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Signature Project

Yield: The Bioecology of Human Development

In September 2018, RPA Yield received funding for a large signature project on self-regulation in youth. The research scope of the Yield Signature Project (YSP) overlaps with the scope of Sarphati Amsterdam and Yield and covers all Yield disciplines. 

Research Goals and Focus

The overall aim of the YSP is to examine self-regulation in youth and gain an understanding of its development, the way it is fostered through individual characteristics and family, peer, and school characteristics, and how it can be improved through interventions. The YSP focusses on childhood, adolescence and young adulthood for two reasons:

  1. The development of self-regulation is swift, yet highly complex and multifaceted during these stages, and
  2. Early interventions aimed at improving self-regulation may yield greater effects compared to adulthood interventions

All YSP studies make use of current cohort research initiatives, such as the Amsterdam Born Children and their Development (ABCD) initiative and the Sarphati Initiative, including its biobank facilities.

Longitudinal and Experimental Studies 

Both longitudinal and experimental studies fit with the YSP's general research strategy. Longitudinal studies are able to identify early markers of maladaptive self-regulation processes, allow for an in vivo examination of self-regulation over longer periods of time, and make it possible to study factors underlying the development of self-regulation. Experimental studies—both randomized controlled trials and small-scale, precise experiments―allow for a stringent causal analysis of the individual, family, peer, and teacher characteristics that affect the development of self-regulation, and may provide clinically relevant clues on intervening in maladaptive self-regulation processes.

Social Contexts and Individual Characteristics

The development of self-regulation is shaped by a dynamic sequence of interactions with different socialization agents: the family, school, and the peer group. The studies examine these factors across different stages of development: early childhood (e.g., parenting), late childhood (e.g., teacher-student relationships), and adolescence (e.g., peer norms, dyadic and social network dynamics).

Social contexts not only shape the individual child’s and adolescent’s development, but this development is also affected by individual characteristics of children and adolescents. Within the context of this YSP, individual characteristics of children and adolescents will be studied on different levels: (epi)genetics, neurobiology, physiology, and cognitive capacities such as IQ, personality and temperament.