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Veenstra, Prof. René

René Veenstra
René Veenstra


Bullying, adolescents, social behaviour, friendship

Curriculum Vitae

René Veenstra (1969) is professor in the Department of Sociology. He studied educational sciences and general pedagogy at the University of Groningen and gained his PhD for research into the differences in performance and progress among pupils in secondary education (Leerlingen - Klassen - Scholen). Since 2000, he has been studying the development of prosocial and antisocial behaviour, friendships, bullying and parent-child interactions. His work forms part of TRAILS (TRacking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey), a research project into the physical and mental health of children heading towards adulthood. He lectures on criminality and safety, and policy and interventions, and is attached as a researcher to the ICS research centre.

Veenstra is coordinating the introduction and evaluation of the KiVa anti-bullying programme into the Netherlands, within the framework of the Onderwijs Bewijs Actieprogramma II. In 2013, he chaired the committee investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Fleur Bloemen, a 15-year old school girl who it was claimed committed suicide because of being bullied. His publications have appeared in the journals Aggressive Behavior, Child Development, and Social Networks. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Research on Adolescence for the period 2010-2015.

In his inaugural lecture in 2013 he revealed that introducing the Finnish anti-bullying programme KiVa to the Netherlands has reduced complaints of bullying by over fifty percent. Veenstra has been actively involved in recent debates on bullying. In 2015 Veenstra was awarded a VICI Grant of 1,5 million by NWO to conduct research into interventions to minimize bullying. In July Veenstra has been nominated for the Huibregtsen Prize 2015 for his research project ‘Pesten als groepsproces’ (Bullying as a group process).


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Last modified:25 February 2019 2.17 p.m.
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