Ongoing projects

The supply side of the medicalization of female genital mutilation/cutting in Kenya. 01/04/2024 - 31/03/2025

Abstract

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons, affects over 200 million girls and women across 31 countries, including Kenya. The practice varies in severity, from nicking the clitoris to the complete external genitalia removal, with no known health benefits and substantial threats to women's and girls' health. In Kenya, deep-rooted social expectations of the practice have ensured its persistence over time, even as its form and context have changed. Observed changes in Kenya include less severe cutting, cutting girls at a younger age, and choosing a medicalized form of the practice. Medicalization of FGM/C refers to the practice being increasingly performed by a medical professional rather than a traditional circumciser, whether in a health facility, at home, or elsewhere. Notably, Kenya has the third highest prevalence of FGM/C medicalization in Africa, at 15%, even though the practice, regardless of the performer, is legally prohibited in the country. While this medicalization trend may reduce the health risks related to the practice, it may serve to legitimize the practice as well. The goal of the proposed research project is to deepen the knowledge of the decision-making process regarding medicalized FGM/C by bringing in the perspective of health professionals and untangling their motives, while considering their social and professional background. By researching this supply side of medicalized FGM/C, the study will complement earlier research on the demand side of FGM/C medicalization within the Kenyan context, which provides a more complete and more correct picture of medicalization in Kenya, and which is necessary for understanding this newly emerging phenomenon of the medicalization of FGM/C.

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  • Research Project

Data application: a Person Network of the Netherlands. 01/04/2024 - 31/03/2025

Abstract

The aim of this BOF Small Research Project is to apply for and obtain access to longitudinal, micro-level register data for the Netherlands containing information on five 'layers of relations', linking family members, members of the same household, neighbours, colleagues and classmates. This data application is a well-considered step in the development of my independent line of research as a young postdoctoral researcher and situated in the context of my current funding by BOF ('opvangmandaat') and the resubmission of my project proposal for an FWO junior Postdoctoral fellowship. My FWO project proposal concerns the study of whether and to which extent household-level gender (in)equalities and individuals' network opportunity structures shape gender dynamics in the labour market trajectories of second generation migrant women. A study using these unique Dutch register data would be among the first to exploit some of the enormous potential of these data and would allow to take research on migrants' labour market integration a large step further by exploring which different network layers are of relevance in gender dynamics in migrants' labour market trajectories.

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  • Research Project

Physically distant but socially close: how to prevent (inequalities in) loneliness and social isolation in times of crisis? Lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic (DistantButClose). 01/12/2023 - 28/02/2027

Abstract

The DistantButClose project aims to investigate the public health relevance of loneliness and social isolation during pandemic times, as well as the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on loneliness and social isolation across different sociodemographic groups, expanding our understanding in four key ways. Firstly, we will investigate the influence of loneliness and social isolation on individuals' willingness to adhere to preventive measures such as vaccination, handwashing and mask-wearing that are essential to end pandemics. This will help determine the necessary prioritization of these health issues in case of future pandemics. Secondly, we will examine the short-term and persisting effects that the pandemic has had on loneliness and social isolation in the Belgian and European population, as well as the unequal distribution of these consequences based on socio-economic status (SES), living arrangements, gender, and age. This analysis will yield valuable insights for policymakers, identifying specific groups that require targeted support and resilience-building measures. Moreover, by comparing results across regions and European countries, we will evaluate the relative performance of Belgium as a whole and its regions compared to other parts of Europe. Thirdly, we will delve deeper into inequalities in two specific age groups that have been disproportionately affected during the initial phase of the pandemic: adolescents (in secondary education) and older adults (aged 65 years and over). Our aim is to gain insights into the meso- and macro-contextual conditions that have shaped these inequalities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This contextual approach will help us develop policy recommendations for structural interventions, addressing poor social wellbeing and related inequalities (during times of crisis), as a complementary alternative to biomedical and psychological remedies. Fourthly, we will examine how contextual conditions have influenced loneliness, social isolation and associated inequalities during the COVID-19 pandemic by organizing focus groups with relevant Belgian and European policymakers and stakeholders, refining our policy recommendations accordingly. Overall, the DistantButClose project will contribute to pandemic preparedness and tackle the pressing issue of the loneliness and social isolation epidemic.

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  • Research Project

Care, Buffering Effects and WELL-being at the time of the pandemic and after (BE-WELL). 01/12/2023 - 31/08/2026

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted various facets of people's lives. For young adults who were on the verge of transitioning into adulthood, these disruptions may have had an especially profound impact. Similarly, older individuals were particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, and their day-to-day routines have been significantly affected. Family ties may have acquired a special importance to buffer some of the adverse consequences of the pandemic and to preserve health and well-being. Consequently, caregivers may have encountered new challenges pertaining to their well-being. At the same time, the role of non-family ties has received limited attention in research on the COVID-19 pandemic. The BE-WELL project is an interdisciplinary research initiative, involving demographers, sociologists, and researchers in public health. Focusing on Belgium, and adopting a comparative and life-course perspective, the project examines four main domains where care relations and well-being were affected by the COVID-19 crisis: young adults' residential shifts (Work Package 2, WP2), the variance and impacts of informal care on well-being of caregivers (WP3), the role of family and non-family ties on older people well-being (WP4), and unmet (mental) healthcare needs (WP5). The gender dimension, the socio-economic disadvantage, and welfare policies are incorporated as overarching themes of each WP. In WP3-WP5, the goal is to measure objective and subjective well-being (loneliness, physical and mental health, healthcare needs, etc.) according to specific profiles of individuals. By focusing on measurable goals, the BE-WELL project will inform federal policies, for improved care, health, and well-being during global crises.

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  • Research Project

Award of the Research Board 2023 - Award Deleeck: Social Sciences and Humanities. 01/12/2023 - 31/12/2024

Abstract

The Research Council Prizes of the University of Antwerp are awarded every two years at the expense of the Special Research Fund University of Antwerp. They aim to honor a successful young postdoctoral researcher for a special contribution to his/her scientific field. N. Van Eekert is a laureate in the Social Sciences and Humanities (Prize Herman Deleeck).

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  • Research Project

Joint Action on Cardiovascular Diseases and Diabetes (JACARDI). 01/11/2023 - 31/10/2027

Abstract

The Joint Action on CARdiovascular diseases and DIabetes (JACARDI) aims to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes (DM) in EU countries, both at individual and societal level. JACARDI is designed to integrate validated best practices and/or (cost-)effective interventions across countries and regions through transnational pilot initiatives, complementing and reinforcing existing policies and programs. The initiative covers the entire "patient journey", from improving health literacy and awareness of CVD/DM, travelling through screening and primary prevention among high-risk populations, reaching people living with CVD/DM and their care providers, improving service pathways, self-management, and labour participation. JACARDI also addresses transversal and intersectional aspects, e.g., promoting equity in health, social, cultural, and ethnic diversity and the improvement of data availability. The activities are distributed into 11 Work Packages (WPs): 5 transversal WPs, with one innovative WP on the development of a common methodological framework and integrative approach, and 6 technical WPs. The wide coverage of JACARDI is secured by the involvement of 21 EU countries and 77 partners. The widespread implementation of 142 pilots will ensure broad coverage and geographic extension, while the adoption of a common implementation and assessment methodology will minimise the risks of failure and facilitate the analysis of success and context factors. The resulting roadmap will serve as proof-ofconcept case studies with the potential to extend and scale-up experiences at the national/regional level. JACARDI will enhance cross-national collaboration, maximising the exploitation of lessons learned through a clear strategy, engaging groups of interest, promoting integration and sustainability of approaches to achieve high-level impact, including the implementation of effective interaction, cooperation and co creation between science and policy.

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  • Research Project

Qualitative research on contraceptive use, confidence within and its mental impact 01/11/2023 - 30/11/2025

Abstract

The choice of the contraceptive method that one prefers and is able to use is influenced by many different factors, including the potential effects on the user, which can be biological, financial, and psychological. With the rise of female contraception, these effects have often been seen as emancipatory: the reduction of unwanted pregnancies led to greater sexual freedom, and the ability to plan family formation contributed to the expansion of women's emancipation in various areas of society, including education and the labor market. Although female contraception has contributed to women's emancipation, its downside has received increasing attention and criticism in recent years. Because of the increase in female contraception, the responsibility and therefore the consequences of its use in heterosexual relationships fall mostly on women. However, there are also some options for male contraception (such as sterilization), and these options may expand to include hormonal agents in the future. This study examines what is known in the Belgian context about the contraceptive choice process, the psychological burden of planning and using female contraception, and the views of Belgians on male contraception.

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  • Research Project

Towards a more inclusive labour market in and around the Port of Antwerp 01/11/2023 - 31/10/2025

Abstract

The low participation of groups with a large distance to the labor market, women, and groups with a migration background in the labor market in and around the port of Antwerp is seen as a social problem. Consequently, this project employs quantitative and qualitative research methods to identify the latent labor supply of these groups (WP1), to identify barriers to labor force participation (WP2), to map the potential job offers for these groups (WP3) and and identify barriers to hiring for employers (WP4).

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  • Research Project

Breaking the Chain: Addressing the Syndemic of type 2 diabetes, depression, and socio-economic vulnerability. 01/11/2023 - 31/10/2025

Abstract

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and depression are highly prevalent conditions and have significant impact on health outcomes worldwide. Both conditions maintain a bidirectional relationship causing T2D and depression to occur together twice as frequently as would be predicted by chance alone. Current studies on this comorbidity however employ an individualistic perspective and ignore its social drivers– necessitating sociological research on the topic. A merger between Fundamental Cause Theory and Syndemic theory will be applied to(1) assess the clustering of T2D and depression and the role of socio-economic (SE) vulnerability within this clustering; (2) look how the adverse interactions between T2D, depression and SE vulnerability amplify disease burden and complications, and (3) study the contextual forces that cause and/or exacerbate this clustering. I will use HISlink data (Health Interview Survey + Health Insurance data) to assess (1) and (2) in Belgium. Next, I will address (3) by assessing the contextual variation in the syndemic across (a) Belgian communities (using Local Health Interview Survey data) and (b) European countries (using European Health Interview Survey data), and whether this variation can be explained by spatial and health system characteristics, respectively. The resulting fundamental knowledge has the potential to help policymakers in their endeavours to improve population health by offering insight into the drivers of the co-morbidity of T2D and depression.

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  • Research Project

Supporting the development of self-regulation in infants: a promising strategy in preventive mental health care. 01/10/2023 - 30/09/2027

Abstract

A major challenge of the newborn child is to learn to regulate internal states (physiological, emotional, and cognitive) and behavior. The child's self-regulation stems from successful co-regulation between the baby and its caregiver(s) and constitutes the basis of mental health. Regulation problems (RP) in early childhood are the seeds for emergent developmental psychopathology and for persistent mental health problems later in life. Given the increasing pressure on our mental health care system, targeting RP at an early age is a cost-effective prevention strategy. Based on growing empirical and clinical evidence, we hypothesize that child RP largely result from/persist through co-regulation difficulties within the child-parent dyad, which itself is largely impacted by stress and regulation difficulties in the parent. Hence, reducing stress and enhancing parents' regulation abilities may be the most optimal gateway for improving self-regulation in the child, thereby preventing future mental health problems. To date, however, there is a dearth of scientific research on this topic, both with respect to the (1) characterization, detection and understanding of regulation (problems) (WP1&2), and (2) the organization of preventive care around early regulation in young children (WP3&4). The current proposal will address these gaps in 4 work packages aimed at: (1) quantifying micro self- and co-regulation dynamics within a 'biobehavioral synchrony framework'; (2) understanding the prevalence and contextual risk and protective factors of RP; (3) pinpointing the missed opportunities in the preventive care for young children with RP and translating 3rd line clinical expertise to fill these gaps and (4) developing and testing a 0th/1st line health care program empowering parents in the co-regulation process with their child. Together with our committed stakeholders, this multidisciplinary project aims to be a game changer in the early prevention of mental health care.

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  • Research Project

Understanding gender dynamics in migrants' labour market integration. 01/10/2023 - 30/09/2024

Abstract

The labour market integration of first and second generation migrants stands high on both academic and policy agendas throughout Europe. Nevertheless, considerable differences exist between the labour market outcomes of migrants and natives, which are substantially larger among women than among men. However, current explanations of migrants' labour market trajectories are lacking attention for gender dynamics which might explain differential patterns of migrants' labour market integration. We still have a poor understanding of how migrants' labour market trajectories are shaped by gender dynamics in households (e.g. partners' relative employment, the typical decrease in female employment after childbearing) and gendered local contexts (e.g. local childcare availability, gendered social networks). This is highly remarkable since research on general populations widely agrees on the crucial importance of these factors. Hence, this project integrates a gender and life course perspective to examine how household-level gender dynamics and gendered local contexts shape first and second generation migrants' labour market integration. Methodologically, this project builds on recent developments in life course research by developing a multistate multi-process modelling framework. As such, our findings will substantially further our understanding of gender dynamics in migrants' labour market integration.

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  • Research Project

The Men & Health consortium: a research and capacity building partnership employing crowdsourcing to develop an intervention to link men to HIV testing and treatment services in South Africa. 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2025

Abstract

HIV remains a severe public health problem in South Africa. Important gender inequities also persist in the epidemic: the adult prevalence is twice as high in women than in men, while men are significantly less likely to test and be (successfully) treated and thus more likely to die of HIV-related causes. The two are also linked: the heterosexual nature of HIV transmission transfers these male risks into (young) female vulnerabilities (and the high female HIV prevalence). A crucial way to break this destructive cycle is (early) linkage of men to HIV services, creating a need to find feasible strategies to render HIV services male-friendly and accessible. The project aims to build a research partnership –the Men & Health Consortium– which will strengthen local research capacity as well as the relationships with policy makers and societal stakeholders (building a multi-stakeholder network and improving science-society communication). These activities will enable the consortium to use crowdsourcing (as an innovative methodology) to solicit locally appropriate and specific solutions to increase men's use of HIV services – which can form the basis for future interventions and policies.

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  • Research Project

HIV Illness Identity, Household HIV Competence and Antiretroviral Treatment Adherence, an analysis of associations among a treatment-naïve adult population living with HIV in the Western Cape, South Africa. 15/07/2023 - 14/07/2024

Abstract

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is still severely impacting South Africa: in 2021, approximately 1 out of 5 adult South Africans was HIV positive. As a response, the South African government has rolled out life-saving antiretroviral treatment (ART) in the public health sector, with approximately 5.5 million people currently receiving ART. ART has been proven to be highly effective: when achieving 95% adherence, HIV is transitioned from a terminal illness to a controllable chronic condition. The required high life-long adherence for effectiveness is however a clear bottleneck. ART adherence is reported as inadequate: the proportion of South Africans not achieving the ideal 95% adherence rate ranges from 23% to 60% and optimal viral load suppression rates have been achieved for only an estimated 47% of PLHIV on ART. Evidence-based knowledge on potential routes to stimulate ART adherence in South Africa are thus a clear research priority. Given the over-burdened health system with severe human resource shortages in the health sector, it is evident that potential solutions need to capitalize on the available social fabric, namely the patient and its household. Despite extensive literature on impediments and enablers of antiretroviral treatment (ART) adherence, not much is documented about (1) the patient's experience of living with HIV as a chronic illness, (2) how the patient's family context may influence the experience and (3) how the experience ultimately affects the patients' outcomes, specifically, adherence to ART. This is particularly noteworthy for high HIV-burdened and resource-constrained settings such as South Africa. Rooted within the larger SINAKO trial on the mediating role of the household, Phyllis Sematlane aims to respond to these research needs. She more specifically investigates the relationship between (1) illness identity in HIV and (2) clinical outcomes (ART adherence, viral load suppression, disclosure and overall self-management ) while also (3) assessing the potential mediating role of household HIV competence in an HIV positive, treatment-naive adult population enrolled in care at clinics in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Drs. Sematlane uses the pre- and post-intervention data of the SINAKO trial (cluster RCT (180 vs. 180 patients) with a household HIV competence intervention) to achieve her objectives. In the past years, she has already successfully executed a review study on HIV Illness Identity and validated a generic Illness Identity scale for application in HIV research. Currently, she is exploring the impact of the household HIV competence intervention on the successful construction of an HIV Illness Identity. During the proposed one-year DOCPRO-1 scholarship, she would investigate the impact of household HIV competence, via HIV Illness Identity, on ART adherence (and subsequent viral suppression). The resulting knowledge could potentially be a game changer for HIV treatment interventions in resource-limited settings as stimulating the HIV Illness Identity (combined with enhanced household HIV competence) could be a feasible and sustainable strategy to optimize the outcomes of HIV treatment strategies in a vulnerable context where this knowledge in needed most.

