Reijman, S., Werner, C.D., Maras, A., Rijnberk, C., Van IJzendoorn, M.H., & Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J. (2014). Handgrip force of maltreating mothers in reaction to infant signals. Child Abuse & Neglect.
  • Alink, L.R.A., Euser, S., Van IJzendoorn, M.H., & Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J. (2013). Is elevated risk of child maltreatment in immigrant families associated with socio-economic status? Evidence from three sources. International Journal of Psychology, 48, 117-127.
  • Euser, S., Alink, L.R.A., Pannebakker, F., Vogels, T., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J., Van IJzendoorn, M.H. (2013). The prevalence of child maltreatment in the Netherlands across a 5-year period. Child Abuse & Neglect, 37, 841-851.   
  • Alink, L.R.A., Cicchetti, D., Kim, J., & Rogosch, F.A. (2012). Longitudinal associations among child maltreatment, social functioning, and cortisol regulation. Developmental Psychology, 48, 224-236. doi: 10.1037/a0024892
  • Alink, L.R.A., Cicchetti, D., Kim, J., & Rogosch, F.A. (2009). Mediating and moderating processes in the relation between maltreatment and psychopathology: Mother-child relationship quality and emotion regulation. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37, 831-843.
For more publications please see the tab Published Work at the top of this page

Last Modified: 09-02-2016