Prof. Dr. Rutger Engels is a Professor of Development Psychopathology at Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB).
Engels aims to make a real difference with his research; to have impact on international policy and daily practice. Engels’ research focuses on anxiety and depression among young people and the prevention of suicide in this group.
His research has contributed to a decision by the Minister of Public Health, Welfare and Sport to no longer only focus campaigns toward adolescents but also toward their parents. In his research into the harmful effects of early alcohol consumption among adolescents, Engels helped in formulating and implementing a new Dutch law. This resulted in a ban on the sale of alcohol to people under 18 years.
into the influence of alcohol consumption among young people on brain development. The research committee recognised his indications that brain structure develops differently in young people who drink. It also appears that there is a connection between drinking at a young age and the development of alcohol problems at a later age.
Awards and grants
For his significant societal impact, Rutger Engels received the Huibregtsen Award in 2011 (a distinction presented to a research project of exceptional scientific innovation combined with a promise of valuable social impact). He also received various other awards and grants during his scientific career, including the Radboud Science Award and various NWO career grants. Engels also received grants as faculty professor at University Utrecht, including from KWF Kankerbestrijding, Longfonds, Achmea and ZONMW.
Supervising students and inspiring young researchers
Engels considers it vital to act as mentor in inspiring and supervising students and PhD students. He had already supervised 51 PhD students by October 2017, with 7 obtaining cum laude doctorates. Here are a few of the distinctions received by his protégés: 9 Veni and 2 Vidi grants and the Frye Stipendium. He also motivates his students and PhD students to publish as first author in leading scientific journals. Engels continues to follow their progress once they’ve graduated or obtained a doctorate.
Former PhD students of Engels don’t only work in academia. They have also obtained positions in social organisations and knowledge institutes (NJI, TNO, Voedingscentrum) and in trade and industry (Philips, CapGemini).
Professor Engels studied Psychology at the University of Groningen and obtained his doctorate at the University of Maastricht in 1998. After having worked in Utrecht for three years, Engels was appointed professor at Radboud University Nijmegen in 2001 where, for some time, he was also Vice Dean for research and Director of the Behavioural Science Institute. In 2014 he became Chairperson of the Executive Board of the Trimbos Institute, where he was responsible for over 200 employees. He became faculty Professor of Development Psychopathology of Prevention and Intervention at the faculty of Social Sciences at Utrecht University in 2016.
A. Tuijnman, M. Kleinjan, E. Hoogendoorn, I. Granic & R.C.M.E. Engels (2019). A Game-based school program for mental health literacy and stigma regarding depression (moving stories): Protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21 (3):e11255. doi: 10.2196/11255
L.A.M.W. Wijnhoven, H. Niels-Kessels, D.H.M. Creemers, A.A. Vermulst, R. Otten & R.C.M.E. Engels (2019). Prevalence of comorbid depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation in children with autism spectrum disorder and elevated anxiety symptoms. Journal of Child & Adolescent Mental Health, 31 (1), 77-84. doi: 10.2989/17280583.2019.1608830
R. Scholte, R.C.M.E. Engels, M. Sentse & G. Overbeek (2012). Alcohol use and social adjustment in adolescence: A longitudinal, multilevel study. Substance Use & Misuse, 47, 821-826. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2012.672278
H. Teunissen, R. Spijkerman, T.M. Schoenmakers, K. Vohs & R.C.M.E. Engels (2012). The Effect of Self-Control on Attentional Bias for Alcohol Cues in Male Heavy Drinkers. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 42 (3), 776-792. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2011.00800.x
N. Van der Aa, G.J.M. Overbeek, R.C.M.E. Engels, R. Scholte, G.J. Meerkerk & R.J.J.M. van den Eijnden (2009). Daily and compulsive internet use and well-being in adolescense: a diathesis-stress model based on big five personality traits. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 38, 765-776.
M. Kleinjan, R.C.M.E. Engels, J. van Leeuwe, J. Brug, R. van Zundert & R.J.J.M. van den Eijnden (2009). Stoppen met roken bij adolescenten: De rol van intentie om te stoppen, nicotineafhankelijkheid en het roken van ouders en vrienden. Psychologie & gezondheid, 37 (4), 252-266.
A.B. Bakker, R.C.M.E. Engels & R.J.J.M. van den Eijnden (1996). Gebondenheid in intieme relaties: Een analyse met het investeringsmodel. Tijdschrift voor Seksuologie, 20, 316-326.
L. Stone, C. van Daal, A.P. Ringoot, R.C.M.E. Engels, J. Janssens & R. Otten (2013). Het Berkely Puppet Interview: Een Screeningsinstrument Voor Psychopathologie Bij Jonge Kinderen. GZ - Psychologie, 2, 18-27.
L. Stone, C. van Daal, A.P. Ringoot, R.C.M.E. Engels, J. Janssens & R. Otten (2013). Het Berkeley Puppet Interview: een screeningsinstrument voor psychopathologie bij jonge kinderen. GZ - Psychologie, 5 (2), 18-27. doi: 10.1007/s41480-013-0014-x
M. Kleinjan & R.C.M.E. Engels (2010). Universele preventie van middelengebruik onder jongeren. Kind en Adolescent, 31, 221-233.
A.B. Bakker, B.P. Buunk & R.C.M.E. Engels (1994). Buitenechtelijke seks en AIDS-preventief gedrag: Een toets van het investeringsmodel. In P.A.M. van Lange, F.W. Siero, B. Verplanken & E.C.M. van Schie (Eds.), Toegepaste Sociale Psychologie (pp. 40-53). Delft: Eburon
M. Kleinjan & R.C.M.E. Engels (2010). Middelengebruik: determinanten en preventiemogelijkheden vanuit opvoeding, educatie en beleid. In JRM Gerris, JW Veerman & A Tellings (Eds.), Jeugd en gezinsbeleid vanuit pedagogisch perspectief
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Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Department of Psychology, Education & Child Studies/ Clinical Psychology