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LHSC booster grants

The LHSC booster grants awarded are described below. The summaries below are aimed at the general public. For further detail, please contact the researchers in question.

Developing and testing an educational program to teach elementary-school children how to manage anxiety and stress in the classroom

The current project focuses on developing and pilot-testing a preventive school program for anxiety and stress in elementary-school children. The program will be developed in co-creation with a steering committee that includes teachers and elementary-school children, academic staff, representatives of the Knowledge Center Anxiety and Stress (Kenniscentrum Angst en Stress bij jeugd, KAS), and a policymaker in educational innovation from Leiden municipality. This intensive collaboration means that children can be provided with an evidence-based program tailored to their developmental needs. This project contributes to the LHSC’s mission because it promotes the well-being of children in collaboration with several elementary schools in Leiden municipality.   


Resilience through uncertainty tolerance

Our society is undergoing rapid change due to events such as the COVID-19 crisis, climate change, and recent wars. Such changes lead to uncertainty, which affects our daily lives and well-being. The present project is a collaboration between experts in the fields of psychology, education, and neuroscience, as well as teachers and young people. We want to understand what uncertainty tolerance is and how it can be measured, and at the same time to explore the impact of uncertainty on vulnerable groups, such as young people who are financially vulnerable. The start-up grant supports the research and a workshop. Our goal is to help young people in Leiden to cope better with uncertainty and become more resilient.


Appropriate self-help for parents of restless babies that cry a lot: evaluation of the Dutch information site Helpmijnbabyhuilt.nl

About 20% of newborn babies cry a lot and cannot be soothed. Effective support is essential for families with restless babies. In Leiden and the surrounding area, there is a great deal of attention for the quality of care for families with such babies. In this joint project, representatives of healthcare organizations (Alrijne, Cardea, Infant Mental Health Netherlands) and of Leiden University (Education and Child Studies, Psychology) will investigate whether the website Helpmijnbabyhuilt.nl is a useful addition to the existing care for families in Leiden with a restless baby that cries a lot. Specifically, the project will examine whether the site meets the needs of parents and healthcare professionals, and what further information or tools should be added.


Evaluation of the free Baby Vegetable Package by recipients from Leiden

From January 2024, Leiden residents can apply for the free Baby Vegetable Package. This allows them to prepare fresh vegetables for their baby for free for eight weeks. With the Baby Vegetable Package, Leiden municipality aims to contribute to healthy eating habits for its residents from their very first mouthfuls of solid food. In this project, Leiden Municipality, the foundation Stichting Baby Groente Tas, and Leiden University (Education and Child Studies, Psychology, LUMC Public Health) will collaborate to assess parents' experiences with the Baby Vegetable Package. In this way, the project will help inform the municipality's decision-making process about whether to continue this initiative.


Social networks, lifestyle choices, and student well-being: a network analysis of sustainability preferences, political orientation ,and well-being

Adolescents face important lifestyle choices in relation to sustainability. Their response to these choices may be shaped by their political orientation, and by relationships they form with other young people based on shared ideals. These same-age peers influence each other’s views, choices, and well-being over the years. Combining expertise from psychology, political science, and network science, our interdisciplinary project studies how social interactions among young people relate to their political background, well-being, and lifestyle choices regarding sustainability. Our project informs the university about how students can thrive academically while engaging with environmental issues that affect Leiden and the rest of the world.


Access to Palliative Care in Leiden

Good end-of-life care is crucial to the well-being of all citizens in a healthy city. How can we ensure that all Leiden residents have access to quality care in the final stage of life? In this project, we organize a roundtable discussion for professionals, citizens, and researchers on the topic of palliative care. We discuss how we could improve access to and information about palliative care, precisely for those residents who have difficulty accessing health services. We will do this together with Buzz Leiden, an organization for citizens' well-being, and the Propallia palliative care consortium. At the end of the project, we will create a poster to provide information about palliative care.


Exploring the nexus between Academic Institutions, Tobacco Policy, and Public Health Outcomes in the Netherlands

This project draws up a historical timeline of key events in relation to the tobacco industry, university and government policies on smoking, and the number of smokers and lung cancer patients in the Netherlands. We examine whether academic decisions, such as severing research ties with a given industry, have an influence on policy changes and public health. We combine history, statistics, psychology, and science studies. Like the tobacco industry, the fossil fuel industry too thwarts regulatory policies by spreading disinformation and influencing politics and public opinion. Our goal is to apply lessons from the past relating to the tobacco industry to the fossil fuel industry, with the ultimate aim of improving public health.


Playing to Young People's Strengths: Improving Digital Help for Stress and Social Anxiety

Our project addresses the growing problem of anxiety and stress among young people. We examine the effectiveness and user-friendliness of two digital interventions aimed at reducing the mental and physical impact of anxiety and stress in young people, and their motivation behind these interventions. Digital tools are readily accessible to young people and provide them with opportunities to learn more about their stress and anxiety symptoms in their own environment, in a low-key way. This interdisciplinary initiative, involving researchers in psychology and education and child studies, as well as secondary-school students and technology, opens up the discussion about young people's mental health and allows young people to provide input for digital interventions.


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