Universiteit Leiden

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Research programme

Self-regulation models

... which build on self-regulation and stress-regulation theories and considers the modification of cognitions as a mediator of therapeutic change.

Willem van der Does

This research programme has its emphasis on self-regulation and stress-regulation theories of health, disease and psychopathology.

Clinical psychology subprogramme

“Stress-regulation, cognition and psychopathology” aims to improve assessment, understanding and treatment of stress-related psychopathology. The focus is transdiagnostic, across anxiety disorders, mood disorders and somatoform disorders. The programme investigates how distant, recent and current stressors interact with cognitive pro­cesses (e.g., attention and memory), behavioural processes (approach and avoidance) and biological processes to produce psychopathology.

Research into this interaction is aimed at uncovering an underlying vulnerability for mental disorders. The approach is experimental and translational. Information processing is studied in individuals exposed to emotional challenges and environmental pressures with a strong research emphasis on the biological basis of these processes. In addition, the effectiveness and mechanisms of interventions derived from basic research are studied in controlled clinical trials with an emphasis on the modification of information processing.

Health psychology subprogramme

In “Self-regulation models for health and illness behavior”, Ford’s motivational systems theory (1992) is used as the main theoretical framework. The role of personal goals in the adoption of health behaviors and the adaptation to chronic disease is a central research focus.

The health psychology line of research aims to investigate the adoption of health enhancing and the avoidance of health-compromising beha­viours in healthy and diseased populations, including psycho-physiological measures. The primary aim is to develop empirical knowledge that will enhance the effectiveness of psychological interventions based on self-regulation.

Connection with other research

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