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  • Research Project

Feasibility study on a universal and automatic alimony fund for the Institute for Gender Equality. 17/05/2023 - 01/03/2024

Abstract

The Maintenance Claims Service (DAVO) ensures the collection of maintenance payments (meaning maintenance payments for ex-partners and maintenance contributions for children after a relationship breakdown), as well as the arrears thereof for maintenance beneficiaries who are confronted with non-payment. In addition, it grants advances on maintenance payments for children if they are not paid (in full or on time) by the person liable for maintenance. DAVO thus forms an essential safety net for maintenance recipients who are confronted with non-payment - a situation that affected one in five maintenance recipient households in 2020. However, the accessibility of this service represents a possible shortcoming of the system, as there is no automatic allocation of maintenance payments and their advances. Despite the greater need for correct payment of maintenance contributions, the take-up of various vulnerable groups confronted with non-payment remains low. All kinds of barriers, including lower socio-economic status (particularly a lower capacity to navigate complex administrative systems), physical and mental barriers (including language barriers), stigma and domestic violence, make it additionally complex to access social services. This is further reinforced if several of these thresholds intersect. Commissioned by the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men, this collaborative study examines the feasibility of an automatic and universal alimony fund from a social (Department of Sociology, University of Antwerp), financial (Research Institute for Labor and Society, KU Leuven) and legal perspective ( Department of Law, University of Antwerp). From a social perspective, the barriers to take-up are examined using a qualitative research approach, in which both DAVO employees and maintenance claimants who have and have not used DAVO have their say. The financial perspective concerns a comprehensive budget estimate regarding the implications of an automatic allocation of maintenance recoveries and advances, from different levels of coverage. Various scenarios are taken into account in which, depending on the profile of the maintenance beneficiary, the automation comes into effect immediately or in phases. Finally, the legal perspective is based on an international comparison of existing automatic maintenance funds, including France, Québec, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The Belgian legal framework is also thoroughly examined to map out the possibilities and requirements for automating DAVO's services. Finally, bringing together the social, financial and legal perspectives serves to draw up an integrated step-by-step plan, through which the introduction of a universal and automatic maintenance fund in Belgium could become a reality.

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  • Research Project

Singleton trajectories. Understanding new life course paths of young adults. (SINGLETON). 01/03/2023 - 29/02/2028

Abstract

The intellectual challenge that the Singleton project will tackle is identifying the relationship formation pathways of young adults in industrialized countries. This project departs from the currently couple centred research approach of young adulthood in which developmental pathways always seem to lead to Mount Marriage or Cohabitation Hill. In contrast, we argue that there is a fundamental hidden relationship pathway in young adulthood where individuals might be experiencing difficulties in finding the right partner, maintaining a relationship or where they make a deliberate choice to remain single and for longer periods. This Singleton trajectory is characterized by a sequence of relatively short-lived committed relationships. The central question addressed in the Singleton project is therefore why, how, when and for whom this relationship trajectory manifests itself. Accordingly the project has four interrelated aims. A first aim is the empirical description of the share of Singletons in three birth cohorts. Second, the project will look at the internal dynamics of relationship formation, maintenance and dissolution from a multi-actor perspective to identify differences between young adults. In the third objective, the project will look into how social networks, educational trajectories and career prospects influence the development of relationship trajectories in young adulthood. A final aim will look at the macro level and incorporate the rise of a "single culture" as part of a new explanatory framework for understanding the Singleton trajectory. Methodologically, we apply a Longitudinal Explanatory Mixed Methods model (2 quantitative and 2 qualitative waves) concentrating on 3 cohorts in young adulthood.

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  • Research Project

Research Professor after obtaining ERC Advanced Grant (SINGLETON). 01/03/2023 - 29/02/2028

Abstract

The intellectual challenge that the Singleton project will tackle is identifying the relationship formation pathways of young adults in industrialized countries. This project departs from the currently couple cen-tred research approach of young adulthood in which developmental pathways always seem to lead to Mount Marriage or Cohabitation Hill. In contrast, we argue that there is a fundamental hidden rela-tionship pathway in young adulthood where individuals might be experiencing difficulties in finding the right partner, maintaining a relationship or where they make a deliberate choice to remain single and for longer periods. This Singleton trajectory is characterized by a sequence of relatively short-lived committed relation-ships. The central question addressed in the Singleton project is therefore why, how, when and for whom this relationship trajectory manifests itself. Accordingly the project has four interrelated aims. A first aim is the empirical description of the share of Singletons in three birth cohorts. Second, the project will look at the internal dynamics of relationship formation, maintenance and dissolution from a multi-actor perspective to identify differences between young adults. In the third objective, the project will look into how social networks, educational trajectories and career prospects influence the development of relationship trajectories in young adulthood. A final aim will look at the macro level and incorporate the rise of a "single culture" as part of a new explanatory framework for understanding the Singleton trajec-tory. Methodologically, we apply a Longitudinal Explanatory Mixed Methods model (2 quantitative and 2 qualitative waves) concentrating on 3 cohorts in young adulthood. This project innovates on a theoretical and methodological level by integrating theories from various fields (demography, sociology and devel-opmental psychology), redefining determinants and launching a much needed new research tradition in Single Studies.

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  • Research Project

Households in mental health care: an experimental study on the role of the household in the care for people with a severe mental illness in South Africa. 01/01/2023 - 31/12/2026

Abstract

South Africa has a high burden of severe mental illness – such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. In step with global movements and budgetary limitations, the country promotes deinstitutionalisation – from hospitals to local communities – to care for these people living with severe mental illness (PSMI). This push towards deinstitutionalisation, however, has not been fit with an according health care model in these communities. PSMI are discharged into a household context without any support – often resulting in treatment non-adherence and a cyclical pattern of short readmissions to the hospitals that they have been discharged from, following relapses in treatment gains. In the context of limited resources for deinstitutionalized mental health care, research into the potential of the household in the care for discharged PSMI is a clear priority. We hypothesize that improving the mental health knowledge and communication skills of households will enable ownership of the problem and increase social support to the PSMI. This will eventually positively impact treatment adherence and lower re-admission rates of PSMI. Aim of this project is to develop and test an intervention stimulating this mental-health competence of households – in a cluster randomized-controlled trial using a longitudinal process evaluation. As such, this project responds to the urgent need in many low- and middle income settings to optimize the deinstitutionalisation of PSMI.

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  • Research Project

Understanding and optimizing the preschool context in Flanders as a foundation for young children's mental health. 01/01/2023 - 31/12/2024

Abstract

The quality of formal childcare has been cited as an important determinant of young children's mental health, as it has been demonstrated that children's self-regulation abilities – resulting from repeated cycles of co-regulation in caregiving – hold extreme importance for their mental health, now and later in life. Given the high uptake of formal childcare in Flanders and the high enrollment rates of the youngest children, childcare teachers thus play an very important role in these co- and self-regulation processes. High job strains within the sector, however, put these services at risk of inducing stress and mental well-being problems among childcare teachers, possibly impacting the co-regulation processes. Fundamental research is scarce in measuring, disentangling and optimizing these relationships. In the current proposal, we will address these gaps using a mixed-method design focusing on 3 research objectives (ROs): (RO1) map the job characteristics that explain job strain in childcare teachers (structural quality), and investigate its association with childcare teachers' ensuing mental well-being, (RO2) examine the impact of childcare teachers' strain and ensuing mental well-being on their co-regulation attitudes and practices (process quality), and (RO3) explore effective strategies to structurally optimize both the structural and process quality of formal childcare.

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European demographic challenges for families and health. 01/11/2022 - 31/10/2024

Abstract

Imagine getting post-doc time from us. Post-doc time with the sole obligation to prepare a post-doc proposal to apply for – and ideally obtain - your own research grant. The Centre for Population, Family and Health of the University of Antwerp is launching a competition to attract talented PhDs in the Social Sciences who want to pursue their careers in our research centre. For this challenge, you will write a scientific essay describing a problem that urgently needs to be researched. The problem also needs academic attention from a European comparative perspective and touches on issues from social demography, family sociology and/or the sociology of disease and health. You document the problem with an empirical analysis, preferably in a comparative perspective. When elaborating the essay, you pay particular attention to issues of gender and/or social inequality. The winner's essay will be submitted to Population Europe for publication in their Pop Digest series.

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Leaving no one behind: bridging the gap between vulnerable populations and the primary healthcare system through reverse innovation. 01/10/2022 - 30/09/2026

Abstract

Sustainable Development Goal 3 underlines the right of everyone to have timely access to primary healthcare (PHC). Despite the fact that Belgium has put various reforms in place to make PHC more affordable and accessible, inequalities in access to care are even getting bigger – creating the need for innovative measures. A new health care model should thus be designed and tested to link people who have difficulties accessing PHC (PDAP) to the existing PHC system. Such a new model requires new fundamental knowledge, as former solutions have repeatedly failed. Since the country is also confronted with increasing health demands and limited budgets, there is impetus to tap into the potential of reverse innovations from low and middleincome countries (LMICs). A review of health innovations in LMICs and a theoretical analysis on the required characteristics of such a new model resulted in a community health worker (CHW) intervention – inspired by the Family Health System in Brazil and Re-engineering PHC in South Africa. We hypothesise that an outreaching PHC model with a CHW intervention will address the access-to-care challenges in Flanders, Belgium. We will first study the interplay over time between the different barriers PDAP experience throughout the access-to-care continuum in Flanders (WP 1). Secondly, we will investigate the innovative PHC models in South Africa and Brazil to develop the CHW intervention (WP2). In WP3, we will design a new outreaching PHC model which uses CHWs to improve access to care for PDAP in Flanders. In WPs 4 and 5, we will implement and evaluate the CHW intervention in a cluster randomised controlled trial. Finally, we will also assess the cost-effectiveness of the intervention (WP6). Throughout this work, academic experts from sociology, family medicine, and economics closely collaborate with committed societal stakeholders to join scientific insights and implementation knowhow, to optimise fit to practice and societal impact.

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Growing Up in Digital Europe Preparation Phase (GUIDEPREP). 01/10/2022 - 30/09/2026

Abstract

The Growing Up in Digital Europe Preparatory Phase (GUIDEPREP) project further develops the research infrastructure (RI) necessary to implement the GUIDE birth cohort study. This preparatory work will take place across 2022 to 2025 to ready the RI for the full scale piloting of the GUIDE in 2026 and the first full wave of data collection in 2027. Once operational, GUIDE will collect data about individual children growing up in Europe until those children are aged 24-years in approximately 2053. GUIDE will be Europe's first comparative birth cohort study of children's and young people's wellbeing. The aim of the GUIDE study is to track children's personal wellbeing and development, in combination with key indicators of children's homes, neighbourhoods, and schools, across Europe. GUIDE will be an accelerated cohort survey including a sample of infants as well as a sample of school age children. Each Member State and Associated Country will provide nationally representative samples that are designed to retain statistical power throughout the lifetime of the study. The harmonized design will create the first internationally comparable, nationally representative, longitudinal study of children and young people in Europe. Currently the GUIDE RI is in its preparatory phase, which involves the establishment of necessary operational procedures and further crystallisation of the study concept and design. To realise the GUIDE full-scale pilot in 2026 and first wave of fieldwork in 2027, the RI needs to develop administratively, technologically, financially, scientifically, and legally. This GUIDEPREP proposal lays out clear aims for these developments in an interlocking system of activities that are shared across consortium partners and managed by the GUIDE leadership team.

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  • Research Project

Examining abortion trajectories of women who present beyond the legal limit in Flanders, Belgium. 01/10/2022 - 30/09/2026

Abstract

The current proposal outlines a research project that focuses on the group of women who request an abortion in the second or third trimester of pregnancy and who do not meet the legal criteria for second/third-trimester abortions. It aims to (1) identify the steps and reasons for delays in seeking abortion-related care within the Flemish context both from the perspective of the health care workers (HCWs) of abortion centers and from the women's perspectives, and (2) to develop an in-depth understanding of the abortion trajectory within the specific group of women. The results of this proposal are highly topical given the current political debates surrounding the decriminalization of abortion within the Belgian legislation, and political proposals to extent the legal limit of abortion-related care from 14 to 18 weeks.

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  • Research Project

Cost effectiveness of levels of implementation of integrated Chronic care for Diabetes and its Comorbidities across different primary care practices in Flanders (COSDCOM). 01/10/2022 - 30/09/2026

Abstract

The increasing prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) and the frequent concurrence of comorbidity puts a heavy strain on societies (both the patients and health system), in terms of healthcare cost, patients' quality of life and loss of productivity. Interventions such as Integrated Chronic Care (ICC) and disease specific care trajectories are introduced to better address these complex needs but there is limited evaluation of these interventions. Most existing evaluations are limited in three ways: a) They show effects on diabetes-specific clinical outcomes, but do not take into account the comorbidity dimension; b) They do not take into account the variation in implementation of ICC; and c) have limited information on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and cost-effectiveness. This proposal will triangulate different data sources (available health insurance data, laboratory and primary health care data combined with primary HR QoL data) in Belgium to addresses those gaps by examining the cost and cost-effectiveness of ICC for people with T2D and potential comorbidities for different levels of ICC implementation in Flanders. More specifically, we aim to (1) estimate the cost of care for T2D patients with and without comorbidities for different levels of ICC implementation in Flanders; (2) assess the impact of different levels of ICC implementation on HRQoL among T2D patients with and without comorbidities; and (3) evaluate the cost-effectiveness of different levels of ICC implementation in the provision of care among T2D patients with and without comorbidities. This project responds to a strongly felt need among 22 interviewed stakeholders that the increasing prevalence of chronic patients necessitates a move towards more ICC but that financing is a major barrier. This project pushed the boundaries of knowledge by quantifying costs and benefits. The knowledge generated in this study can contribute to a more effective and efficient implementation of ICC for the management of diabetes patients (with comorbidities) in Flanders. This is extremely relevant in a society with increasing health inequity and financial barriers to healthcare utilization and self-management.

