PhD Position Child Problem Behavior and Teacher-Child Relationships
KU Leuven School Psychology and Development in Context




The research will be embedded in the research activities of the School Psychology section of the KU Leuven. The School Psychology section consists of Prof. dr. Verschueren, Prof. dr. Colpin, and Prof. dr. Spilt. Spilt will be the promotor of the proposed project. Prof. dr. W. van den Noortgate will be involved as external advisor because of his specific methodological and statistical expertise in N=1 research designs.


Current models of intervention have little attention to the complexities of constructing supportive teacher-child relationships with behaviorally-challenging or aggressive children and the emotional demands placed on teachers. One of the reasons is that we lack a clear understanding of more implicit relationship processes. In addition, there is also insufficient knowledge of how to assess and change negative implicit relationship processes. This proposal for strategic basic research addresses these concerns. The first goal is to increase understanding of the complexities of teacher-child relationships by examining the understudied role of implicit relationship processes in the school adjustment and sociobehavioral development of children with behavior problems. The second goal is to examine how teachers can be made aware of implicit relationship processes in relationships with behaviorally challenging children in such a way that teacher-child relationships can be improved ( .


  • You have a master degree in psychology or education
  • You are interested in school & educational psychology and pupil guidance
  • You have a passion for science and you would like to contribute to evidence-based practice in the field
  • You are interested in becoming a LLInC coach ( ). Note: This requires excellent Dutch language skills
  • You are motivated  to think about theoretical issues for a period of 4 years and to develop and execute longitudinal and experimental case-study research
  • You are interested in statistical data analyses
  • You are a responsible person with good communication skills
  • You have good writing skills
  • You have excellent Dutch language skills (native speaker level)
  • You have proficient English language skills (written and oral)


We offer a 1-year Ph.d.-student position. After the first-year evaluation, the period can be extended to 4 years.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Jantine Spilt, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than April 15, 2019 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Psychoneuroxy


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