Mesman, Prof. J. (Judi)

  • Full professor of Diversity in Parenting and Development
  • Scientific director of the Institute of Education and Child studies

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 3482
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 4B31
Telephone number: +31 (0)70 800 9972
Faculty / Department: Faculteit Governance and Global Affairs, Leiden University College The Hague, LUC Academic staff
Office Address: LUC Den Haag (AVB 301)
Anna van Buerenplein 301
2595 DG Den Haag
Room number 4.46
Personal Homepage:​​educationandchildstudies/​childandfamilystudies/​organisation/​mesman.jsp

  • Scientific director of the Institute of Education and Child Studies
  • Director Rommert Casimir Institute (2012-present)
  • Full professor of Diversity in Parenting and Development (2014-present)
  • Professor of Parenting and Education in the Multicultural Society - special chair (2009-2014)
  • Chair of the Centre for Child and Family Studies (2009-2012)
  • Associate professor (UHD), Centre for Child and Family Studies and Data Theory, Leiden University (2006-2014)
  • Assistant professor (UD), Centre for Child and Family Studies and Data Theory, Leiden University (2002-2006)
  • Lecturer: Department of Developmental Psychology, Leiden University (2001-2005)
  • Post-doc, Centre for Child and Family Studies and Data Theory, Leiden University (2001-2002)
  • Research associate: Netherlands Institute for Health Care Research (NIVEL), Utrecht (2000-2001)
  • PhD Social and Behavioural Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam (2000)
  • MA Psychology, Leiden University (1996)

Academic awards

  • NWO-ORA grant (2014). Grant for international collaborative research projects. (€250.000)
  • NORFACE migration studies grant (2009). European grant for the study of parenting and child development in Turkish migrant families in the Netherlands, Germany, and Norway (€850,000 for the Dutch site)
  • ERC Starting Grant laureate (2009). European grant for promising researchers who have the proven potential of becoming independent research leaders (€1.6 million)
  • NWO-VIDI laureate (2009). Grant for outstanding advanced postdoctoral researchers who are among the top 10-20% of their peer group.
  • NWO - VENI laureate (2004). Grant for outstanding young researchers who are among the top 10-20% of their peer group (€200.000)
  • Award for ‘Excellent teacher 2011' of the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Leiden
  • Award for 'Excellent teacher 2008' of the Department of Education and Child Studies, Leiden

Teaching activities

  • Bachelor course Developmental psychology
  • Bachelor course Observing parent-child interactions
  • (Research) Master course Family Process and Developmental psychopathology
  • (Under)graduate observation training: parental sensitivity, discipline, child aggression

Main research activities

My main research theme concerns the role of parent and child gender, culture, and socioeconomic factors in shaping parent-child interactions and child developmental pathways, with special emphasis on observational research on sensitive parenting. I am currently involved in the following research projects:

  • Sensitive parenting in cultural context (since 2014): A multi-faceted collaborative project with researchers who study different aspects of young children’s development in non-Western rural samples, and include observational data of caregiver-child interactions that will be coded for sensitive parenting.
  • Risky beginnings (since 2014): This study examines trajectories from maternal and paternal characteristics from before the birth of a child to the quality of parent-child interactions in early life in relation to child cognitive development in toddlerhood.
  • Magellan-Leiden Childcare Study (since 2014): The follow-up of a study on the effects of childcare quantity and quality on children’s cognitive and social development in Chilean children from ethnic majority and indigenous origins.
  • Food for thought (since 2013): A study on maternal cognitions about food and eating in relation to her parenting behaviors in general and feeding behaviors in particular as predictors of young children’s overweight, carried out in several countries to uncover cultural aspects of parenting in relation to food.
  • Hostile attributions and risk for harsh parenting (since 2012): A study on predictors of mothers’ and fathers’ hostile attribution and their relation with harsh parenting practices in a socioeconomically diverse sample.
  • Sensitivity beliefs and behaviors in Zambian mothers and grandmothers (since 2012): A project funded by the Lolle Nauta Foundation examining predictors and outcomes of maternal, grandmaternal, and sibling care in Zambia, conducted by two Zambian PhD students.
  • Risk and resilience shaping parenting in deprived mothers in Egypt (since 2012): This study aims to uncover predictors of variations in parenting quality of Egyptian mothers living on the streets or in slums.
  • Maternal beliefs about sensitivity and maltreatment across the globe (since 2011): In this project we collaborate with research teams from many countries across the globe to investigate differences and similarities in mothers’ beliefs about sensitive parenting and maltreatment in early childhood. Participating countries include, among others, Chile, China, Israel, Turkey, USA, and Zambia.
  • Boys will be boys (since 2010): The aim of this project is to shed light on the issue of early childhood gender-differentiated socialization and gender-specific susceptibility to parenting within families in relation to disruptive behaviour in boys and girls in the first four years of life(funded by an ERC Starting Grant).
  • SIMCUR (Since 2009): Social Integrration of Migrant Children: Uncovering Family and School Factors Promoting Resilience. The aim of the project is to uncover the processes underlying developmental resilience in children from Turkish migrant families during the transitions to primary and secondary education in three European countries: The Netherlands, Norway, and Germany (funded by a NORFACE grant).