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  • Research Project

Understanding the social context of co- and self-regulatory problems: a promising strategy in preventive mental health care. 01/10/2022 - 30/09/2025

Abstract

The combination of the growing mental health care burden and the limited human and monetary resources for health stresses the clear need for effective prevention strategies. It is increasingly demonstrated that regulatory problems in infancy – resulting from co-regulation difficulties within the caregiver(s)-child relationship – hold extreme importance for mental health, constituting the seeds for emergent developmental psychopathology and persistent mental health problems later in life. However, to date, there has been limited fundamental research which aims to intervene in this vicious cycle of mental health problems, especially with respect to (1) understanding the vicious cycle of regulatory problems within a larger social context and (2) exploring how to structurally prevent and treat infant regulatory problems. In the current FWO-proposal, I will address these gaps using a mixed-method multi-stakeholder design focusing on 3 research objectives: (1) disentangling the micro vicious cycle of dysregulation within the parent(s)-child interaction and understanding how this vicious cycle is impacted by and impacts environmental stressors, taking into account gender and SES differences, (2) investigating the experiences of professional childcare workers in addressing regulatory problems, and (3) exploring effective strategies to structurally optimize infant mental health care around self- and co-regulation.

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  • Research Project

A research and capacity development partnership to build a household support system for people living with a severe mental disorder in South Africa (FaMHe). 01/09/2022 - 31/08/2027

Abstract

South Africa has a high burden of severe mental disorders. The country promotes deinstitutionalisation for people living with a severe mental disorder (PSMD) – shifting the locus of care from hospitals to local communities. This push, however, has not been fit with an according care model in these communities. PSMD are discharged into households without any support – often resulting in a cyclical pattern of short-term readmissions to the hospitals that they have been discharged from, sometimes with devastating consequences. The project aims to build a research partnership between the Univ. of KwaZulu-Natal, the Univ. of Cape Town and the Univ. of Antwerp which will (1) exchange knowledge on the potential of households in health care, (2) strengthen the relationships with policy makers and (3) improve the curriculum of social work auxiliaries providing household support. The combination of these activities is aimed at enabling a research program to durably improve the well-being of PSMD using a household intervention – thereby stopping the revolving door syndrome and the devastating social/economic/health consequences it creates.

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  • Research Project

Building a Belgian Online Probability Panel (BOPP). 01/05/2022 - 30/04/2026

Abstract

The Belgian Online Probability Panel (BOPP) is an academically driven online data collection infrastructure owned by all 11 Belgian universities. It seeks to produce high-quality survey research in the social and behavioral sciences. The Belgian Online Probability Panel aims to be representative of persons 16 years or older in private households in Belgium. To this end, BOPP combines register-based random probability sampling with a rigorous recruitment strategy that combines push-to-web with face-to-face recruitment. Panelists participate in several surveys (15–20 minutes) per year, online or with paper and pencil. A core questionnaire is conducted annually to collect data of shared interest across different research disciplines. The remaining questionnaire space is available to researchers from various fields of the social and behavioral sciences for a reasonable cost. After an exclusive-use period for the commissioning researchers, the data, carefully pseudonymized so that panelists cannot be identified, is made available to the global research community. The results provide new insights into the living conditions, views, and behaviors of people living in Belgium, and how these variables change over time, for the benefit of academics, policy makers and interested citizens. BOPP explicitly sets and promotes high standards of survey data quality. The BOPP research infrastructure supports the broader behavioral and social science research community in Belgium in its mission to conduct relevant and reliable research, by: (1) making the collection of relevant social and behavioral science research data possible in a timely and cost-effective manner without compromising quality, by exploiting economies of scale in the recruitment and maintenance of a representative sample of the population; (2) facilitating – in particular – longitudinal and interdisciplinary survey research; (3) providing opportunities for innovative and experimental questionnaire design (e.g., vignettes, use of video and audio material), and for the enrichment of survey data with register data.

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  • Research Project

Optimising community antibiotic use and infection control with behavioural interventions in rural Burkina Faso and DR Congo (CABU-EICO). 01/05/2022 - 30/04/2025

Abstract

Emergence of antibiotic resistance (AMR) is a serious concern for Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC). Unregulated use of antibiotics, a major AMR driver, is highly prevalent in LMIC, with medicine stores as key providers. Close physical interactions between One Health compartments increase cross-domain transmission risks, although the relative importance of different reservoirs is uncertain, with community-level dynamics of AMR in LMICs largely unquantified. We will develop and evaluate a behavioural intervention bundle, targeting medicine stores and their communities, to optimise antibiotic use and improve hygiene, and hence reduce AMR prevalence and transmission. After a 6-month local co-development phase, the intervention will be implemented over 12 months in established health demographic surveillance sites in Burkina Faso and DR Congo with clinical microbiology facilities, and evaluated in a cluster RCT, comparing intervention and control villages. Primary outcome measure is a change in Watch antibiotic provision from medicine stores (where a formal prescription is not required), assessed via patient exit interviews and simulated client visits. Changes in hygiene practices and AMR pathogen and gene carriage will be assessed in repeated population surveys. Rodents, living in close proximity to humans in much of sub-Sahara Africa, provide a proxy estimate of environmental AMR pathogen and gene exposure. Using modelling and sequencing of selected human and rodent isolates, we will quantify how changes in antibiotic use and hygiene practices impact AMR transmission.

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  • Research Project

Understanding how path dependencies, family dynamics and active labour market programs shape the labour market trajectories of first and second generation migrants : a multistate life course approach. 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2025

Abstract

In a context of accelerated population ageing and shrinking working age populations, the successful labour market integration of migrants is rapidly gaining importance in European societies. However, considerable gaps exist in many countries between the labour market outcomes of natives and both first and second generation migrants. Segmented assimilation theory suggests that different migrant groups assimilate into different segments of the labour market due to variation in individual factors, family dynamics, as well as contextual policy factors. Although the literature on migrants' labour market trajectories has focused on different stages of their life courses, a detailed understanding of how path-dependencies in migrants' labour market trajectories unfold over the life course in interaction with family and policy contexts is lacking. Building on recent methodological developments in life course analysis, this project develops a multistate life course perspective to examine how segmented labour market integration by migration background (i.e. origin and generation) materializes over the life course. In doing so, the project will reveal how differential initial labour market positions shape subsequent labour market trajectories, how such path-dependencies are linked to parallel family biographies (union formation, childbearing and gender dynamics in households), and how previous labour market trajectories affect the uptake and effects of active labour market policies.

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  • Research Project

Exploring Trends in the Medicalization of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, in Kenya: A Dual Perspective From the Demand and Supply-Side 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2025

Abstract

Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) refers to all procedures involving the partial or total removal of the external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Numerous national and international initiatives have attempted to discourage the practice, emphasizing its adverse health consequences. The success of these initiatives was only partial; on the one hand, the prevalence of FGC has been decreasing slowly, but the number of girls and women circumcised will continue to rise due to population growth. On the other hand, these campaigns may have encouraged an unintended consequence, that is, FGM/C is increasingly performed by trained health professionals in clinical settings. While this medicalization trend may reduce the health risks related to the practice, it may serve to legitimize the practice as well. The goal of the proposed research project is to develop an in-depth understanding of the social dynamics behind both the declining prevalence trend in FGM/C which coexists with the increasing medicalization trend in FGM/C, applying both quantitative and qualitative research methods. We intend to explore how both trends vary across birth cohorts and how they relate to women's decision-making process concerning their daughter's cut. We deepen this knowledge by also bringing in the perspective of health professionals and to untangle how their motives relate to these co-existing trends in FGM/C.

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  • Research Project

Understanding the medicalization of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) through the optics of the practising community in Egypt. 01/10/2021 - 30/09/2024

Abstract

In Egypt, female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is increasingly medicalized (performed by trained health professionals rather than by traditional circumcisers). With the current research proposal, I intend to examine how this medicalization trend relates to overall changes in the practice. In doing so, I intend to develop knowledge on (1) how mothers weigh the different options concerning their daughter's FGM/C (traditional cut, medicalized cut, or no cut), and what meaning is given to these different options; (2) whether this decision varies by the social position that the mother occupies, and by the social composition of her network, and (3) whether this decision varies across younger and older birth cohorts, and why. Both quantitative and qualitative methods will be applied. As previous research shows that the implementation of FGM/C legislation alone is not enough to counteract the practice, the proposed research is relevant to the broader policy debate. The results of this research will thus extend the empirical bases for policy discussions on the medicalization of FGM/C and how to improve women's sexual and reproductive health as a whole. At the same time, this project will contribute to the sociological theorizing of medicalization practices, which, to date, is very limited in scope and mainly focuses on practices in high-income countries.

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  • Research Project

Advanced Center for inTernet Studies – Belgian Online Probability Panel. 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2025

Abstract

This project will design the Belgian Online Probability Panel, ACTS (Advanced Center for inTernet Studies – Belgian Online Probability Panel). The project is a collaboration between all Flemish and French speaking universities in Belgium.

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  • Research Project

Using dynamic microsimulation as an integrated modelling framework to assess the impact of individual-level and contextual factors on past and future fertility trends. 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2024

Abstract

Low fertility levels in European countries since the 1970s have been a major force contributing to population ageing. Several individual-level and contextual factors have been proposed to explain changing patterns of fertility, with increasing education and labour force participation, variation in economic cycles and lack of supportive policies in many countries figuring prominently. With the increase of migration since the late 1990s, the potential impact of migrant populations on aggregate fertility trends has recently received increasing attention. While there has been no shortage of candidate causal factors, no integrated modelling framework has hitherto been developed to investigate the interplay between these factors and to assess the actual contribution of various factors to change in aggregate fertility trends. This project aims to improve our understanding of how educational careers and migration background shape fertility, and how these characteristics interact with each other, but also with varying economic and policy contexts. The project integrates models of entry into parenthood and subsequent family formation into a dynamic microsimulation framework that allows to assess the sensitivity of aggregate fertility trends to variation in economic and policy contexts, while acknowledging the constraining effect of population structures that have been shaped by past demographic trends.

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  • Research Project

Determinants of diabetes care and outcomes: a multi-level analysis across the continuum of care. 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2024

Abstract

Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) is one of the leading causes of death in the world (3.7 million deaths/year). In Belgium, 6.1% of the population is diagnosed with diabetes. Effective treatment exits and is relatively straightforward from a technical point of view, but T2D care is socially and organizationally complex. It requires lifelong follow-up and self-management along a continuum of care: patients need to be diagnosed, treated, followed-up, and supported to achieve glycaemic control. Unfortunately, people (especially vulnerable groups) are lost at each of these steps, leading to complications and avoidable hospitalizations. Knowledge is urgently needed on the determinants of these leakages in the care continuum. In accordance with the socioecological model, we aim to disentangle the determinants of drop-out at 3 levels (patient, health system & community level) through an innovative multilevel Cascade-of-Care approach. The Cascade-of-Care visualizes the drops between the steps of the care continuum while our multilevel analyses will attempt to explain each drop using determinants at the 3 levels. We will build a unique dataset combining (1) individual health insurance and medical lab data, (2) organizational data of primary care practices and (3) administrative and self-gathered data of neighborhoods. Spatial multilevel analysis will allow us to assess (1) the relative impact of and (2) interaction between the determinants at these 3 levels on each step of the continuum of care.

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  • Research Project

Do Work-Family Reconciliation Policies 'Work' for Native Groups with a Migration Background? Costs, opportunities, Policy design & Experiences (COPE) in a Mixed Methods Approach. 01/11/2020 - 31/10/2024

Abstract

Unprecedented increases in female employment and declining fertility levels have undoubtedly been the most important household transformations in post-war Europe. In response to these changes, European governments developed policies geared towards the reconciliation of (female) employment and family formation such as formal childcare and parental leave. Higher fertility and a relatively weak tension between work and family in countries like Belgium and Sweden suggest that these policies are effective. However, in the context of increasingly diverse European populations, particularly in forerunner countries, a new question has come to the fore: Do these policies 'work' for migrants' descendants? In the face of this new question, the COPE-project provides two major contributions. First, migrants' descendants' uptake and effects of work-family policies, depending on the design features of such policies in Belgium and Sweden are addressed using the richest register data available. Second, adopting a mixed methods research design for the Belgian case, the COPE-project benefits from the complementarity of quantitative and qualitative methods to study both differential patterns in uptake and effects by natives' origin, but also develop indepth understanding of how mechanisms of uptake and effects vary by origin. Our findings will be of utmost importance to policy-makers in the context of inclusive social policies, but also labour supply in the era of population ageing.

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  • Research Project

FAMILY SOLIDARITY 2.0: towards renewed solidarity in diverse families. 01/10/2020 - 30/09/2024

Abstract

What we mean by "family" has undergone radical changes in the past decades. We can observe an increasing plurality of constellations of living together (partnerships) and raising children (parenthood) that makes it difficult to define what actually makes a family "a family". The many possible combinations of partnership and parenthood in our pluralistic society require that we conceptualize family as a more fluid concept that goes beyond the narrow legal and biological notions and definitions. We will call this "Family 2.0". The complexity of Family 2.0 has altered solidarity principles within families and between generations in family in ways that current legal and social frameworks, policies and institutions do not fully grasp yet. Family 2.0 gives rise to new questions and problems such as who has to care of whom under which conditions and how policy should react to this. The Belgian family law is too outdated for dealing with new solidarity issues emerging in Family 2.0, especially regarding (financial) maintenance regulations. Legal, moral and social questions such as who belongs to the family for how long or from when on, or who has which obligations or claims, remain largely unanswered up to now for complex families in Belgium. Hence, rights, duties and responsibilities between family members, especially for intergenerational care, are – not surprisingly – ambivalent and contested by different stakeholders. Consequently, the aim of this project is to lay the grounds for a new legal and social framework for intergenerational family solidarity, which we call FamSol 2.0. We investigate what contemporary solidarity in complex families looks like, what are its challenges and how can it be fostered. To answer this, we combine the academic expertise of family researchers from UAntwerpen, UGent, KU Leuven en Arteveldehogeschool with the insights and knowhow of committed societal stakeholders in project FamSol 2.0.

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  • Research Project

Digital ageing: How seniors can appreciate the benefits and avoid the pitfalls of a digitalizing society. 01/10/2020 - 30/09/2024

Abstract

Digitalization has radically transformed the ways we organize our social lives, consume news and entertainment, find romantic partners, and interact with authorities. Teenagers and young adults consider digital devices and the constant connection to the digital world an essential element of their daily lives, but for many older people digitalization still feels troublesome. When public authorities and businesses move their services into the web, everyday life errands such as banking, shopping or administration become difficult and next to impossible for older people who do not master the technical user interfaces. Concepts such as "digital divide" and "digital illiteracy" express existing barriers and the fact that digitalization makes many older people feel left behind or excluded. In light of recent advances in artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and robotization, the intensity of digitalization will only increase. Under such circumstances, improved digital inclusion of older people becomes a prime objective. Against this background, the overarching theme for this interdisciplinary SBO-project is the question of how a good life for seniors in the digitalizing society is possible. Older people have often been depicted as helpless victims deprived from the benefits of computers, internet and social media. However, the population of older adults is heterogeneous and so are their digital skills and social needs. In this project, we want to study how the ubiquity of digital tools and devices has changed and can improve the life of older people. In close collaboration with societal stakeholders and participating seniors, we want to contribute to the demystification of digital technology, help seniors overcoming current barriers and exclusion mechanisms and help them benefit from the advantages digital society has to offer. At the same time, we want to help fostering a criticalreflexive attitude toward the pitfalls and risks of digital technology.

