Patty Leijten

Current projects

Risk factors for mental health problems as (un)suitable intervention targets 

Funded by NWO Vidi grant.

While our understanding of mental health problems improves rapidly, our understanding of how they can be relieved is falling behind. The core premise driving this project is that for risk factors to be suitable intervention targets, three requirements need to be met: (1) risk factors must not only be present, but actually contribute to an individual’s mental health problems (i.e., risk factor relevance); (2) risk factors must be amendable in this individual (i.e., risk factor malleability); and (3) interventions targeting the risk factors must align with the individual’s values and preferences (i.e., risk factor acceptability). This project maps individual risk and change profiles and develops a framework to use these profiles to advance precision mental health treatment.

Discerning how therapy for mental health problems works

Funded by ZonMw GGz Fellowship and UBS Optimus Foundation grants.

Key findings are published in Clinical Psychological Science (on research strategies used to identify active therapeutic processes) and Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice (on using microtrials to test the effects of discrete therapeutic processes in parenting programs).

Understanding parent-child dynamics in families with disruptive child behavior.

Funded by ZonMw GGz Fellowship and UBS Optimus Foundation grants.

Key findings are published in Child Development (on whether parental behavior management and relationship enhancement are 'the golden couple' for reducing children's behavior problems), Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (on key parenting program components fo disruptive child behavior), and Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (on the optimal clusters of parenting program content for disruptive child behavior). 

Understanding individual differences in parenting program benefits for family mental health.

Funders include NIHR and ZonMw.
Key findings are published in The Lancet Psychiatry (on whether the IY program increases socioeconomic inequalities in conduct problems), Child Development (on whether early intervention is more effective than later intervention; video), Prevention Science and Kind en Adolescent (Dutch).

European data sharing project: Harnessing the power of individual participant data meta-analysis to understand the effects (and boundary conditions) of parenting programs for disruptive child behavior.

Funders include NIHR and ZonMw.
Key findings are published inJournal of Child Psychology and PsychiatryThe Lancet Psychiatry, and Child Development.


 ---Supervised Postdoc and PhD Projects---

Parenting program effects on children's gene methylation (with PhD student Nicole Creasey) 

Funded by NWO Vici grant to Geertjan Overbeek. 

How parenting programs to reduce harsh maltreatment differentially benefit families in different countries (with PhD student Sophia Backhaus) 

Funded by Clarendon – ESRC Grand Union DTP Award to Sophia Backhaus.