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Youth Health Care

Youth health careThis research section aims to unravel the mechanisms that cause childhood health inequalities and to contribute to effective prevention.

To promote healthy growth and development
Healthy growth and development of babies, children and adolescents are essential to public health. Even in the Netherlands, the health of children varies along the lines of social and ethnic background. These differences show up in pregnancy and continue to be present during childhood, leaving their marks throughout life. At a national and international level our research section studies factors that might influence these inequalities, helps develop and implement prevention strategies and evaluates their effectiveness.

Some of our recent contributions

  • The effects of primary preventive intervention on overweight and obesity - In co-ordination with other institutes and care providers, we conducted randomised trials on the effects of primary prevention of overweight and obesity in preschool children and 5-year-olds.
  • Adolescents and MP3 players - We studied adolescents' MP3 listening behaviour and found that a significant number of adolescents are exposed to unsafe noise levels from MP3 players. Our study was a major contribution to the development of policies to prevent noise-induced hearing loss in young people.

Ongoing projects

  • Prevention of overweight and obesity
    We conduct nation-wide cluster-randomised trials to evaluate new strategies to promote healthy lifestyles and to prevent overweight and obesity in collaboration with other research centres.  Interventions include parenting support, training of professionals to apply motivational interviewing, combinations of E-health and face-to-face support of parents and children.
  • Social marketing to promote public health
    In the nation-wide consortium CIAO and together with the Municipality of Rotterdam and other cities  we implement and evaluate social marketing strategies to promote public health.
  • Early detection of and care for emotional and behavioural problems
    In large (randomised) longitudinal studies we evaluate whether validated questionnaires (such as the SDQ and the BITSEA) can be applied to support professionals and parents with regard to early detection and early and better care in case of emotional and behavioural problems in childhood.
  • New tools and strategies to promote health and better care among high-risk adolescents and young adults
    In cooperation with Centres for Youth and Families and secondary schools and secondary vocational education we develop preventive strategies for high-risk adolescents and young adults using risk selection, online tailored health education and social media. An important secondary outcome is school attendance and school success.
  • Pathways in early childhood that cause inequalities in childhood health
    Within the Generation R birth cohort study, in collaboration with other research groups, we describe the presence and development of inequalities in childhood health from pregnancy onwards with a focus on growth, emotional and behavioural development, and cardiovascular metabolic outcomes; we aim to identify causal pathways to inform preventive strategies.
  • Promotion of collaboration between policy, practice and research
    In regional ‘academic work places’ (CEPHIR; DWARS), and in two European consortia (RICHE; CHICOS) we study how collaboration between policy, practice and research can be improved to enhance the (societal) effectiveness of research and public health policies.