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  • Research Project

WAVE-2 of the multi-actor Panel Study Divorce in Flanders. 01/05/2020 - 30/04/2024

Abstract

Since 2006, the consortium "Divorce in Flanders" has been studying union formation and union dissolution. Special attention has been given to single parent families and newly composed families/stepfamilies. Not only formal marriages but also unmarried cohabitations were studied. The cross-sectional first wave "Divorce in Flanders" data, collected in 2009-2010, are the most recent representative survey data available for Flanders. In order to better account for the time ordering of these life course events, longitudinal data are necessary. Therefore, the aim of the DiF consortium is to invite all respondents to participate in a second wave. Not only (ex-)partners, but also their children, parents and new partners will be contacted again. Divorce and separation do not only concern two partners, also a broader family network is involved in these life course events. The second wave data, that will be collected using international standards for survey data quality, will be made available free of charge for universities and research groups. Research activities for community and care services will also be supported.

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  • Research Project

Capacity building for optimizing primary care and community initiatives for Type II Diabetes in Cambodja. 01/01/2019 - 31/08/2024

Abstract

Cambodia is confronted with a growing diabetes epidemic, translated in an increase of the prevalence of deaths attributable to this chronic disease by 42.9% between 2005 and 2016. The diabetes epidemic is projected to severely hamper the country's much needed developmental progress. The country's public health system has been primarily designed to tackle acute diseases and is therefore not capable of comprehensively addressing this public health problem. The proposed project intends to address this problem by joining forces with two local actors – NIPH and MoPoTsyo – to generate context-sensitive strategies to co-create comprehensive but context-specific diabetes care. More specifically, it aims to (1) investigate where current policies and strategies differ from the optimal WHO ICCC framework, and (2) see how these differences translate in suboptimal outcomes in diabetes management, and finally (3) develop roadmaps (together with the stakeholders) to overcome the shortcomings in the current approaches.

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  • Research Project

Past projects

Profiles and labour potential amongst long-term unemployed jobseekers 09/01/2023 - 31/12/2023

Abstract

To alleviate mismatch and labour shortages on the Flemish labour market, it is appropriate to gain insight into the labour potential amongst those who are not working, including the rising share of long-term jobseekers (LTJ). However, there is little research on LTJ in Flanders, making it unclear which levers can be used to remove barriers towards labour market entry for this group. Using a multi-actor mixed-methods approach, this project therefore aims to increase our understanding of i) variation in profiles within the target group LTJ, ii) the effectiveness of services and actions within Active Labour Market Programmes (ALMP) for this specific group, and iii) the effectiveness of actions by the Flemish Employment Office and further needs amongst employers. In work package 1, we make use of qualitative focus group interviews to gain insight into the attitudes towards labour force participation, employability, barriers and needs according to the profile of LTJ. The main shortcoming in existing literature on LTJ activation is the lack of impact evaluations for this specific target group. Consequently, work package 2 combines a Flanders-wide analysis of inflow into and effectiveness of services and actions at VDAB and partners, with a Mixed Methods experimental design in which we use Antwerp and Limburg as laboratory cases for an intervention study. In order to not only answer the question "do ALMP work?" but also to gain insight into why they are (in)effective in leading LTJ to employment, we will follow up a selection of individual cases through longitudinal qualitative research by conducting in-depth interviews with all stakeholders around a trajectory, i.e. with the jobseeker, employer and Employment Office caseworker. Work package 3 focuses on the demand side of the labour market (i.e. employers) and first of all includes an analysis of the effectiveness of actions and further needs among employers through a vignette study across Flanders. In the last work package of this project, we will synthesise the main findings of the previous work packages and organise a stakeholder workshop where the findings will be discussed and validated with the LTJ target group.

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  • Research Project

Consultancy on topics: sex education, contraceptives, abortion, reproductive medicine, prenatal care in Belgium. 25/11/2022 - 28/02/2023

Abstract

This project maps reproductive health policies in Belgium since 1980. We look at the topics: (1) sex education (to what extent is there a national policy on this topic, from when was it implemented, what does the policy entail and how did it change over the years) (2) contraceptives (to what extent is there a national policy on this topic, from when was it implemented, what does the policy entail and how did it change over the years) (3) abortion (to what extent is there a national policy on this topic, from when was it implemented, what does the policy entail and how has it changed over the years) (4) reproductive medicine (to what extent is there a national policy on this topic, from when was it implemented, what does the policy entail and how did it change over the years) (5) prenatal care (to what extent is there a national policy on this topic, from when was it implemented, what does the policy entail and how did it change over the years). The results of this project will be compared with policies from other European countries.

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  • Research Project

FWO sabbatical 2021-2022 (Prof. E. Wouters). 15/09/2021 - 14/09/2022

Abstract

The proposed sabbatical leave aims to build a new, innovative and timely line of research which looks at illness from a syndemic perspective. The empirical establishment of these interrelationships between diseases and the social context in which they thrive (research objective 1) will be matched by the development and testing of appropriate healthcare interventions (research objective 2).

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  • Research Project

BOF Sabbatical 2021-2022 - Edwin Wouters. 15/09/2021 - 14/09/2022

Abstract

The proposed sabbatical leave aims to build a new, innovative and timely line of research which looks at illness from a syndemic perspective. The empirical establishment of these interrelationships between diseases and the social context in which they thrive (research objective 1) will be matched by the development and testing of appropriate healthcare interventions (research objective 2).

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  • Research Project

Qualitative in-depth research to assess a new community health worker project in Belgium 15/03/2021 - 14/02/2024

Abstract

Previous studies have clearly identified the population groups who experience difficulties in the access to primary health care (PHC) in Belgium, namely financially vulnerable individuals as well as individuals with low- educational attainment. The barriers to PHC are not only related to individual characteristics, but also to the organizational characteristics of primary healthcare. In order to overcome these barriers related to access to PHC, the Federal Government (FOD Volksgezondheid) has instigated a community health worker (CHW) project in Belgium in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Aim of the CHW project is to improve access to primary healthcare for vulnerable groups in socially disadvantaged communities. This research project will assess this implementation of this CHW project by conducting in-depth qualitative research with the CHWs themselves, the recipients of the CHW support and the CHW supervisors.

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  • Research Project

An in-depth analysis of vulnerable student populations within the Belgian context and of how higher-education policies can strengthen their resilience. 10/02/2021 - 31/01/2022

Abstract

The COVID-19 epidemic and the associated government and higher-education institution (HEI) measures impact the well-being of students and vulnerable student groups in particular. We aim to (1) measure this impact and identify the vulnerable groups; (2) map the HEI measures, and their relative impact on the well-being; (3) identify the why and how of this impact; and eventually (4) identify and co-develop effective and feasible strategies to minimize this impact in future outbreaks and epidemics.

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  • Research Project

The COVID-19 International Student Well-Being Study. 01/12/2020 - 30/11/2021

Abstract

This project aims to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on well-being in higher-education students. Our research consists of three parts. In a first part we use the C19 ISWS dataset, which collected information on student well-being during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this in more than 100 educational institutions from 26 countries. With this data we want to investigate (1) to what extent differences exist between the different countries and educational institutions, (2) how these differences can be related to the protective measures implemented by the governments, and (3) by the educational institutions. In a second part, we zoom in on the Belgian context, combining the Belgian sample of the C19 ISWS with information collected through focus groups with student representatives and members of the cells for innovation and quality of education. Not only do we want to identify at-risk groups, we also want to explain how the implemented measures had an impact on the student population and on these atrisk groups, as well as which coping mechanisms students used during the pandemic. The information from these two strands will be brought together to identify best practices that promote the well-being of the student population during future outbreaks.

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  • Research Project

The strengths of intergenerational ties in the COVID-19 pandemic: a comparative study. 01/11/2020 - 31/10/2021

Abstract

During the 2020 pandemic, experts have referred to the "changing" or even "detrimental" impact of the recent lockdowns on family relations. Most claims were based on anecdotal evidence or, at best, at small-scale non-representative ad hoc surveys. This study will gain insights in intergenerational relationships drawing on nationally representative samples in a European comparative perspective. The topic of intergenerational relationships deserves close attention as the need for self-isolation has been higher for elderly during the virus outbreak. At the same time, older people strongly depend on interpersonal exchanges since relatives are crucial in their social network, support supply and well-being. Hence, the elderly may face a double adversity: the impact of infection and, indirectly, the greater hindrances of social confinement. This research aims to assess the changing vulnerabilities in family relations in the light of the 2020 pandemic. The important question arises whether intergenerational relationships are strengthened or weakened and how family characteristics play their role in this process. The project studies three aspects: intergenerational contact, informal support and well-being. In particular, it targets the impact of gender, household composition and socio-economic status. Using the COVID-19-tailored SHARE survey data for 50 000 Europeans aged 50+ collected in 27 countries, the study also addresses the heterogeneity in policy and social contexts.

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  • Research Project

Survey Informal Care in Flanders 15/12/2019 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

The aim of this study is to obtain recurring indicators of different types of informal care among Flemish respondents aged 18 or older. In order to gain insights across time, the survey will be repeated every 4 or 5 years. Informal care in this study is seen as a process.This means that we will both focus on determinants of giving and receiving (potential) informal care and on the actual practices and consequences.

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  • Research Project

Single in Europe – A longitudinal, cross-comparative study on singleness. 01/12/2019 - 30/11/2023

Abstract

In the last few decades there have been notable changes on a demographic level regarding romantic relationship formation, dissolution, alternate unions and cohabitation forms (Mortelmans, Matthijs, Alofs, & Segaert, 2016). Research uniformly shows an overall delay in leaving the parental home, marriage and childbearing. The number of marriages keeps declining as divorce rates go up, and the amount of unmarried people who are formally or informally cohabiting climbs. A strong increase in singleness and single households can be observed on a quasi-global scale, adding to longevity and widowing (e.g. Eurostat, 2017). In the case of Belgium for example one third of people has a single household status, for the Brussels region this is even higher with 1 in 2 inhabitants living in a single household. Predictions are a rise to half of the population by 2060 (Federaal Planbureau, 2016). The trend is observed in many European countries. Despite these developments, cross national insights have not been gathered on differences between countries and policy regimes. In this project, we aim to gain insight in the determinants and trajectories of singles in Europe. We will use longitudinal and comparative methods to map singleness in the European context.

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  • Research Project

Understanding mother's decision-making concerning the medicalization of her daughter's genital cut in Egypt. 01/12/2019 - 01/12/2021

Abstract

Quantitative research show that medicalization of FGC is associated with mother's having a higher social position. We intend to complement this quantitative research with a qualitative part making it a mixed-methods sequential explanatory design. The qualitative part aims to entangle why the associations between the social position that the mother occupies, as well as the existing social norms concerning FGC, influence the decision-making process of the mother. We aim to explore how mothers come to the decision to medicalize their daughter's cut, in order to understand the influence of their social position and of perceived social norms. We will explore believes and attitudes towards both FGC and the medicalization of the practice to gain insights into this decision-making process.

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  • Research Project

Women's employment and divorce: untangling causes and consequences. 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

It has long been assumed, by economists and sociologists alike, that the dramatic rise in (mainly Western) divorce rates since the 1960s was a direct result of the equally dramatic rise in women's economic independence due to their increased labour market participation. One would expect that the overall negative financial consequences of relationship dissolution have fallen over time, with women becoming more self-supporting. However, it remains unclear whether this change over time can solely be attributed to women's economic independence and whether or not it has been the same for all women. This research has two goals. Firstly, since the expectations on the 'role' of men and women in the household have changed, the research intends to investigate how the division of not only paid labour, but also household labour influences divorce risks. A second aim is to examine factors that cause financial inequalities between women who experienced a relationship dissolution to arise or persist. Uncharted territory in this respect is the role of "anticipation". Women who expect an upcoming dissolution are hypothesized to take precautionary measures such as finding employment to deal with the negative financial consequences. Not accounting for this anticipation in research leads to biased conclusions because observing women a certain time (e.g. one year) after divorce does not necessarily mean that they have been coping with the divorce for the same amount of time.

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  • Research Project

Study on transition and exclusion in society of single-mums (STRESS-mums). 02/09/2019 - 31/10/2021

Abstract

Lone motherhood is considered as an increasing social problem, not only because its increase but also since it leads to diverse and separated women having only a partial citizenship. There is little knowledge on the social relations and practices that contribute – or do not contribute – to protecting and socially including lone mothers, beginning from the crucial transition to lone parenthood: the judicial evaluation. Focusing on the transition from double parenthood to lone motherhood and, in particular, on the period of judicial evaluation for child custody and judicial decisions for children/family allowances and divorce/separation, this project aims to investigate some specific aspects of the sociocultural construction of an active gender citizenship by future lone mothers. The interest is in lone mothers' everyday strategies and social practices to claim inclusion and to negotiate (or not negotiate) the dominant definition of family and parenthood proposed by institutions and professionals, and the less legitimated and multiple situated definitions of lone parents and their families. Introducing the everyday dimension into the study of gender citizenship has the purpose of exploring the lone mothers' manifest and hidden 'work' of legitimation and of possible de-legitimation by institutions. Adopting the sociological approach of Institutional Ethnography (IE) as a method, this study will collect data in three EU countries (Belgium, Italy and Spain) and in the UK, with discursive interviews to lone mothers, professionals and gender issues activists, participant observations, and photo-voice. The action includes an extensive training in life course studies and gender studies, advanced qualitative methods and academic English language. This action will be hosted by the University of Antwerp, with a secondment phase at the University of Edinburgh and visits at the University of Granada and at the IEN-Institutional Ethnography Nordic Network.

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  • Research Project

Fieldwork of the Belgian National Election Study and Belgian Ethnic Minorities Election Study. 01/08/2019 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

This project entails the fieldwork of the Belgian Ethnic Minorities Election Study. The project will use the interviewer network of the Centre for Population, Family and Health. The fieldwork will be executed in the city of Antwerp in the period of October 2019 - February 2020.

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  • Research Project

Fieldwork for the Belgian national Election Study 01/08/2019 - 31/07/2020

Abstract

This project entails the fieldwork of the Belgian National Election Study. The project will use the interviewer network of the Centre for Population, Family and Health. The fieldwork will be executed in Flanders in the period of October 2019 - February 2020.

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  • Research Project

Follow-up Research Living Together in Diversity 01/03/2019 - 31/08/2019

Abstract

"Superdiversity" stands central in Flanders. This high degree of diversity implies that the number of people with a migration background is steadily increasing, but also increasingly heterogeneous. In order to be able to tailor policy to this superdiversity, it is essential to observe and analyse the position of groups with a migration background in different domains. To gain insight into domains that cannot be investigated on the basis of variables available in administrative databases, the Flemish Government launched the "Samenleven in Diversiteit" (SID) survey in 2017 (Stuyck et al., 2018). This survey focuses in particular on people with a Moroccan, Turkish, Polish, Romanian and Congolese background, groups that are typically underrepresented in other surveys. This research deals with diversity and integration as transversal concepts that relate to a wide range of themes and policy domains. In this follow-up study we focus on diversity and integration in individual behaviours, attitudes and experiences. We distinguish seven societal domains: (1) education and educational experiences of children, (2) labour market positions, (3) language skills and language use, (4) civic integration courses, (5) diversity and social contacts, (6) social participation and (7) attitudes towards diversity and the position of religion in society. We aim to address four broad research goals: 1. Operationalization of the concept migration background in the SID sample; 2. Documenting variation in the seven societal domains by migration background; 3. To study the extent to which variation in the seven societal domains by migration background can be explained by socio-demographic background characteristics, socio-economic characteristics or socio-cultural profiles; 4. To map the mutual dynamics between the societal domains, with special attention to spill-over effects for groups with a migrant background.

