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prof. dr. E.J. (Erik) Knorth

Profielfoto van prof. dr. E.J. (Erik) Knorth
050 36 36322 (Secretariaat Orthopedagogiek)



Family care environment

o   Helping multiple risk families: An evaluation of contents and outcomes re the care and treatment programme ‘Tien voor Toekomst’ (TvT - Ten for the Future) (Tausendfreund, Knot-Dickscheit, Knorth, Grietens, Post): The research adresses the questions to what degree the intensive, home-based TvT-programme (a) succeeds in diminishing or making manageable the concerns and problems of multiple risk families, including enlarging their well-being, and (b) to detect the clients’, professionals’and organisational factors that underlie the outcomes. The study combines a quantitative ‘repeated measures’ design with a qualitative multiple case-study design.

Publication: Tausendfreund, T., Knot-Dickscheit, J., Knorth, E. J., Strijker, J., & Schulze, G. C. (2012). Familien in Multiproblemlagen: Hintergründe, Merkmale und Hilfeleistungen. Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Soziale Arbeit, 12(1), 33-50.

o   Managing and reducing stress in foster families with young foster children: Evaluation of the Pleegouder-Pleegkind Interventie (PPI) (Van Andel [Dimence], Grietens, Knorth, Post, Van der Gaag [Radboud University], Jansen [University of Amsterdam]): The PPI is a (preventive) intervention for foster carers of foster children aged 2 to 5. The aim is to train them in managing foster children’s stress (due to out-of-home placement and history prior to placement) and help them to anticipate to stress-related problem behaviour. PPI will be evaluated by means of a randomised controlled trial (RCT) design.

Publication: Van Andel, H. W. H., Grietens, H., Strijker, J., Van der Gaag, R. J., & Knorth, E. J. (2012). Searching for effective interventions for foster children under stress: A meta-analysis. Child and Family Social Work, 17, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2206.2012.00885.x.

o   Family-oriented treatment for children and adolescent with severe conduct disorders: outcomes and costs (University of Groningen: Knorth; University Medical Center Groningen: Jansen, Vermeulen, Buskens, Reijneveld; Utrecht University: Deković, et al.; Maastricht University: De Ruiter, et al.): The aim of this research is to evaluate the effectiveness of two family-oriented treatment approaches regarding children and adolescents with severe conduct disorders: Parent Management Training Oregon (PMTO) and Multisystem Therapy (MST). In both cases a RCT design is being applied. As an addition to evaluating the clinical treatment outcomes the Groningen research group (UMCG/RUG) is focused on the analysis of cost-effectiveness of both treatment approaches.

Publication: Asscher, J. J., Deković, M., Manders, W. A., Van der Laan, P. H., Prins, P. J. M., & Dutch MST Cost-Effectiveness Study Group (2012). A randomized controlled trial of the effectiveness of Multisystemic Therapy in the Netherlands: Post-treatment changes and moderator effects. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 8, doi: 10.1007/s11292-012-9165-9.

Residential care environment

o   Gezond Terug (GT): Family-psychiatric evaluation of the feasibility of family-reunification for young foster children (0-2 years) (Vischer, Grietens, Knorth, Post, Mulder [GGZ Drenthe]): The Centre on Treatment and Assessment of Parenting (CBBO) - part of the GGZ Drenthe (mental health care Drenthe) - is an in-patient service for multiple risk families with young children who temporarily have been placed in a foster family. The aim of the treatment programme is to stimulate and evaluate the parents’ competencies as ‘good enough’ caretakers and to test the feasibility of family reunification. The research focus in GT is the evaluation of the CBBO assessment and decision-making processes, including a follow-up of families after treatment termination.

