Esther Mertens obtained her master degrees in the research master ‘Development and Socialization in Childhood and Adolescence’ and the clinical master ‘Clinical Child and Family Studies’ (with honors) at Utrecht University. She received the thesis award of the ‘Dutch association of pedagogics and education experts’ (NVO) for her thesis on heterogeneity in response to Multisystemic Therapy. After the masters, Mertens obtained a PhD at Utrecht University focusing on the effectiveness and components of universal school-based interventions.
- 2021-present: Postdoctoral researcher, Clinical Neurodevelopmental Sciences, Leiden University
- 2020-2021: Postdoctoral researcher, Clinical Child and Family Studies, Utrecht University
- 2016-2020: PhD candidate, Clinical Child and Family Studies, Utrecht University
- 2014-2016: Master Clinical Child and Family Studies, Utrecht University
- 2013-2015: Master Development and Socialization in Childhood and Adolescence, Utrecht University
Her research interests focus on practice-based research. She is particularly interested in intervention development, intervention components, and factors related to differential responses to intervention. In her analyses, she aims to combine a person-centered approach, such as latent growth models, with a variable-focused approach.
Currently, Mertens is working as a postdoc on the FutureU project of the ERC Consolidator project of Prof. Dr. Van Gelder. She is involved in the development of an intervention using Virtual Reality and a smartphone app, and setting up an RCT.