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  • Research Project

Scale Up an integrated care package for diabetes and hypertension for vulnerable people in Cambodia, Slovenia and Belgium (SCUBY). 01/01/2019 - 30/06/2023

Abstract

Background: Diabetes and hypertension are increasingly dominant in the global burden of disease. Effective interventions for prevention, detection, treatment and control of both conditions are available, but do not reach all people in need. Countries are struggling how to scale-up interventions sustainably and effectively. There is an urgent need to develop and document strategies on how to do so. Method: This project examines the scale-up of existing evidence-based packages for control of diabetes and/or hypertension with five components: (a) identification of people with hypertension and/or type 2 diabetes and (b) treatment in primary care services, (c) health education and (d) self-management support to patients and caregivers, and (e) collaboration among caregivers. The project develops, implements and evaluates roadmaps for the national scale-up of this package, in three different types of countries: a low-middle income country with a developing health system (Cambodia), a former socialist country with a centralised health system (Slovenia), and a Western European country with a decentralised system (Belgium). The research objectives are: 1) to analyse the organisational capacity to scale-up the integrated care package and to assess contextual barriers and facilitators; 2) to develop and implement roadmaps for a national scale-up strategy in each country; 3) to evaluate the impact of scale-up on health outcomes and costs; and 4) to generate lessons for other countries. Outcomes: The project will result in comprehensive scale-up strategies and increased diabetes and hypertension control in each country. The involvement of policy-makers, professionals and patients will ensure the local relevance and impact. The project is innovative in applying the conceptual insights from scale-up science to the field of noncommunicable diseases. The lessons on scale-up will benefit policy-makers in other countries with similar contexts.

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  • Research Project

The gendered care perspective: a dynamic and systemic approach to intergenerational solidarity. 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

The sociological field of intergenerational solidarity studies the type and intensity of interactions between adult children and their parents. For upward informal caregiving (children looking after their parents), it has been acknowledged that care arrangements are shaped within families. Although it are individual children who care for their parents, the amount of care a child provides is generally the outcome of a collective family decision. Gender stands out as a determinant of the care a child provides. Caregiving is unfairly weighted against women, especially in male-dominated families. An important feature of informal caregiving is its fluidity. Caregiving in families can be renegotiated at any time, frequently because of changes in the lives of caregivers or shifting needs of the care receiver. This project examines the extent to which caregiving is subject to change, and how this relates to the gender composition of children and other aspects of the family context. Using a rich longitudinal panel, we pursue 4 aims: (1) to examine to what extent the gender composition of siblings affects the care use of parents, (2) to assess the association between gender composition and stability of the adult-child care network, (3) to study the stability and redistribution of the informal care burden and how this relates to siblings' gender composition, and 4) to investigate how the care network and distribution of sibling care vary when parents' care needs change.

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  • Research Project

Optimise Prep to maximise impact (PROMISE). 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

The impact of an HIV infection on an individual's life, family and society is enormous. Worldwide major progress has been made in reducing AIDS related morbidity and mortality by treating HIV infected people with antiretroviral treatment (ART). ART reduces infectiousness, and hence transmission of HIV. However, prevention remains the most important challenge. HIV incidence has been stable or even increased among specific subpopulations such as men having sex with men (MSM) in Western Europe, despite access to ART. An innovative response to further reduce HIV infections is urgently needed, including the development and evaluation of new tools, as well as better tailoring of approaches to key populations. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is such a novel prevention tool, involving ART given to uninfected persons to block HIv HIV transmission. Oral PrEP, mostly used as Truvada (containing Emtricitabine and Tenofovir), has been shown to be efficacious in 11 clinical trials, in different populations and geographical areas. The overall aim of this project is to learn how PrEP roll out can be optimized to result in maximum impact on HIV and sexual health. This question will be addressed looking at 4 interrelated themes each including research objectives (ROs): Among community of MSM (WP 1): RO 1.1 Assess the number of MSM eligible for PrEP in Flanders RO 1.2 Examine whether PrEP is reaching the right MSM – those most at risk – in Flanders RO 1.3 Explore the impact of PrEP on the sexual culture and health of MSM in Flanders Among community of Sub-Saharan African Migrants (WP 2): RO 2.1 To identify and estimate the proportion of eligible PrEP users within the SAM communities RO 2.2 To explore perceived community barriers and facilitators for PrEP acceptability and feasibility RO 2.3 To explore perceived individual barriers and facilitators for potential and actual PrEP use Among users (WP 3): RO 3.1 To differentiate patterns of PrEP use and sexual risk behaviour among PrEP users in Flanders RO 3.2 To describe differences in PrEP care needs among users RO 3.3 To document the frequency and associated factors of syndemics among PrEP Among providers (WP 4): RO 4.1 Describe (barriers to) PrEP care in Belgium RO 4.2 Inventory interventions that could address the most prevalent syndemics among PrEP users RO 4.3 Explore GPs' attitudes towards PrEP and their self-perceived roles in PrEP care. RO 4.4 Inform the development of a model for self-managed PrEP care.

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  • Research Project

Like brother, like sister: Sibling influence on their respective life courses. 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

Whether and how family of origin influences the steps someone takes later in life, is a fundamental question in the social sciences. Intergenerational influences have already been studied in life events like leaving the parental home, union formation, and union dissolution. But previous research has only focused on how children imitate the family formation of their parents (i.e. intergenerational inheritance). In this project, we shift the focus from intergenerational to intragenerational influences in families. The proposed project studies whether and how siblings influence each other's family life courses. We consider siblings as important social ties and draw from the life course perspective and social network theory to hypothesize how siblings influence each other's chances of leaving the parental home, forming a union, or dissolving their union. The project uses a sequential QUAN-qual mixed methods approach. For the QUAN-part, data from Belgian national registers are drawn from the Crossroads Bank for Social Security. This allows us to follow siblings through time and model their family dynamics with event history techniques. For the qual-part, data from indepth interviews will be obtained in order to gain further insights in the objective and subjective factors that influence sibling effects on these three life course transitions. The project contributes to the literature by investigating new directions through which family of origin influences family pathways.

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  • Research Project

Understanding mother's decision-making concerning the medicalization of her daughter's genital cut. 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

The objective of my PhD research is to perform an in-depth study on the medicalization of FGC. Based on a comprehensive literature review, I developed the following hypotheses: H1. Medicalization of FGC is stratified by socio-economic status; because of both financial capability and increased knowledge about the healthcare system and possible health risks of FGC. H2. Medicalization of FGC acts as a status symbol on its own. The economic ability of mothers to circumcise their daughter in a medical context may contribute to their social status. H3. Medicalization of FGC acts as a harm-reduction strategy. When social pressure to cut is strong, women may opt for a medicalized cut (rather than to not cut at all) to conform the social pressure in a safer alternative way. H4. Medicalization of FGC acts as a social norm itself. Medicalized FGC has become the dominant cultural view of how FGC should be performed.

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  • Research Project

HIV competent households as a sustainable answer to HIV prevention and treatment challenges in South Africa: longitudinal qualitative research. 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

7 million patients living with HIV, overcrowded waiting rooms, lack of doctors. That is the hard reality of the South African healthcare. The government struggles with the question in which way to care for the growing group of patients living with HIV. Therefore, they summon the help of thousands of community health workers. Despite the success of the ART programme, South Africa is still faced with both prevention and treatment challenges. To tackle the remaining challenges, future endeavours need to focus on the search for additional human resources between the (I) community and (II) PLWH themselves, namely PLWH's household. To better understand, the potential role of the household as a health-enabling context for people living with HIV (PLWH), i.e. HIV competent households, longitudinal in-depth interviews with the selected PLWH and household members will be conducted at various time points.

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  • Research Project

Evaluation of activities related to sexual health of Sub-Saharan African Migrants 20/12/2018 - 31/10/2019

Abstract

This project evaluates activities for the promotion of sexual health of sub-Saharan African migrants (SAM) in Flanders. Based on the results of the document-analysis and the qualitative research (key informant interview and focus group discussions), the research team will formulate recommendations for future activities for SAM.

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  • Research Project

Labour Migration and Population Ageing: anlyzing the effectiveness of current labour market integration and job councelling trajectories for newly arrived immigrants and individuals with a migration background in Flanders. 01/10/2018 - 30/09/2022

Abstract

Between 2015 and 2030 welfare states throughout Europe (including Belgium) will face the long-term implications of the babyboom and subsequent babybust in the latter part of the 20th century: the large cohorts of the 1950s and 1960s will gradually enter retirement, while the small cohorts born since the mid 1970s are not sufficiently large to offset the shrinking labour force. The 2001 report of the United Nations on replacement migration estimated that a significant increase of migration (compared to levels of the mid 1990s) would be required to maintain the size of the working age population in Europe. In contrast to expectations and despite wide scepticism regarding to the UN migration prospects, immigration has substantially increased throughout Europe since the early 2000s, exceeding the migration volumes of the 1950s and 1960s by a considerable margin. However, throughout Europe the employment levels of migrant populations are significantly lower than is the case among natives, fuelling scepticism in the public debate with respect to replacement migration. Although the overrepresentation of second and later generation migrants in unemployment has been documented repeatedly, as well as the overrepresentation of first generation migrants in social assistance, only a limited body of work has hitherto been able to access existing register data to address the uptake and impact of active labour market programmes (ALMP's) and (labour force) integration policies on labour market outcomes for first and second generation migrants. This project uses a novel data infrastructure that was developed in a preceding VIONA-project (Flemish Government) which aimed to link longitudinal register data from integration offices, employment offices and social security organisations in order to reconstruct and analyse labour market trajectories of both the resident population with a migration background (second and later generation migrants) and new migrants entering the country in the period 2005-2016 (first generation migrants), including asylum seekers. Given this highly innovative research infrastructure – in tandem with the fact that different migration profiles can be considered - this project will contribute to the scarce literature on the effectiveness of different integration and employment policies to labour market integration of individuals with a migration background, while additionally shedding light on the variation in the effectiveness of such policies for different migrant groups as the barriers that second and later generation migrants, first generation migrants (e.g. family formation and reunification) and asylum seekers face in entering the labour market are different. The project aims to continue the collaboration with the various regional stakeholders involved in the construction of the data-infrastructure and envisages the valorisation of the research findings in collaboration with local and regional actors in the field of labour market and integration policies.

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  • Research Project

The misuse of prescription stimulants as cognitive enhancers among Flemish university and college students: the process of prescribing, supplying and acquiring. 01/10/2018 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

The university or college experience is often viewed as a time of transition, experimentation and risk-taking, especially with regard to substance misuse. While there has been an abundance of research on alcohol and marijuana misuse, other areas of this research field remain relatively unexplored, in particular the scientific knowledge on the misuse of prescription stimulants – generally prescribed to treat Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorders (AD(H)D) – by students as a means for performance enhancement. Exploratory research in Flanders reported a prevalence of up to 10% of Flemish students using prescription stimulants during the exams, resulting in considerable attention in the news media. However, there is a clear dearth in scientific knowledge on (1) which student groups are vulnerable to such drug misuse and why they misuse these stimulants (demand side) and (2) how these students access the prescription drugs (supply side). The proposed study aims to fill these research gaps and generate scientific knowledge on stimulant misuse in Flanders. From a theoretical point of view, a comprehensive theoretical model, the theory of triadic influence, will be used to disentangle the complex mechanisms through which the decision to misuse ADHD drugs can be explained. From a methodological point of view a comprehensive mixed-methods research design will be used focusing on three vital stakeholders: students, general practitioners and pharmacists.

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  • Research Project

Building HIV competent households: A sustainable answer to HIV prevention and treatment challenges in South Africa. 01/10/2018 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

The response to the HIV epidemic in South Africa is complicated by human resource shortages in healthcare. Building health-enabling households with the capacity to actively stimulate a lifestyle that fosters health offers a potential strategy to tackle South Africa's current prevention and treatment challenges. Research is thus urgently needed on how to create 'HIV competent households', which adopt preventive strategies and help HIV positive members to adhere to treatment and remain in care. Aim of this post-doctoral research is to investigate to what extent and how a household intervention can: (1) increase HIV competence in people living with HIV (PLWH) and their households, and subsequently (2) improve prevention (PLWH + household) and treatment (PLWH) outcomes. Methodologically, this study adopts a longitudinal mixed methods design. To respond to our quantitative research aims, data from the cluster randomized controlled trial, the "HIV competent Household" (HCH) study, will be analysed, using latent cross-lagged modelling. To construct a comprehensive picture of the mechanisms underlying the impact of the intervention on the household and the PLWH, various qualitative data sources will be used (i.e., participatory observations and repeated in-depth interviews with PLWH; and their household members).

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  • Research Project

Survey to measure the satisfaction among members of the COV union. 01/10/2018 - 30/11/2018

Abstract

This survey aims to map the the satisfaction among members of the COV union. The survey is done with Qualtrics (web survey) among all registered members of the union. Next, the survey is analysed and a report is prepared for the management of COV. Together with the union, suggestions will be studied to improve the service towards members.

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  • Research Project

The Development of a Register-Based Socio-Demographic Panel to Study Work-Family Behaviour. 01/04/2018 - 31/03/2019

Abstract

The development of a professional career and formation of a family are two common life-goals. As a result, the recursive relation between paid work and family formation is a long-standing research topic in the social sciences, particularly in today's era of dual earner households and state-provided work-family policies. Available research has shown that work and family life have become more compatible as employment-effects on family formation are becoming more positive and the negative effect of parenthood on employment is weakening. The fact that in particular North-western European countries with extensive work-family policies exhibit these changes in the work-family nexus, suggests that these policies have played an important role. However, besides this general narrative of increasing combinability of work and family in countries like Belgium, available literature does not allow one to conclude on whether work-family combination has become easier for everyone in our society. This is noteworthy as differences between genders, educational groups, or migrant origins are likely to enhance our understanding of work-family behaviour in relation to public policy. Additionally, policy-makers cannot be satisfied with general trends in work-family behaviours and policy uptake as social inclusion stands central in the development of social policy. Literature reviews indicate that these gaps in our knowledge are often related to limited data availability. First, routinely used cross-sectional data do not allow to follow individuals over time and assess how employment affects family formation and vice versa. Second, a lack of couple data hampers the study of couple-decisions and gender dynamics in the organization of work and family. Third, surveys do not include information on the uptake of work-family policies, which is essential to the measurement of policy effects. Fourth, limited sample sizes have hampered the study of differential work-family behaviour by population subgroups such as educational of ethnic groups. Finally, although cross-national comparisons are potentially very informative on the impact of societal and institutional context, available comparisons remain very descriptive due to the aforementioned limitations. As a result of the limitations of available data sources in the study of work-family behaviour, this project aims to enhance our knowledge by developing a Socio-demographic panel based on data from the Crossroads Bank for Social Security and the National Register. This data source allows a (i) longitudinal (ii) couple-level assessment of (iii) uptake and effects of work-family policies (formal childcare, parental leave, service vouchers) (iv) for detailed population subgroups. In addition, (v) close cooperation with our partner institutes in other North-western European countries with access to detailed register data will allow to compare work-family dynamics between countries.