Publication: Van de Loo, S. J. M., Mulder, H., Grietens, H., Knorth, E. J., & Strijker, J. (2010). Treatment and assessment of parenting capacities in a family psychiatric centre: context, working method, and research. In E. J. Knorth et al. (eds.), Inside Out. How interventions in child and family care work: an international source book (pp. 158-160). Antwerp: Garant Publishers. 

o   Back to basics: Improving the dynamics in secure residential treatment of antisocial adolescents (Harder, Knorth, Post, Boendermaker, Kunnen, Bes [Centre for Motivation & Change], Rollnick [Cardiff University]): An impeding factor for the attainment of long-lasting treatment results with behaviourally disturbed adolescents in secure residential care is their often limited, extrinsic motivation for behaviour change. From other domains, specifically the care and treatment of drug addicts, there is scientific evidence that the methodology of ‘motivational interviewing’ (MI, Miller & Rollnick, 2002) is capable to realize intrinsic motivation for behavioural change among clients. Our research, using a RCT-design, aims to investigate the effects of a MI-training for residential workers: What is the effect of the training regarding the interaction between adolescents and workers, and the motivation for behaviour change among the adolescents? Does it contribute to behavioural change?

Publication: Harder, A. T., Knorth, E. J., & Kalverboer, M. E. (2012). A secure base? The adolescent-staff relationship in secure residential youth care. Child and Family Social Work, 17, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2206.2012.00846.x.

o   Why should they listen to us? Participation of young people with serious behaviour disorders in decisions regarding their future perspectives (Ten Brummelaar, Harder, Kalverboer, Knorth, Post, Kilkelly [University College Cork]): The research aim is to gain insight in the room for participation in decision-making regarding the future perspectives of young people who have been placed in secure residential care. Factors which impact this space will be studied as well as the consequences all of this might have for the well-being of these young people in care. Following on a survey with an internationally validated questionnaire (Kilkelly, 2010) in a sizeable group of youngsters and their mentors, we will explore the possibilities to strengthen their participation by inserting an instrument, called the BIC-S (Best Interest of the Child questionnaire – Selfreport version), in the decision-making procedure. The BIC-S offers young people a structured opportunity to evaluate the pros and cons in their actual and anticipated (desirable) living situation.

Publication: Kalverboer, M. E., Ten Brummelaar, M. D. C., Post, W. J., Zijlstra, A. E., Harder, A. T., & Knorth, E. J. (2011). The Best Interest of the Child-Questionnaire, reliability and validity: Preliminary data on the question 'where to live after detention or secure treatment?' Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 21, doi: 10.1002/cbm.825.  

Family and extra-family care environment

o   C4Youth (Collaborative Centre on Care for Children and Youth with behavioural and emotional problems) is a collaboration of the University of Groningen (Dept of Special Needs Education and Youth Care: Knorth, Evenboer, Huyghen, Metselaar, Post), the University Medical Center Groningen (Dept of Health Sciences: Reijneveld, Jager, Nanninga, De Winter, Jansen, Tuinstra, Noordik, Van Eijk, Hoekstra), care organisations and policy agencies. A large group of children (4-18 yrs) and their parents (N > 1.500) will be followed during three years on their pathways through care in the northern part of the Netherlands, next to a control group of children not in care (N > 750). This longitudinal study, named Take Care, is aimed at answering the following research questions: How and why do children enter care? What care and treatment do the children and their caretakers/parents receive? How do those involved experience the communication between children, caretakers and professionals? What are the outcomes of care and treatment? Looking for successful care trajectories we will study significant associations between the children’s and parental problems, the care received, the communication in care, and the outcomes.

Publication: Knorth, E. J., Reijneveld, S. A., Van Eijk, L. M., Noordik, F. W., & Tuinstra, J. (2011). De sociaal-emotionele ontwikkeling van drieduizend kinderen in en buiten de zorg op de voet gevolgd [Sticking closely to the social-emotional development of three thousand children inside and outside care]. Kind en Adolescent Praktijk, 10(4), 192-194.

Van Eijk, L. M., Verhage, V., Noordik, F. W., Reijneveld, S. A., & Knorth, E. J. (2013). TakeCare Provincie Groningen. Een onderzoek naar kenmerken van jeugdigen en hun ouders in relatie tot de geboden zorg [TakeCare Province Groningen. An empirical study on characteristics of children and their parents related to the care and treatment supplied]. Groningen: Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen / Rijksuniversiteit Groningen ( 

o   Children’s satisfaction with child and youth care services: Development and application of the SMILEY 9-12 Questionnaire (Huyghen, Metselaar, Knorth, Post, Von Rudnay [Cardea Jeugdzorg]): In this study, realised in cooperation with the child and youth care organisation Cardea (Leiden) and other care organisations, a client satisfaction questionnaire - named SMILEY 9-12 - is investigated regarding its psychometric properties. Based on data of N > 600 children in care (9-12 yrs) satisfaction outcomes will be related to client and care characteristics to better understand relevant parameters.