Completed research projects:

  • Parenting intervention in deprived Portuguese families (2009-2013): In this study the effectiveness of the Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD) was tested in an RCT in Portugal among deprived families.
  • Parenting intervention in Turkish families (2008-2014): In this study a culture-sensitive adaptation of the Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD) has been developed and was tested in an RCT for effectiveness in Turkish families with toddlers at risk for externalizing problems (funded by ZonMw).
  • The physiology of harsh parenting (2006-2011): In this study, we looked for early indicators of harsh discipline in low SES families. We focused on home observations of maternal discipline behaviors and autonomous physiological responses to interactions with their own children and exposure to recorded crying sounds (funded by the Rommert Casimir Institute).
  • A tale of two theories (2004-2009): This study tested the development of early externalizing problems and the relative contribution of parenting mechanism proposed in Coercion theory and in Attachment theory to these problems (funded by an NWO-Veni grant).
  • Parenting Turkish toddlers (2004-2009): The purpose of this study was to investigate the incidence and development of toddler externalizing behavior problems in Turkish immigrant families, and their association with parenting practices.
  • SCRIPT (2001-2006): Screening and Intervention of Problems behaviors in Toddlerhood. This study tested the effictiveness of the Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD) aimed at reducing early childhood disruptive behaviour problems.

Selected publications

  • Hallers-Haalboom, E.T., Mesman, J ., Groeneveld, M.G., Endendijk, J.J., Van Berkel, S.R., Van der Pol, L.D., & Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J. (2014). Mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters: Parental sensitivity in families with two children. Journal of Family Psychology, 28, 138-147.
  • Mesman, J ., & Emmen, R.A.G. (2013). Mary Ainsworth's legacy: A systematic review of observational instruments measuring parental sensitivity. Attachment and Human Development, 15, 485-506.
  • Mesman, J., Oster, H., & Camras, L. (2012). Parental sensitivity to infant distress: What do discrete negative emotions have to do with it? Attachment and Human Development, 14, 337-348.
  • Joosen, K., Mesman, J. , Bakermans-Kranenburg, Van IJzendoorn, M.H. (2012). Maternal Sensitivity to Infants in Various Settings Predicts Harsh Discipline in Toddlerhood. Attachment and Human development, 14, 101-117.
  • Mesman, J. , Van IJzendoorn, M.H. & Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J. (2012). Unequal in opportunity, equal in process: Parental sensitivity promotes positive child development in ethnic minority families. Child Development Perspectives, 6, 239-250.
  • Mesman, J. (2010). Maternal responsiveness to infants: Comparing micro-level and macro-level maesurs. Attachment and Human Development, 12, 149-155. 
  • Mesman, J., Van IJzendoorn M.H., & Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J. (2009). The many faces of the Still-Face Paradigm: A review and meta-analysis. Developmental Review, 29, 120-162.  
For more publications please see the tab Published Work at the top of this page.  

Dissertations (PhD. projects)

  • Emmen, R.A.G. (2014): Positive parenting in ethnic minority families. (co)promotores: Prof.dr. J. Mesman, Prof.dr. M.H. van IJzendoorn, dr. M. Malda.
  • Yeniad, N. (2013): Self-regulation in ethnic minority children: Associations with academic performance and the transition to formal schooling. (co)promotores: Prof.dr. J. Mesman, Prof.dr. M.H. van IJzendoorn, Dr. M. Malda.
  • Pereira, M. (2013): Harsh parenting in high socioeconomically disadvantaged families: Family predictors and the effectiveness of an attachment-based intervention program. promotores: Prof.dr. I. Soares, Prof.dr. J. Mesman.
  • Negrao M. (2013): Mother-child interactions in the context of socioeconomic disadvantage: Predictors and the effectiveness of an attachment-based intervention program. promotores: Prof.dr. I. Soares, Prof.dr. J. Mesman.
  • Joosen, K.J. (2012): Harsh discipline in toddlerhood: A longitudinal study on maternal psychological and behavioral predictors. Promotores: Prof. dr. J. Mesman, Prof. dr. M.J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, Prof. dr. M.H. van IJzndoorn.
  • Yaman, A. (2009). Second-generation Turkish immigrant families in the Netherlands'. (co)promotores: Prof. dr. J. Mesman, Prof. dr. M.H. van IJzendoorn, & Prof. dr. M.J. Bakermans-Kranenburg.
  • Stolk, M.N. (2007). Parenting intervention and the caregiving environment: Cumulative risk and process evaluation. (co)promotores: Prof. dr M.H. van IJzendoorn, Dr J. Mesman, & Dr M.J. Bakermans-Kranenburg. 
  • Alink, L.R.A. (2006). Early childhood aggression. (co)promotores: Prof.dr F. Juffer, Prof. dr. H.M. Koot, Prof. dr M.H. van IJzendoorn, Dr J. Mesman, & Dr M.J. Bakermans-Kranenburg. 
  • Zeijl, J. van (2006). Externalizing problems in 1-to-3-year-old children. (co)promotores: Prof. dr M.H. van IJzendoorn, Prof.dr F. Juffer, Dr M.J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, & Dr J. Mesman.

Last Modified: 29-11-2016