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  • Research Project

Bridging the gap: an intervention to capitalize on the intermediate role of the households in community support for HIV care. 01/01/2018 - 31/08/2022

Abstract

The HIV epidemic is putting a massive burden on South Africa's health system. Given the shortage of human resources for health, community health worker (CHW) support is cited as an integral part of a sustainable antiretroviral treatment (ART) strategy. Evidence supports the potential of CHW involvement but demonstrates large variability in its effective-ness. Work by this research team demonstrated that this variability can be largely explained by the household context – CHW support stimulates ART success in HIV competent households but does not work in less competent households. This proposal aims to build on this knowledge by developing and testing – in a cluster randomized controlled trial – a household intervention to (1) stimulate HIV competence levels and create HIV competent households, and thus (2) opti-mize the impact of CHW support on individual ART outcomes. With the activities outlined, the TEAM project will (1) build new knowledge and skills at the South partner in order to (2) develop an evidence-based, feasible and sustainable strat-egy to optimize the outcomes in vulnerable contexts where this knowledge is needed most.

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  • Research Project

Households in HIV care: developing and testing an intervention to capitalize on the intermediate role of the household in community support for chronic HIV care. 01/01/2018 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

With 7 million South Africans currently infected with HIV and 3.5 million currently receiving lifesaving antiretroviral treatment (ART), the epidemic is putting a massive burden on the country's health system. Given the severe shortage of human resources in the healthcare sector, community health worker (CHW) support is being increasingly cited as an integral part of a sustainable ART strategy. Recent review studies support the potential of CHW involvement but also signal the large variability in the effectiveness of such support. Previous work by the current research team demonstrated that this variability can be largely explained by the household context in which the CHWs are active – demonstrating that CHW support stimulates ART adherence in HIV competent households but does not work in less competent households. The current FWO projct aims to build on this knowledge by developing and testing – in a cluster randomized controlled trial – an evidence-based household intervention to (1) stimulate HIV competence levels and create HIV competent households, and thus (2) optimize the impact of CHW support on individual ART outcomes. The resulting knowledge could potentially be a game changer for HIV treatment interventions in resource-limited settings as stimulating HIV competence at the household level could be a feasible and sustainable strategy to optimize the outcomes of these CHW interventions in a vulnerable context where this knowledge in needed most.

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  • Research Project

Survey on the work experience of firefighters and comparative research between Dutch and Flemish context. 21/12/2017 - 30/06/2018

Abstract

Brandweervereniging Vlaanderen (BVV) organizes a survey on the work experience of firefighters in Flanders. This is done in response to the request from the FOD Binnenlandse Zaken for information onthe motivation of voluntary firefighters. Based on the survey that was already conducted in the Netherlands (under the guidance of the Institute for Physical Safety), the BVV now conducts a similar survey in order to provide a realistic picture of the work experience of firefighters within the Flemish context, and to possibly allow comparative research between the Dutch and Flemish context. The UAntwerp was approached for the methodological side of this survey and to guarantee the scientific nature of (the interpretation of ) the results.

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  • Research Project

Psychological distress in parents: a comparative analysis of European childcare systems. 01/10/2017 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

Children bring joy, but also stress, especially among employed parents who struggle to combine work with childcare. This research proposal intends to examine how European welfare states differ in the way they enable childcare and how this may impact psychological stress in parents with young dependent children. Some European welfare states implement policies and services that enable parents to work full-time, for example, by providing high-quality public childcare services. Other European welfare states may consider care-giving as equally valuable as paid employment, and may therefore provide long and well-paid parental leaves. Some European welfare states combine both approaches, while others neglect childcare all together in the development of their welfare policies. In the current research proposal, we examine how European variations in childcare policies and services may impact psychological distress in parents. We intend to compare different household types, for example by comparing male-breadwinner households with dual-earner households. We additionally look at lone mother households. Finally, we look at how childcare provided by grandparents may be crowded-out by childcare policies, and how this may relate to psychological distress in parents.

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  • Research Project

For better health in university and college students: pin-pointing the interplay between social support, study stress, substance use and mental health across different study programs. 01/10/2017 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

Background: In contemporary Belgium, the university or college experience has become an important transitional period in the life course. Culturally, these years are viewed as a time of transition, experimentation and risk-taking. This transitional period in life is not without risk: increasing attention – especially in the United States – is given to the elevated stress levels that university and college students experience, which can be linked to increased substance use and mental health problems. However, little is known about the interrelationships between study stress, substance use and mental health among the Flemish student population – stressing the need for research on this relevant student health problem. In addition, students do not live and study in a social vacuum: they are surrounded by peers and embedded in study programs. This context can potentially alter the interrelationships between study stress, substance use and mental health problems: (1) social support as a potential buffer and (2) the characteristics of the study program as a driver for inter-study-program variance. Little is however known on the impact of these social and organizational factors on the described interrelationships. Objectives: The present BOF DOCPRO Bonus-project aims to address these shortcomings by examining the impact of student stress on both mental health problems and substance misuse, mediated by the on- and off-line social support available to the student and across different study programs. Methods: More specifically, we will (1) study the interrelationships between study stress, the use of three substances (stimulants, prescription sleeping pills and cannabis) and mental health problems using the 2017 Head in the Clouds dataset (expected n = approx. 20.000). (2) We will use Structural Equation Modelling to test which theoretical model best mimics the role of on- and off-line support in these interrelationships: a direct effect, an indirect effect (via study stress) or a buffer effect (impacting on the path between stress and substance use/mental health). (3) We will employ multiple group SEM to assess how these relationships differ across the different study programs: do differing levels of knowledge and competition impact on these interrelationships? The two latter research questions will be addressed using a newly gathered dataset among the students of the Association University and Colleges of Antwerp. Expected outcomes: The proposed study can have both theoretical and practical implications. Theoretically, it is the first study to explore the complex mechanisms underlying substance use and mental health problems among a large student population – with special attention for the role of social and organizational determinants. Practically, the resulting scientific knowledge potentially enables according effective preventative interventions to help students channel study stress and avoid detrimental health choices and mental health problems.

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  • Research Project

Women's employment and divorce: untangling causes and consequences 01/10/2017 - 30/09/2019

Abstract

It has long been assumed, by economists and sociologists alike, that the dramatic rise in (mainly Western) divorce rates since the 1960s was a direct result of the equally dramatic rise in women's economic independence due to their increased labour market participation. One would expect that the overall negative financial consequences of relationship dissolution have fallen over time, with women becoming more self-supporting. However, it remains unclear whether this change over time can solely be attributed to women's economic independence and whether or not it has been the same for all women. This research has two goals. Firstly, since the expectations on the 'role' of men and women in the household have changed, the research intends to investigate how the division of not only paid labour, but also household labour influences divorce risks. A second aim is to examine factors that cause financial inequalities between women who experienced a relationship dissolution to arise or persist. Uncharted territory in this respect is the role of "anticipation". Women who expect an upcoming dissolution are hypothesized to take precautionary measures such as finding employment to deal with the negative financial consequences. Not accounting for this anticipation in research leads to biased conclusions because observing women a certain time (e.g. one year) after divorce does not necessarily mean that they have been coping with the divorce for the same amount of time.

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  • Research Project

Social Inclusion Of Children With Special Needs In Uganda – A Photovoice Study. 01/04/2017 - 31/03/2018

Abstract

Approximately 13% of the Ugandan children are living with some form of disability. Promoting inclusive societies for children living with a disability has been recognized to be the cornerstone of disability policies in the international, but also in the Ugandan context. However, previous research has demonstrated that when it comes to implementing such inclusive programs and allocating adequate resources many African countries, such as Uganda, lag behind. Based on the literature review we are currently undertaking, there is a clear research need to investigate how children are included in different activities in the Ugandan society. Therefore this research project aims to investigate (1) the mechanisms by which children with a disability are included in education, rehabilitation, cultural and recreational activities in the Ugandan society; (2) which barriers impede inclusion of children with disability? As research is needed which is undertaken in collaboration with disabled children and their parents, photo elicitation will be used to answer our research questions. Fieldwork will be conducted in collaboration with researchers from Makerere University. Respondents will be recruited in collaboration with the Angel's Centre, which is a non-governmental organization, located in Wakiso district, in the central region of Uganda. This project proposal is both relevant for academic and policy purposes. For academic research, and research that feeds into policy change, this research has the potential to plug a gap in the understanding of social inclusion of children with a disability and its barriers in resource limited settings. This pilot project will not only result in academic publications and presentations, but also in new project proposals. Based on the lessons learned from this innovative pilot project, future research grant applications will be submitted aiming to build a new line of research.

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  • Research Project

Couple's labour force participation around parenthood: can differential labour market trajectories and resources account for doing gender? 01/01/2017 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

In recent decades, European societies witnessed an unprecedented increase in women's labour force participation. The rise of gender equity in education and labour markets has not been mirrored, however, by a similar shift of gender equity in families and households. The division of household work continues to be strongly gendered and labour force participation around parenthood shows more variation among women than men. Micro-economic theories account for gender specialization in (un)paid work by bargaining based on relative socio-economic positions of partners. However, as women increasingly outperform men in terms of earning potential, the persistence of traditional gender specialization in households is paradoxical. In contrast, gender identity theories suggest that couples conform to and reproduce gender roles, and that decisions regarding family formation and the parental division of (un)paid labour strongly depend on cultural norms. Using detailed register-based panel data for Belgium and comparative panel data for Europe, this project studies couples' labour force participation around parenthood. We assess whether economic preconditions for parenthood (financial resources, time availability, job security) are gendered and subsequently analyse whether the relative socio-economic position of partners can account for the reinforcement of gender roles following parenthood, or whether gender roles persist despite the changing relative labour market position of women.

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  • Research Project

Chair in Migration, Integration and Labour Markets with specific focus on labour market position of women and effectiveness of (labour market) integration programmes targeting recent migrants. 20/12/2016 - 30/09/2019

Abstract

The chair on Migration, Integration and Labour Markets is a colloborative research project with the Flemish government on the labour market position of individuals with a migration background in Flanders, with specific focus on the labour on the labour market position of migrant women and the effectiveness of (labour market) integration trajectories targeting recent migrants. The project is innovative in that aims to integrate register data on i) integration trajectories, ii) education and activation trajectories and iii) work permits with longitudinal microdata drawn from the Crossroads Bank for Social Security to reconstruct and analyse labour market trajectories of resident and new migrants using advanced hazard and econometric models. Throughout the project interviews and focus groups are set up with both participants and counselors to bring additional insight to the longitudinal analysis of trajectories based on register data.

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  • Research Project

Improving the Labour Market Position of People with a Migration background in Belgium (IMMIGBEL). 15/12/2016 - 30/06/2022

Abstract

The project aims to enhance our understanding of the socio-economic trajectories of people with a migration background, by focusing on three interconnected domains (work packages): the individual, the household and the firm. An extensive international body of research studies the labour market outcomes of people with a migration background, producing inconclusive views on why people with a migration background fare worse than their native counterparts. Human capital theory in a migration context claims that increased demand for a highly-educated workforce has raised the education premium and punishes the less skilled more severely (Katz and Autor, 1999; Baldwin and Beckstead, 2003). Authors find that first generation migrants are often endowed with lower levels and different kinds of human capital than those necessary to fare successfully in western labour markets (Heath and Cheung, 2007). An alternative stream of literature emphasizes the occurrence of different degrees of success in the labour market integration of newcomers (Neels, 2001; Euwals et al. 2007; Baert and Cockx, 2013). The human capital thesis is challenged by segmented assimilation theories rejecting that first generation migrants' disadvantages may weaken over time. Segmented assimilation theories indeed are less optimistic about the potential of education and other factors in explaining first generation migrants' weak labour market position. While some groups have an abundance of opportunities, others face multiple disadvantages, including insufficient social resources and discriminatory processes. There is increasing evidence that many first generation migrants face persistent labour market barriers that threaten their full integration (Fuller, 2011 ). Another factor that negatively affects first generation migrants' investment in the native labour market is the prevalence of discrimination. Even after controlling for human capital and after adjusting for host country characteristics, first generation migrants are often still disadvantaged. A potential, but again only partial, explanation is that first generation migrants face some form of discrimination in the labour market, either directly (Kalleberg and Soresen, 1979) or indirectly (Heath and Cheung, 2007). But the fact that people with a migration background have a harder time getting hired, just as young natives and older employees, does not necessarily directly point to discrimination. Literature equally points to rigidities in the labour market that make it harder for outsiders to find their way in. Strict employment protection makes hiring and firing decisions costly, which reduces the chance of 'risky' hires, such as people with a migration background whose human and cultural capital is much harder to gauge (Kogan, 2006).

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  • Research Project

Female Genital Cutting in a Comparative Perspective. An Examination of changes in prevalence, type and degree of medicalization of the practice in multiple African countries. 01/10/2016 - 30/09/2020

Abstract

Female genital cutting (FGC) in one form or another is currently practiced in most African countries. In the current research proposal we intend to shed light on the practice by examining changes in the practice over time and across generations. We make use of two datasets; the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) data and the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) data. The most recent waves of the DHS and MICS surveys provide data regarding FGC prevalence for 27 countries, but have started to collected data in a number of countries since 1995. Both surveys are nationally representative, cross-sectional, household sample surveys with large sample sizes, typically between 5000 and 15,000 households. Based on the DHS and MICS data, the current research proposal intends to stipulate a macro-sociological approach to the study of FGC. We examine three research questions; (1) whether there are substantial differences between African countries, in the prevalence, type and level of medicalisation of FGC. In addition, we intend to establish trends across time and between generations; (2) whether the level of female empowerment is associated with FGC in both mother and daughter; and (3) how the implementation anti-FGC laws and norms, often imposed by the international community, impacts the local community and practices of FGC.

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  • Research Project

The misuse of prescription stimulants as cognitive enhancers among Flemish university and college students: the process of prescribing, supplying and acquiring. 01/10/2016 - 01/12/2018

Abstract

The university or college experience is often viewed as a time of transition, experimentation and risk-taking, especially with regard to substance misuse. While there has been an abundance of research on alcohol and marijuana misuse, other areas of this research field remain relatively unexplored, in particular the scientific knowledge on the misuse of prescription stimulants – generally prescribed to treat Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorders (AD(H)D) – by students as a means for performance enhancement. Exploratory research in Flanders reported a prevalence of up to 10% of Flemish students using prescription stimulants during the exams, resulting in considerable attention in the news media. However, there is a clear dearth in scientific knowledge on (1) which student groups are vulnerable to such drug misuse and why they misuse these stimulants (demand side) and (2) how these students access the prescription drugs (supply side). The proposed study aims to fill these research gaps and generate scientific knowledge on stimulant misuse in Flanders. From a theoretical point of view, a comprehensive theoretical model, the theory of triadic influence, will be used to disentangle the complex mechanisms through which the decision to misuse ADHD drugs can be explained. From a methodological point of view a comprehensive mixed-methods research design will be used focusing on three vital stakeholders: students, general practitioners and pharmacists.

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  • Research Project

Towards a health-enabling working environment: developing and testing interventions to decrease HIV- and TB-stigma among healthcare workers in the Free State Province, South Africa. 01/01/2016 - 31/12/2019

Abstract

In the context of a devastating HIV/AIDS-TB co-epidemic and severe human resource shortages in the South African health sector, HIV- and TB-related stigmatization among the healthcare workforce does not only threaten the workforce's own health but also the health of the broader population visiting the health facilities. As a response, the proposed DOCPRO BOF-project aims to (1) scientifically assess the extent and sources of HIV- and TB-related stigma among the healthcare workforce as well as (2) develop and (3) test evidence-based stigma-reduction interventions in randomly selected public hospitals in the Free State Province of South Africa. A cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) in 8 hospitals (a minimum of 584 respondents in 4 intervention and 4 control sites) in the Free State province of South Africa will be employed to address these research questions and optimally assess the net impact of the developed interventions. Several factors favor the successful completion of the proposed research activities, namely (1) the innovative character of the project and its solid research design, (2) the availability of sufficient VLIR-UOS funding to roll-out the proposed RCT in South Africa, (3) the stable, long-term research collaboration between the Southern and Northern partner, and (4) the unique opportunity for a Belgian PhD-student to optimally capitalize on the rich dataset gathered in such a large, international research project.