Publication: Huyghen, A. M. N., Von Rudnay, I. L., Metselaar, J., & Knorth, E. J. (2010). Assessing children's satisfaction with child and youth care: the SMILEY 9-12 Questionnaire. In E. J. Knorth et al. (eds.), Inside Out. How interventions in child and family care work: an international source book (pp. 205-207). Antwerp: Garant Publishers.


o   International decision-making study on out-of-home placement and child abuse (Knorth, Koopmans, López, Van Yperen, Witteman [Radboud University], Benbenishty, Davidson-Arad [Bar-Ilan University], Del Valle [University of Oviedo], Fluke [University of Denver], and others) is an international comparative research project aimed at discovering significant factors which influence decisionmaking of child protection workers in case of (suspected) child abuse. By means of a vignette-study in seven countries on the European continent some 2.500 professionals and trainees in child protection are being questioned on their risk assessment, attitudes, intervention preferences and arguments considering a case of (suspected) child abuse. In addition, our Department will take up a more profound study into the contents and ways of reasoning by professionals in child protection, applying the ecological framework of decisionmaking (Baumann, Fluke, et al., 2011).

Publication: Knorth, E. J., & Koopmans, A. C. (2012). Minder kinderen uithuis geplaatst? [Less children placed out-of-home?]. Kind en Adolescent, 33(1), 45-48.

o   Best Interest of the Child (BIC): Research on conditions of care and upbringing re asylum-seeking children and young persons (Kalverboer, Zevulun, Zijlstra, Knorth, Post, Beltman): The Best Interest of the Child (BIC-) model is a theoretical frame in which provisions in the UN Declaration on Children’s Rights have been linked to essential conditions of care and upbringing of children. Based on this model a questionnaire – the BIC-Q – has been developed that enables professionals in child protection and youth care to make assessments of a child’s actual and expected rearing situation. Main psychometric qualities of the instrument have been confirmed in a sample of asylum-seeking children which enables us to apply the BIC-Q in newly started projects. Two lines of research are ahead: 1. Quick BIC-assessments are being made in newly arrived asylum-seeking children (and their families) in the Netherlands to measure the pros en cons in their actual and anticipated living situation and to explore how this information might be used in judicial decision-making procedures concerning a stay in the host country; 2. BIC-assessments will be made in former asylum-seeking children who have been sent back to their home countries, aiming to investigate how they are doing including the environmental conditions they have to cope with, and to see if their development and well-being can be predicted by personal and environmental factors before, during and after their return.

Publication: Kalverboer, M. E., Zijlstra, A. E., & Knorth, E. J. (2009). The developmental consequences for asylum-seeking children living with the prospect for five years or more of enforced return to their home country. European Journal of Migration and Law, 11(1), 41-67.


o   Patterns and trends in scientific research on child and youth care in Europe and North-America: 1990 - present (Knorth, Koopmans, López, Anglin, Brand [University of Victoria, CA]):The research is embedded in an international cooperation of the Universities of Groningen and Victoria (Canada). Based on contents analysis of abstract books and proceedings of main international scientific conferences in the domain of child and youth care (i.e., EUSARF and ICYCC Conferences), the study addresses the questions what kind of research (topic, methodology, geographical area, discipline, etc.) since 1990 has been reported on in Europe and North-America, and what patterns and trends become visible as a mirror of varying societal contexts and concerns.

Publication: Knorth, E. J., Koopmans, A. C., Buijs-Van Nieuwenhuizen, M., Folkerts, L. M., Harder, A. T., Smit, M., & Tausendfreund, T. (2010). Two decades of research on child and family welfare in Europe and beyond. In E. J. Knorth, et al. (eds.), Inside Out. How interventions in child and family care work: an international source book (pp. 35-38). Antwerp: Garant Publishers.


Laatst gewijzigd:14 december 2023 10:30