Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Research project

A good start: Early prevention of anti-social behavior


Kristiaan van der Heijden
Nationaal Initiatief Hersenen en Cognitie Nationaal Initiatief Hersenen en Cognitie

A child’s social, emotional and cognitive development is vulnerable to environmental factors. Early behavioural problems and more specifically early aggressive behaviour has a poor prognosis. To prevent social, emotional and cognitive problems later in development and to prevent long lasting and expensive treatment programme it is important to develop evidence-based treatment and preventive programme

A large body of research on the etiology of antisocial behaviour has focused on the role of environmental factors. A more recent area of research has focused on neurobiological and neurocognitive factors involved in the development of aggressive behaviour to help explain the emergence of aggressive and antisocial behaviour in children. However, most of this research involves children in which aggressive behaviour is already part of their behavioural repertoire. The focus of 'A good start' is on the first two years of life, when behavioural problems (i.e. aggressive behaviour) first appear in the child’s behavioural repertoire. The aim of this study is twofold:

  1. First, we aim to provide insight on the (neurobiological, neurocognitive and social factors) factors that form a risk for the early social, emotional and cognitive development.

  2. Second, we aim to evaluate the mechanisms that underlie the effectiveness of an intensive home-visiting programme (‘'A good start'’, based on Minding the Baby) for young first time mothers with a high risk profile.

This programme aims to prevent developmental and behavioural problems in young children. Similar programmes have led to positive effects for both mother and child. This study aims to provide insight in the mechanisms that underlie the effectivity of the programme and in the effects of the programme in the child on neurobiological and neurocognitive level. 

Een goed begin website (in Dutch).

This website uses cookies.  More information.