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  • Research Project

The impact of changing family dynamics on intergenerational solidarity 01/01/2016 - 31/12/2019

Abstract

The generations approaching retirement age have witnessed a double shift in family behaviours: a breakdown of traditional patterns of family formation, and an even larger diversity of families among their adult children. This project measures the impact of these increasingly complex lifecourses on intergenerational solidarity within families and look at upward (personal care) and downward (childcare) solidarity and the intervening role of health.

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  • Research Project

Bringing care closer to the community: on the road with community health workers providing treatment adherence support for patients living with HIV/AIDS in a township on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. 26/11/2015 - 31/12/2016

Abstract

Both the growing group of patients living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and/or TB and their encompassing care needs, place pressure on an already stretched health care system in South Africa. To provide in such a resource constrained context, additional care that patients need in order to durably comply with treatment guidelines, community support is mobilised within the framework of task-shifting. The mobilization of the community, moves support closer to the PLWHA and his/her social environment. Inspired by the socio-ecological theory, the interrelatedness and interdependency between individuals and their immediate social context in which they live should be taking into account. To date, interventions largely ignore the social context in which they are implemented. Consequently, research is required to investigate community based support within its contextual reality. This project aims to address these limitations of previous research by answering the following research question: how do the patient's household dynamics hamper or facilitate the impact of community based treatment adherence support programs on the patient? Respondents of the qualitative data collection will be involved in 'respondent validation' to enhance the quality of our data. The researcher's understanding of data collected in the studied social setting will be tested to the perception of the members of that setting, who were the source of information, resulting in cultural sensitive academic output and context specific policy recommendations.

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  • Research Project

Systematic literature review of strategies to reduce TB stigma. 18/11/2015 - 01/09/2016

Abstract

Setting: While substantial progress is made in tuberculosis (TB) control, the success of public health efforts is hampered by pervasive stigma. Objective: We performed a systematic literature review to assess the effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing TB stigma in patients, healthcare workers, caregivers and the general community. Design: Studies were eligible for inclusion if they evaluated interventions aimed at reducing TB stigma and were published between 1950-2015. We searched eight databases (Pubmed, Cochrane Library, Ovid, Embase, PsycInfo, Sociological Abstracts, CNHA and LILACS WHO) and complemented the searches by using the snowball strategy and review of relevant gray literature (WHO, STOP TB partnership, STOP TB USA, TB CDC, KNCV and the UNION conference on Tuberculosis and Lung Disease).

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  • Research Project

Towards a health-enabling working environment: developing and testing interventions to decrease HIV- and TB-stigma among healthcare workers in the Free State Province, South Africa. 01/10/2015 - 30/09/2019

Abstract

In the context of a devastating HIV/AIDS-TB co-epidemic and severe human resource shortages in the South African health sector, HIV- and TB-related stigmatization among the healthcare workforce does not only threaten the workforce's own health but also the health of the broader population visiting the health facilities. In the context of a devastating HIV/AIDS-TB co-epidemic and severe human resource shortages in the South African health sector, HIV- and TB-related stigmatization among the healthcare workforce does not only threaten the workforce's own health but also the health of the broader population visiting the health facilities. As a response, the proposed DOCPRO BOF-project aims to (1) scientifically assess the extent and sources of HIV and TB-related stigma among the healthcare workforce as well as (2) develop and (3) test evidence-based stigma-reduction interventions in randomly selected public hospitals in the Free State Province of South Africa. A cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) in 8 hospitals (a minimum of 584 respondents in 4 intervention (347 respondents) and 4 control (237 respondents) sites) in the Free State province of South Africa will be employed to address these research questions and optimally assess the net impact of the developed interventions. Several factors favour the successful completion of the proposed research activities and the envisioned PhD, namely (1) the innovative character of the project and its solid research design (a cluster RCT), (2) the availability of sufficient VLIR-UOS funding to roll-out the proposed RCT in South Africa, (3) the stable, long-term research collaboration between the Southern and Northern partner – Prof. Edwin Wouters is officially appointed as a senior research associate of the Centre for Health Systems Research & Development in South Africa – and (4) the unique opportunity for a Belgian student to optimally capitalize on the rich dataset gathered in such a large-scale, international research project.

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  • Research Project

The role of personality in family formation and dissolution. 01/10/2015 - 30/09/2019

Abstract

Processes leading to family formation and dissolution have been studied extensively in the sociology of the family. Time related elements like parental divorce or cohort and personal characteristics like educational level or values are repeatedly identified as influential components in family dynamics. Even though psychological research has shown that psychological variables play a role too, they have hardly been introduced in family sociological or demographical studies on family dynamics. This project identifies personality as a component in the explanation of family formation and dissolution. The project aims to innovate the field in several ways. First, personality – measured by the Big Five Inventory – is introduced as an explanatory component in our longitudinal models. Second, the multi-actor structure of the Divorce in Flanders data is used to look at the personality of both partners and the way in which their match as a couple influences family dynamics afterwards. Third, we study both initial and higher order relationships. Due to the high prevalence of divorce, newly constellated families are a new reality that ought to be studied separately. Family processes in higher order families are not the same and we also expect personality to have a different role in this new reality.

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  • Research Project

Analysis of financial consequences of relation break-ups from a gender perspective. 01/10/2015 - 15/12/2015

Abstract

In this project, we look at the household structure in Belgium and we give an insight in the financial consequences when relationships end. The project uses a gender perspective since it is clear that women pay the financial price of a broken marriage or cohabitation. We do not limit our analysis to the statistical reality but we also give insights in the social construction of people themselves by looking at the way they experience the break-up and the detoriation of their financial situation after the break. This double perspective, combined with insights from the first part, will enable us to formulate some advice in the preparation of the new matrimonial property regime and the new inheritance law.

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  • Research Project

Towards a health-enabling working environment: developing and testing interventions to decrease HIV- and TB-stigma among healthcare workers in the Free State Province, South Africa. 10/04/2015 - 31/12/2018

Abstract

In the context of a devastating HIV/AIDS-TB co-epidemic and severe human resource shortages in the health sector, HIV- and TB-related stigmatization among the healthcare workforce does not only threaten the workforce's own health but also the health of the broader population visiting the health facilities. As a response, the proposed TEAM project aims to (1) scientifically assess the extent and sources of HIV & TB stigma among the healthcare workforce and (2) refine and test innovative stigma-reduction interventions in randomly selected public health sites in the Free State Province of South Africa.

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  • Research Project

Evaluation of the Medma2 project. 23/03/2015 - 22/05/2015

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the client. UA provides the client research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

FAMCARE - Family Dynamics and Care. 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2019

Abstract

This project represents a research contract awarded by the University of Antwerp. The supervisor provides the Antwerp University research mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions stipulated by the university.

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  • Research Project

Family Policy, Maternal Employment and Fertility Outcomes: Socio-economic Differentials in Uptake and Effects of Childcare & Parental Leave in Belgium. 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2018

Abstract

The project consists of two major parts. The first part investigates gender and socio-economic differentials in the uptake of childcare and parental leave and investigates how uptake is associated to maternal employment. The second part investigates how policy uptake subsequently affects fertility outcomes. Our research addresses the question whether the small positive effects of childcare and parental leave on female employment and fertility are due to family policies being largely ineffective, or whether these weak effects are due to the fact that studies typically use aggregate indicators and fail to account for population heterogeneity in uptake and effects of family policies.

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  • Research Project

Families in transition, transition in families (FiTTiF). 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2018

Abstract

This project represents a research agreement between the UA and on the onther hand IWT. UA provides IWT research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Popping smart pills: prescription stimulant misuse by university and college students in Flanders. 01/01/2015 - 30/09/2016

Abstract

Background: From a large-scale survey among Flemish university and college students, it is known that a substantial part of these students (almost 7%) use stimulant drugs – mainly methylphenidates, such as Ritalin®, prescribed to treat ADHD – as a means for performance enhancement. Apart from the question of unfair competition during the exams, the misuse of prescription stimulants can also have detrimental psychological and physical health effects, rendering it a research priority. Although we have a view on the prevalence of the prescription stimulant misuse by students, almost nothing is known about the characteristics of these users, its impact on students' physical and mental well-being, and the sociological and psycho-social motives to misuse stimulants. In addition, there is a dearth of knowledge on the supply side of this public health problem. Research Objectives: The proposed study aims to fill the above-cited research gaps and generate scientific knowledge on the misuse of methylphenidates in Flanders using an innovative, comprehensive research design. In particular, the proposed research program aims to study (1) which students groups misuse these stimulants as well as the subsequent impact of this use on their well-being, (2) why these students perform this behavior and (3) how these students access the prescription drugs. Methods: The study uses an exploratory mixed methods research design comprising three phases, each addressing an above-cited research objective. Firstly, the available dataset from the quantitative survey among Flemish university and college students (n = 18,000) will be employed to identify the user population and measure their well-being (1). Secondly, a more focused quantitative and qualitative data gathering will be executed to identify the mechanisms underlying the misuse by testing two alternative conceptual models described in the literature (2). Finally, a web-survey among medical doctors and pharmacists will be employed to create scientific knowledge on the supply system of the research issue (3). Expected outcomes: The proposed study can have both theoretical and practical implications. Theoretically, it is the first study to explore the complex mechanisms underlying stimulant drug use among a large student population. Practically, the resulting scientific knowledge potentially enables according effective preventative interventions to steer students away from these detrimental health choices.

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  • Research Project

Stress and mental health in families with different income levels: The second wave of a longitudinal multi-actor study 01/02/2014 - 31/12/2014

Abstract

Growing up and living with financial hardship causes stress and mental health problems in parents and children. Most of the studies on the association between financial hardship, stress and well-being take the individual as unit of analysis. The aim of this project is to conduct a second wave of a longitudinal multi-actor research, in which data from mothers, fathers and an adolescent within the same family are collected.

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  • Research Project

Work, living arrangements and social policy. An exploration of socio-economic differentials in family formation in Belgium using an administrative socio-demographic panel. 01/10/2013 - 30/09/2017

Abstract

Since the 1970s Belgium and most European countries have witnessed a baby bust, with period fertility levels declining below the replacement level of 2.1 children per woman. This project analyses recent trends in union and family formation in Belgium and aims to assess how patterns of family formation are likely to develop in the near future. In addressing this research question, the project considers four factors that are particularly relevant: i) the increase of female educational attainment and labour force participation and the recursive relationship between family formation and the socio-economic position of individuals and households, ii) the increasing diversity of living arrangements in European countries and the recursive relationship between living arrangements and fertility outcomes, iii) the increasing importance of family policies in reducing the incompatibility between labour force participation and family formation and socio-economic differentials in the uptake of family policies, and iv) the evolution of patterns of family formation and labour force participation in immigrant populations and the impact of increasing migration on demographic trends in Belgium at an aggregate level. The project uses longitudinal data from the Crossroads Bank for Social Security to construct a longitudinal prospective panel that spans the period from the mid 1990s to 2010. This panel includes detailed measures of the living arrangement and socio-economic position of approximately 100000 women and their co-resident household members throughout the observation period. In addition, the supplementary samples have been drawn to include immigrants (and their co-resident household members) who settled in Belgium after 1998 to maintain the representativity of the panel throughout the period considered. The detailed and continuous measurement of socio-economic position and living arrangements provides a unique opportunity to assess the recursive relationship between these factors and family formation (e.g. disentangling the effect of initial socio-economic position and/or living arrangements on entry into parenthood and subsequently assessing the effect of parenthood on socio-economic position/living arrangement). The project is integrated in an international network on register-based research in demography.

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  • Research Project

Analysis of the situation of persons with disabilities in Belgium with regard to their fundamental rights as guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 15/07/2013 - 14/04/2014

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand KULeuven. UA provides KULeuven research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Scientific Chair Safety Sciences. 07/05/2013 - 31/12/2016

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the client. UA provides the client research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Changing families and sustainable societies: policy contexts and diversity over the life course and across generations (FamiliesAndSocieties). 01/02/2013 - 31/01/2017

Abstract

The main objectives of this project are to investigate the diversity of family forms, relationships, and life courses in Europe; to assess the compatibility of existing policies with these changes; and to contribute to evidence-based policy-making. The project will extend our knowledge on how policies promote well-being, inclusion and sustainable societal development among families.

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  • Research Project

Used to think ... about later. The attitude and expectations of people of foreign origin, persons with disabilities and people in poverty facing the plans of their old age. 01/01/2013 - 31/08/2013

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other Thomas More. UA provides Thomas More research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Implementation Possibilities of the program "Children in Divorce Situations" in education. 01/12/2012 - 31/12/2013

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand Jongerenwelzijn Preventieregio Antwerpen. UA provides Jongerenwelzijn Preventieregio Antwerpen research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Social State of Flanders 2013 - The income position of one-parent families in Flanders. 20/11/2012 - 31/12/2013

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Flemish Public Service. UA provides the Flemish Public Service research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Antiretroviral treatment as catalyst for achieving AIDS competence in local South African communities: developing a multidimensional intervention to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic. 01/10/2012 - 30/09/2016

Abstract

Background: Although the initial outcomes of the South African public antiretroviral treatment (ART) programme are promising, there are still important challenges to be met to successfully fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the long term, namely (1) HIV/AIDS care as chronic disease care requires psychosocial care on top of biomedical care to ensure long-term adherence and patient retention and (2) HIV incidence levels need to drop by positively altering the knowledge, attitudes and practices towards HIV/AIDS. Mobilizing and enabling local families and communities – to develop supportive and healthy behavior – is increasingly cited as a potential strategy to address the above-cited challenges. Ample recent studies have pointed to the need for scientific research on the factors positively impacting on the knowledge, attitudes and practices of local families towards HIV/AIDS – i.e. the AIDS competence – in order to develop interventions combating the remaining challenges in the fight against HIV/AIDS Research objectives: The overall objective of the proposed project is to develop an intervention to build health-enabling families which can fight the HIV/AIDS-epidemic in a sustainable manner. The current study aims to optimally employ the knowledge and experience of HIV/AIDS patients who initiated ART as catalysts of the spread of AIDS competence in local families and communities. Our hypothesis is that public-sector ART, with its associated treatment knowledge and experiences can over time be translated into the positive attitudinal and behavior changes – henceforth called AIDS competence – necessary to successfully and sustainably combat HIV/AIDS at the family level. Methods: The proposed study uses an explanatory mixed methods research design, within which the quantitative data from the existing Effective Aids Treatment and Support in the Free State (FEATS) cohort study (n = 2168) will be used to inform more in-depth longitudinal qualitative work. First, structural equation modeling techniques will be used to explore the relationships between various personal and family characteristics and AIDS competence over time. Special attention will be given to the mediating role of family functioning in facilitating the diffusion of AIDS competence to family members. Secondly, 50 positive deviant cases (i.e. households where positive changes in key knowledge, attitudes and behaviors were observed over time) and 50 negative deviant cases (i.e. households where no or negative changes in key knowledge, attitudes and behaviors were observed over time) will be identified with the aid of statistical analyses of the quantitative FEATS data. These cases will form the basis for further qualitative investigation into the nature and determinants of AIDS competence in positive and negative deviant cases. Four rounds of three-monthly in-depth interviews will be conducted with 100 families to fully disentangle the complex interrelationships between HIV/AIDS and ART on the one hand, and the associated AIDS competent knowledge, attitudes and behaviors at the family level. Expected outcomes: The proposed study can have both theoretical and practical implications. Theoretically, this is the first study to longitudinally study the complex interrelationships between public-sector ART, family dynamics and AIDS competence. The mixed-methods design will produce potentially valuable insights into the pathways through with AIDS competence is spread. Practically, the research project aims to optimally capitalize on the benefits of the public-sector ART programme by identifying good practices and developing interventions through which the positive ART experiences and associated AIDS knowledge can be translated into higher levels of AIDS competence at the family level.

