Universiteit Leiden

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Lenneke Alink

Professor Forensic Family Studies

Prof.dr. L.R.A. Alink
+31 71 527 3432

Academic Career

  • Scientific director of the Institute of Education and Child Studies, Leiden University (2018 - present)
  • Full professor of Forensic Family Studies, Forensic Family and Youth Care Studies, Leiden University (2014 – present)
  • Professor of Prevention and Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect - Jan Brouwer chair, VU University Amsterdam (2012-present)
  • Associate Professor (UHD), Forensic Family and Youth Care Studies, Leiden University (2012-2014)
  • Assistant professor (UD), Forensic Family and Youth Care Studies, Leiden University (2006-2012)
  • Postdoctoral fellow, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota (2006-2008)
  • PhD. Social Sciences, Leiden University. Doctoral thesis: Early childhood aggression. Supervisors: Prof. dr. F. Juffer, Prof. dr. J.M. Koot, Prof. dr. M.H. van IJzendoorn (2006)
  • MA. Developmental Psychology, Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Leiden University (2002)
  • Educational assistant at Leiden University, Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology (2000-2003)

See Dutch profile Lenneke Alink

Academic awards

  • Winner of the 2019 Ammodo science award, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)
  • Member of  De Jonge Akademie (The Young Academy) of the  Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen; KNAW(Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) (2015-2020)
  • VIDI laureate. Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) (2014)
  • Member of the  Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen (Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities) (since 2012)
  • Casimir Award 2014 (best teacher of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Leiden University)
  • Award for 'Excellent teacher 2009-2010’ of the Department of Education and Child Studies, Leiden
  • Rubicon laureate. Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) (2006)

Teaching activities

  • Child abuse and neglect across the life span: A multidisciplinary approach (2009-present)
  • Child abuse and neglect: Neurobiological consequences and interventions (2009-present)

  • Forensic family studies and psychology of perpetrators and witnesses (2012-2014)
  • Introduction to developmental psychology (2004-2011, except 2006, 2007)
  • Neurobiological backgrounds of parenting and education (2005-2010, except 2007)
  • Research practice (2010)
  • Family studies (2006)
  • Student research participation
  • Bachelor theses
  • Master theses
  • PhD theses
  • Initiator of the minor “Child abuse and neglect: A life course perspective” (start: 2012)
  • Development of Master’s program “Forensic Child and Family Studies” (start: 2014) 

Main research activities

With our research team Forensic family Studies we investigate the prevalence, predictors, and consequences of problematic family situations and child maltreatment, using a multidisciplinary approach, focusing on neurobiological factors as well as socio-economic and family processes. We explore risk factors for and processes that lead to maltreatment. In one of our research projects we specifically focus on stress regulation as a process underlying child maltreatment. In addition, we investigate the short- and long-term consequences of child maltreatment on brain development and behavior and study the mechanisms of these effects. One of the most striking consequences is the increased risk for maltreating their own children. Therefore, a central focus of our research is to unravel the process of intergenerational transmission of maltreatment.

Current research projects

  • Effectively intervening in traumatized parents and children after structural domestic violence
  • Stress and parenting
  • Child maltreatment and antisocial behavior
  • Effects of natural disaster exposure on parenting and child development in Chile
  • Resilience after childhood parental death
  • Changing chaos: the causal role of household chaos in child maltreatment
  • Intergenerational transmission of maltreatment
  • Effectiveness of an intervention- based diagnostic instrument for assessing parenting potential in child protection cases
  • Effectiveness of a parenting intervention in foster families
  • Neurobiological risk factors for child abuse and neglect

Professor Forensic Family Studies

  • Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
  • Instituut Pedagogische Wetenschappen
  • Forensische gezinsped. en Jeugdhulpverl.

Work address

Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 4B45



  • ZonMw Lid progammacommissie onderzoeksprogramma Geweld hoort nergens thuis
  • Raad voor de Kinderbescherming Lid Wetenschappelijke Adviesraad
  • Stress-NL Lid adviesraad Sress-NL
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