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dr. E.S. (Saskia) Kunnen

Universitair Hoofddocent

 Elske Saskia Kunnen

 telephone work: +31 50 3636330

email work: e.s.kunnen

position: associate professor

 Topics of research

Development of identity in adolescents and young adults.

Application of dynamic systems techniques and models in process studies into socio-emotional development (motivation, identity, meaning making), career choice problems,

career choice development, and several other topics.

 Actual research projects

Three studies  into the relation between micro- and meso- time experiences and long term development of career choice commitments in emerging adults with career choice problems, in psychology interns, and in first year nurses. Longitudinal studies into identity development.


Master coordinator Developmental Psychology, Coordination of the course Interventions in individual development.

Coordination of and teaching in several developmental psychology bachelor-, master- and researchmaster-courses, Supervisor of internships and master theses.


CURRICULUM VITAE              


                   Associate Professor (UHD) at the Dept of Developmental Psychology of the University Groningen.


                   Associate professor (UD) at the Dept. of Clinical and Developmental Psychology of the University of Groningen.


                   Associate professor (UD) at the Dept. of Developmental Psychology, Utrecht University. Coach and co-promotor of M. Klein Wassink.


                   Post doc Researcher, by a grant from: Stichting Kinderpostzegels Nederland) at the Dept. of

                   Developmental and Experimental Clinical Psychology, University of Groningen.

  1. Dissertation: Mastering with a handicap. Promotor Prof. Dr. P.L.C. van Geert.


                   Researcher : PhD research at the Dept. of  Developmental Psychology University of Groningen.


                   Assistant-researcher. Topic: motor development and test construction.

1986           Graduation Developmental psychology University of Groningen



International activities

Board member of EARA European Association of Research on Adolescence 2012 -2020

Secretary/ Board member of the VNOP Vereniging Nederlandse Ontwikkelings Psychologen 2012 - 2018

Board member of the SRIF Society for Research on Identity Formation 2013 – 2017

Assistant editor  of “Identity”. 2015-2019


PhD projects: student plus year of defense

Mirjam Klein Wassink 1999

Anna Lichtwarck-Aschoff 2008

Marieke Visser 2011

Naomi de Ruiter 2015

Mattia Ropollo 2015

Jeany Slijper-van Beelen 2017

Mandy van der Gaag 2017

Yvonne ten Hoeve 2018

At this moment two PhD projects in progress


Grants received in last ten years


Kunnen, E.S. De Jonge, P., van der Gaag, M.A.E. (2017-2019) “Voortijdig schoolverlaten voorkomen: een focus op het proces van schoolverlaten en een methodiek om dit proces tijdig bij te sturen” Fund NRO,(National organisation for Educational research),  Requested 450.000 euro Granted 450.000 euro


First applicant

Kunnen, E.S. Kuppens, T., Heesink, J. (2016-2019) The development of an academic and professional identity among psychology students from different socio-economic backgrounds. Fund Director Psychology University of Groningen collaborative research project psychology. Requested funds 16.700 euro Granted 16.700 euro.



Selection of  publications in last 10 years


Kunnen, S. & Sugimura, K. (2021) Real-time Identity Processes: Theories and Methods In: Identity. 21, 4, p. 271-274.



Kunnen, E. S. (2021). The relation between vocational commitment and need fulfillment in real time experiences in clinical internships. Identity.


van der Gaag, M., de Ruiter, N., Kunnen, S., & Bosma, H. A. (2020). The landscape of identity: Integrating Commitment Strength and Quality within a Developmental Framework. In M. F. Mascolo, & T. R. Bidell (Eds.), Handbook of Integrative Developmental Science: Essays in Honor of Kurt W. Fischer (pp. 357-372). New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis group.

 Van der Gaag, M. A. E., de Ruiter, N. M. P., Kunnen, S. E. & Bosma, H. (2020) The Landscape of Identity Model: An Integration of Qualitative and Quantitative Aspects of Identity Development In: Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research. 20, 4, p. 272-289.

 Kunnen, E. S., de Ruiter, N. M. P., Jeronimus, B. F., & van der Gaag, M. A. E. (2019). Psychosocial Development in Adolescence: Insights from the Dynamic Systems Approach. (Studies in Adolescent Development). Routledge.

 Kunnen, E. (2019). Identity development from a dynamic systems perspective. In Psychosocial Development in Adolescence: Insights from the Dynamic Systems Approach. Kunnen, E. S., de Ruiter, N. M. P., Jeronimus, B. F. & van der Gaag, M. A. E. (eds.). Routledge, (Studies in Adolescent Development). (pp. 146-159). Oxon: Routledge.


De Ruiter, N. M. P., Hollenstein, T., van Geert, , P. L. C. & Kunnen, E. S. (2018).  Self-esteem as a complex dynamic system: intrinsic and extrinsic microlevel dynamics,  Complexity. 2018, p. 1-19.

 Van der Gaag, M., Albers, C., & Kunnen, S. (2017). Micro-level Mechanisms of Identity Development: The Role of Emotional Experiences in Commitment Development. Developmental Psychology, 53(11), 2205-2217. DOI: 10.1037/dev0000336

 Kunnen, E. S. (2017). Why computer models help to understand developmental processes. Journal of Adolescence, 57, 134-136. DOI: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2017.04.007

Nogueiras, G., Kunnen, E. S., & Iborra, A. (2017). Managing contextual complexity in an experiential learning course: A dynamic systems approach through the identification of turning points in students’ emotional trajectories. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, [667]. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00667

 de Ruiter, N. M. P., van Geert, P. L. C., & Kunnen, E. S. (2017). Explaining the “how” of self-esteem development: The self-organizing self-esteem model. Review of General Psychology, 21(1), 49-68. DOI: 10.1037/gpr0000099

 Kunnen, S. & Metz, M. (2014) Commitment and exploration: The need for a developmental approach. In Eds McLean, K. C. & Syed, M. The Oxford handbook of identity development. Oxford University Press, p. 115-131.


Kunnen, E. S., (2012). A dynamic systems approach to adolescent developmen. London: Psychology Press.


Kunnen, E. S. (2013). The Effects of Career Choice Guidance on Identity Development. Education Research International, 2013, 1–9.

 Kunnen, E. S. (2014b). The effect of a career choice guidance on self-reported psychological problems. Frontiers in Psychology, 5(June), 547.

 Most important international presentations, conferences, masterclasses etc. in last ten years


Keynote lecture at the ISRI, International conference of the International Society of Research on Identity, 2019, Naples


Invited visit, teaching a masterclass, at the dept. of psychology, Helsinki University

Lecture in invited symposium at the annual conference of the Jean Piaget Society, Amsterdam 2018.


Organizer of the ISRI, International conference of the International Society of Research on Identity, Groningen, 2017.


Keynote at the EARA, European Association of Research on Adolescence,  2016, Cadiz, Spain


Keynote at the SRIF (Now ISRI), Bellingham, USA


Invited presenter of the International Workshop of the JSDP, Osaka, 8-10 augustus 2014.

Laatst gewijzigd:25 juni 2022 15:42