Michiel Westenberg born in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, in 1962. Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, USA. Professor of Developmental Psychology at Leiden University.
Fellow (1 September 2009 – 30 June 2010)
A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ON PSYCHOSOCIAL DEVELOPMENT DURING ADOLESCENCE: WHY ARE WE SO NEGATIVE ABOUT ADOLESCENTS?
My NIAS fellowship allowed me to work on two related research projects while continuing ongoing research activities such as grant writing, co-authoring journal articles, supervising graduate students. The two research projects were: (a) a statistical analysis and write-up of a large empirical investigation; and (b) the commencement of a literature review. The common theme in both these projects concerns the question whether adolescence is a difficult transition. According to common sense and psychological science it is regarded as a particularly difficult and risky transition in human development. At the same time, some research, including my own, suggests that adolescence is mostly a positive transition. Findings from both projects show that adolescents make consistent strides towards a self-aware and responsible attitude in life. The key publication from the empirical project will be completed in the autumn of 2010. The edited volume will hopefully be completed in 2012.