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About us Practical matters How to find us prof. dr. H.W.E. (Hans) Grietens

prof. dr. H.W.E. (Hans) Grietens

Full Professor
Profile picture of prof. dr. H.W.E. (Hans) Grietens
+31 50 36 36566 (secretary)
+31 50 36 39176 (office)

List of current projects:

  1. Iris Project. A narrative study on the experiences, needs and expertise of foster families caring for a sexually abused foster child (PhD student: Dorijn Wubs, Co-promotor: Laura Batstra): Adopting a narrative perspective, we study the experiences, needs and expertise of foster families caring for a sexually abused foster child. The perspectives of the foster children and the biological children of the foster parents will be included. The stories will be used to develop an e-toolkit that may help foster families provide better care to foster children with a history of sexual abuse. The study is funded by Stichting Kinderpostzegels Nederland and supported by Augeo Foundation.
  2. BOP project: A participatory study on the psychosocial needs of foster children with a history of sexual abuse (PhD student: Anne Steenbakkers, Co-promotor: Steffie van der Steen, Ingunn Ellingsen): Using a Q-sort approach, the psychosocial needs of foster children with a history of sexual abuse previous to placement, will be studied. Based on the narratives of the Iris project and in-depth interviews with alumni foster children about their lives in foster care, a set of 'needs cards' will be developed. This set will be administered in a face-to-face interview to alumni foster children who were sexually abused before being placed in foster care. The study is funded by Fonds Slachtofferhulp and supported by Augeo Foundation.
  3. Matching foster children with foster families: A retrospective study on success and failure (PhD student: Kirti Zeijlmans, Co-promotor: Monica Lopez Lopez): Matching foster children with foster families is the crux to successful family placements and implies complex decision-making processes. However, matching is an understudied topic in foster care research. This research project aims to analyse the ecologies of matching decisions in foster care by means of examining variables of the case, the context and the decision maker. By means of a retrospective study, we want to identify which characteristics of the matching process are likely to predict more or less successful placement outcomes.
  4. Managing and reducing stress in foster carers of young foster children: Evaluation of the ‘Pleegouder-pleegkind interventie (PPI)’ (PhD student: dr. Hans Van Andel, other promotors: Erik Knorth, Rutger van der Gaag): 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.
  5. Gezond Terug (GT). Gezinspsychiatrisch onderzoek naar de terugplaatsing van uithuis geplaatste kinderen tussen de 0-2 jaar (PhD student: Anne-Fleur Vischer, Second promotor: Erik Knorth, Co-promotor: Wendy Post): 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 programme is to stimulate and evaluate parents' competencies as 'good enough' caretakers and to test the feasibility of family reunification. This study is an evaluation of the CBBO assessment and decision-making process, including a follow-up of families after treatment termination.
  6. Mental health of children and adolescents in child welfare institutions in Norway (PhD student: Jonathan Leipoldt, Co-promotors: Nanna Kayed-Sønnichsen, Annemiek Harder): In a nation-wide interdisciplinary study, data are collected on mental health problems and needs of children (n=450) placed in child welfare institutions in Norway. As part of the study, child and staff reports on the social climate in the institution are gathered. The relationships between perceived social climate and mental health problems and needs will be examined. The study is funded by the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth, and Family Affairs. See:
  7. Rhetoric or science? Developing quality standards for ADHD psycho-education (PhD student: Sanne te Meerman, Co-promotors: Laura Batstra, Ernst Thoutenhoofd): Despite cautionary statements in the DSM-IV about the limits of the DSM’s categorical approach towards mental problems, disorders named in the DSM-IV are often seen as discrete ‘disease-entities’. Warnings by the authors of the DSM apparently did not suffice to counter this ‘reification’: the strong tendency to view that which has received a name, as a separate entity or being with an independent existence of its own. This Ph.D. dissertation will look into the scientific discourse surrounding one such alleged ‘entity’ that has become an established expression in society: ADHD. Reification is positioned as the key-element of this research, as it plays an important role in the medicalization of behaviour. Reification is regarded as a phenomenon that is caused by several factors, such as imagery and language as powerful tools for the social construction of reality. Of these factors, generalization, as a form of logical error, is selected as the main angle for this scientific endeavour.  The study is funded by the University of Groningen.
  8. Policies and responses with regard to child abuse and neglect in England, Germany and the Netherlands (Hestia) (PhD student: Helen Bouma, Second promotor: Erik Knorth, Co-promotor: Monica Lopez Lopez). This international project aims to discover the nature and impact of variations in child protection systems through a comparison of three welfare states (Germany, England, the Netherlands). The project includes a comparative analysis of child protection policy and empirical studies of child protection practice. Findings from the policy analysis will underpin the empirical studies, which will compare (i) state responses to child maltreatment notifications and (ii) parents’ perspectives on professional intervention in different welfare states. See:
  9. Relational aggression in the Jewish culture: Implementation and evaluation of an intervention programme in elementary school (PhD student: Judith Azran): Relational aggression between children is a universal phenomenon. It may be harmful and, in extreme cases, end up in bullying. In North American Jewish communities, programmes to prevent relational aggression have been developed that are used in primary schools. The programmes are based on principles of Jewish religion (Lash Haron). In this study, we translate and implement the programme in Flemish schools. Next, we plan an outcome study.
  10. C4Youth 2.0:
  11. 'Mijn Andere Thuis':

 Recently finished dissertations:

  1. Non-suicidal self-injury in adolescence: Interplay between psychological distress and parenting (PhD student: Imke Baetens; Promotors: Laurence Claes, Patrick Onghena, Hans Grietens): In this study, we first collected prevalence rates of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), based on adolescent reports. Next, we tested the associations between NSSI and psychological distress and between NSSI and parenting (support, psychological/behavioural control). Finally, we studied the interplay between psychological distress and parenting in relation to NSSI, using data from the longitudinal study JOnG! ( PhD has been defended on 29 August 2013.
  2. Headache, stomache,…common physical complaints in adolescents: Developmental trajectories and the link with child and family characteristics (PhD student: Sofie Rousseau, Promotors: Karla Van Leeuwen, Hans Grietens, Johan Vanderfaeillie): We study the relationships between physical complaints (with and without medical cause) and parenting variables (support, psychological/behavioural control, reactions to children's somatisation) in a non-clinical sample of adolescents aged 12-14 in a longitudinal study, using data from the JOnG! study ( We try to typify children's trajectories and parental reactions. PhD has been defended on 9 January 2014.
  3. I (has) an audience. Processes of change behind the outcomes of Intensive Family Preservation Services: A process-outcome study (PhD student: Bert Van Puyenbroeck, Promotors: Gerrit Loots, Hans Grietens, Wolfgang Jacquet): 'Crisishulp aan Huis' (Families First) has been implemented some years ago in the Flemish child welfare system. The aim of the programme is to help families with complex problems in their home setting and prevent out-of-home placement of children. In a mixed-method design, this study evaluates the implementation of the programme. The study is focussing on outcomes and processes, in order to find out what makes the programme work and how it works. PhD has been defended on 24 March 2014.
  4. Helping multiple risk families: An evaluation of contents and outcomes regarding the programme 'Tien voor Toekomst' (TvT) (PhD student: Tim Tausendfreund, First promotor: Erik Knorth, Co-promotor: Jana Knot-Dickscheit): TvT is an intensive home-based programme for families with complex problems (multiple risk families). Using a mixed-method design, following questions are addressed: a) to what extent TvT succeeds in diminishing or making manageable the concerns and problems of families, including their well-being?, and b) which factors (in clients, professionals, organisation) are associated with outcomes? PhD has been defended on 5 March 2015.
Last modified:25 June 2022 10.40 a.m.