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  • Research Project

Pilot use tool evaluation student courses . 01/09/2012 - 31/08/2013

Abstract

This project represents a formal service agreement between UA and on the other hand KdG. UA provides KdG research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

The pension protection for first, second and next generations of migrants in Belgium (MIGRAGE). 01/04/2012 - 30/09/2015

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Federal Public Service. UA provides the Federal Public Service research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

The pension protection for first, second and next generations of migrants in Belgium (MIGRAGE). 01/04/2012 - 30/09/2015

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Federal Public Service. UA provides the Federal Public Service research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Policy Research Centre Work and Social Economics (2012-2015). 01/01/2012 - 30/04/2016

Abstract

The Policy Research Centre Work and Social Economics (2012-2015) is a broad consortium of different groups collaborating to inform the Flemish Government on Labour Market issues. The Antwerp team is involved in the Career reserach stream looking at careers in a dynamic way.

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  • Research Project

Parental Stress and Adolescent Problem Behavior: The Mediating Role of Mothers' and Fathers' Parenting. An Actor-Partner Interdependence Mediation Approach 01/01/2012 - 31/12/2012

Abstract

There is a general societal trend toward increased father involvement in children's live. Previous studies on parenting, however, have paid little attention on how mothers' and fathers' parenting styles may interact to affect adolescent outcome (Lamb, 2010). In this research, we will assess the direct and mediating impact of mother's and father's parenting on offspring outcome. We first focus on the role of parent's personal characteristics and contextual sources of stress in shaping parenting . Then, we test the mediating impact of mothers' and fathers' parenting on adolescent outcomes. For the proposed research, the Centre for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies (CELLO) will cooperate with the Higher Institute for Family Science (HIG-HUBrussel).

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Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Divorce and inequality in education. 01/11/2011 - 31/12/2012

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand Jongerenwelzijn. UA provides Jongerenwelzijn research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

The concept of "child vulnerability" in Sub-Saharan Africa. A theoretical study with empirical validation. 01/10/2011 - 30/09/2012

Abstract

This PhD project aims to address both aforementioned limitations by developing an extended multidimensional conceptualisation of child vulnerability. Subsequently, the concept will be measured empirically using confirmatory factor analysis. Recent data from 33 Sub-Saharan African countries will be used to accomplish this measurement model. Factors that affect vulnerability outcomes for children will be determined by developing a structural model. Both models allow to investigate child vulnerability while accounting for its multidimensionality and latent nature. Lastly, the construct will be tested on its stability over time.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Socio-economic differentials in fertility and family formation in Europe: how are they related to social policies and economic context? 01/01/2011 - 31/12/2014

Abstract

Following issues will be investigated: i) how educational attainment is used to study socio-economic differentials in family formation and how these are in turn affected by ii) the effects of economic conditions, iii) changing living arrangements and iv) attitudes toward gender equity. For each of these effects we explore how policy context is expected to mediate the impact on socio-economic differentials.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

From biographical disruption to biographical construction of a hybrid identity: a qualitative study of the impact of antiretroviral treatment on the life of HIV/AIDS-patients in South Africa. 01/01/2011 - 31/12/2013

Abstract

To gain a more profound understanding of the intrinsic dynamics (why) and processes (how) by which social factors positively or negatively affect the creation of the new identity as a chronic HIV/AIDS patient on ART, additional qualitative data is needed. The general aim is therefore to undertake a qualitative sociological study ¿ interviewing 120 HIV/AIDS patients on ART in the Free State Province of South Africa ¿ of this transition to life as a chronic HIV/AIDS patient.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Influence of the "KIES-program" on the experience of divorce. 15/12/2010 - 30/04/2011

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Flemish Public Service. UA provides the Flemish Public Service research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Scientific support to wave 2 of the Generations and Gender Project. 01/10/2010 - 30/06/2014

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Federal Public Service. UA provides the Federal Public Service research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Conceptualisation and operationalisation of 'active ageing'. 01/10/2010 - 30/09/2013

Abstract

For a long time, older people's limitations were emphasized in the gerontological literature. From this point of view, learning, working and resting were portrayed as three strictly successive stages throughout the lifecourse (Kohli, 1986). During the nineties the issue of global ageing resulted in the dismantlement of this schematic conception of the lifecourse. The concept of 'active ageing' has intended to stimulate the ongoing participation of elderly in society (Jacobs, 2004). The literature shows that 'active ageing' comprises the continuous integration of several domains of life such as work, care, active leisure activities and contact with family and friends (Avramov and Maskova, 2003; Houben, Audenaert and Mortelmans, 2004; Rowe, Kahn, 1997). With this PhD project we aim at investigating the interplay between the various forms of activity.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

SHARE-Belgium, Wave 4. 01/10/2010 - 30/09/2012

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Federal Public Service. UA provides the Federal Public Service research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Socio-economic patterns of fertility & family formation in Europe: How are they related to policies and the economic context? 01/07/2010 - 31/12/2014

Abstract

Fertility trends in Europe since the 1970 are frequently referred to in terms of postponement and subreplacement fertility. The effects of family policy seem modest, but studies addressing the differential effect of measures depending on educational level and labour market position are scarce. This project investigates how socio-economic fertility differentials have developed in Europe between 1970 and 2010 under varying economic and policy contexts.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Regression analysis of career patterns. 01/07/2010 - 31/12/2010

Abstract

This project uses a typology from an OMA anlysis on German careers. The aim of the project is to gain insight in the determinants of these career trajectories.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

The impact of the individual, organisations and institutions on the length of the professional career (CARLE - second phase). 01/02/2010 - 31/01/2012

Abstract

Even though the activity rate of workers aged above 45- and 55 is low in most European member states, there is clearly a great diversity. Belgium is the last comer. The European target is to reach an activity rate of 50% among the workers aged 55 and over. With the current 30%, Belgium is lagging far behind. Based on international comparative anlayses, we will look in this project for factors influencing the labour market behaviour of older emplmoyees and unemployed persons. We will look thereby at factors that (a) slow down early retirement, (b) encourage re-entry, (c) promote succesfull mobility of older workers and (d) stimulate their participation at employability-enhancing activities. We distinguish thereby between three levels of influencing factors: (1) individual characteristics of older employees and unemployed (eg. earlier career trajectory); (2) household characteristics (eg. labour market position and income of the spouse, common financial position) and (3) stimuli of institutional actors to slow down early retirement , stimulate re-entry or enlarge employability.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Work, Family & Social Policy. An analysis of socio-economic differentials in family formation based on an Administrative Socio-Demographic Panel (ASDP) for Belgium. 01/01/2010 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

This project aims - similar to research in Denmark and Germany - to use administrative paneldata from the Belgian Social Security and Population Registers to analyse i) recent trends in order-specific fertility and ii) socio-economic differences in the combination of work and family. Results are linked to the literature and typologies of Wellfare state regimes and empirical results on differential uptake of measures.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

The hybrid identity of the HIV/AIDS patient: a qualitative study of the impact of antiretroviral treatment on the lives of HIV/AIDS patients in South Africa 01/01/2010 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

Antiretroviral treatment has transformed AIDS from an acute, degenerative disease into a chronic - albeit incurable - illness. Hence, the illness is not an external assault on the body, but an internal one, becoming part of the patient's identity as a 'chronic HIV/AIDS patient'. This research project aims to assess the mechanisms through which the illness and the associated treatment influence the lives and the identity of the patients.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

The hybrid identity of the HIV/AIDS-patient: a longitudinal study of the impact of antiretroviral treatment on the life of HIV/AIDS-patients in sub-Saharan Africa. 01/10/2009 - 31/08/2011

Abstract

The general research aim is to undertake a sociological study of the impact of HIV/AIDS and the associated ART on the lives of those affected and more specifically on the identity reconstruction of HIV/AIDS patients receiving ART in sub-Saharan Africa. This research views ART not only as the turning point in the treatment of an 'ill body', detached from the social reality, but also as a turning point in the experience of AIDS as a chronic illness, embedded in this social reality. The study will attempt to draw an overall picture of the HIV/AIDS patient receiving ART as a 'social entity' with a chronic illness, and his/her consequent place and role in society. In practice, we will study the factors that positively affect the possibility of a successful treatment and the associated identity reconstruction.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

The validation of an instrument for the evaluation of training courses by students. 30/09/2009 - 30/09/2010

Abstract

This project performs a quantitative anlaysis on the validity and reliability of an evaluation instrument for students in higher education.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

The psychological basis of political orientation. A cross-national perspective. 01/07/2009 - 30/06/2013

Abstract

Most of the research on the influence of personality on political preferences is based upon small samples of students and is conducted in Western countries. The aim of this PhDproject is to examine this relationship by means of representative samples and in a larger scale of countries. Furthermore the cross-national differences in the psychological basis of political orientation will be explained in an interdisciplinary perspective.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Research into the need for leisure activities of Antwerp youth. 01/04/2009 - 31/12/2009

Abstract

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

The feasibility of using administrative data for career research. 25/03/2009 - 24/09/2009

Abstract

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Social significance and legal protection of private relationships. 01/01/2009 - 31/12/2012

Abstract

This research project addresses the question whether and to what extent a supplementary of imperative legal framework for informal relationships, can be justified. To adequately answer this question gaining insight into the subjective meanings and public functions fulfilled by the various private relationships is essential. Based on qualitative research methods, the research questions are examined using both sociological and legal paradigms in a multidisciplinary setting.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Onderzoek naar gezondheid, vergrijzing en pensioenen in Europa (SHARE LEAP). 01/01/2009 - 31/12/2010

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand Universiteit van Tilburg. UA provides Universiteit van Tilburgresearch results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

The position of youth in an aging society. 01/01/2009 - 29/04/2009

Abstract

The project was commissioned by the Artesis University of Antwerp and is part of a research project on intergenerational solidarity on behalf of the Agency Socio-Cultural Work for Youth and Adults.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Survey research on the impact of co-parenting on the careers of men and women. 01/10/2008 - 31/12/2010

Abstract

In order to get a clear view on shared parenthood with its financial and organisational consequences, it is important to collect data on the percentage of former couples that chooses from the start for a shared coparenthood (independent of the percentage of co-parents in general). A quantitative picture of shared parenthood after divorce needs to gain access to divorce files in courts. In addition, an in depth analysis of these files give insights in the financial agreements parents make concerning shared custody. Second, this research aims at gaining insights in the evolution of shared parenthood for those parents who started to share custody in 2002. A survey will be prepared in order to look at the actual living arrangement, the financial agreement, the expenses for the children and the evolution of the career prospects of the parents. The 2002-sample will be enriched with a second sample from 2006 to control for the effect of the new law on shared co-parenthood.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Data collection Sharelife (Golf 3 Share-Vlaanderen). 01/10/2008 - 30/09/2010

Abstract

In this project, we collect the Share-life data (Wave 3). More information at: http://www.share-project.org/

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project website

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Conceptualisation and operationalisation of 'active ageing'. 01/10/2008 - 30/09/2010

Abstract

For a long time, older people's limitations were emphasized in the gerontological literature. From this point of view, learning, working and resting were portrayed as three strictly successive stages throughout the lifecourse (Kohli, 1986). During the nineties the issue of global ageing resulted in the dismantlement of this schematic conception of the lifecourse. The concept of 'active ageing' has intended to stimulate the ongoing participation of elderly in society (Jacobs, 2004). The literature shows that 'active ageing' comprises the continuous integration of several domains of life such as work, care, active leisure activities and contact with family and friends (Avramov and Maskova, 2003; Houben, Audenaert and Mortelmans, 2004; Rowe, Kahn, 1997). With this PhD project we aim at investigating the interplay between the various forms of activity.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Personality traits and political preferences. 01/10/2008 - 30/09/2009

Abstract

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Careers and perspectives of junior UA-researchers. 01/10/2008 - 30/09/2009

Abstract

The aim of this research is to get an insight in the career development of young academics. The research is done with a websurvey.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Contract for the 2008 SHARELIFE survey in Belgium (Dutch-speaking Region). 01/10/2008 - 30/04/2009

Abstract

In this project, we collect the Share-life data (Wave 3). More information at: http://www.share-project.org/

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project website

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

How demographic changes shape intergenerational solidarity, well-being and social integration: A multilinks framework. (MULTILINKS) 01/03/2008 - 28/02/2011

Abstract

The objective of this project is to investigate how changing social contexts, from macro-societal to micro-interpersonal, affect social integration, weIl-being and intergenerational solidarity across different European nations. Debates on ageing societies predominantly focus on the circumstances of the old. Our approach builds fiom three key premises. First, ageing affects all age groups: the young, the middle-aged, and the old. Second, there are critical interdependencies between family generations and between men and women. Third, we must recognize and distinguish analytical levels: the individual, dyad (parent-child, partners), family, region, historical generation,and country. Building from these premises, we examine: (a) multiple linkages in families (e.g. transfers up and down family lineages, interdependencies between older and younger family members); (b) multiple linkages across time (measures at different points in time, at different points in the individual and family life course); (c) multiple linkages between, on the one hand, national and regional contexts (e.g. policy regimes, economie circumstances, normative climate, religiosity), and, on the other hand, individual behaviour, weIl-being and values. Throughout theproject we will test, develop, and use methodological strategies that enable sound poliey making. By identifying intergenerational care regimes (that is, combinations of child care provisions and provisions for the frail old) and their shortcomings, we willcontribute to the substantive understanding of the risks of becoming socially isolated and/or lacking necessary supports.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project website

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Study to list the products and services that differ in accessibility and prizes between women and men and to collect the justifications of those differences. 01/02/2008 - 31/07/2008

Abstract

This project aims at making an inventory of goods and services for both men and women with a gender-based price or access. The research consists of three consecutive phases. The first part will make an - as exhaustive as possible - inventory of goods and services with a difference in price and access. The second part searches for existing justifications for these differences. The third part searches for a juridical answer on the differences and the justifications given.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Institutional comparative research on active ageing: Multi-level analysis of the determinants of early retirement, reintegration an investment in employability. 01/01/2008 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

Even though the activity rate of workers aged above 45- and 55 is low in most European member states, there is clearly a great diversity. Belgium is the last comer. The European target is to reach an activity rate of 50% among the workers aged 55 and over. With the current 30%, Belgium is lagging far behind. Based on international comparative anlayses, we will look in this project for factors influencing the labour market behaviour of older emplmoyees and unemployed persons. We will look thereby at factors that (a) slow down early retirement, (b) encourage re-entry, (c) promote succesfull mobility of older workers and (d) stimulate their participation at employability-enhancing activities. We distinguish thereby between three levels of influencing factors: (1) individual characteristics of older employees and unemployed (eg. earlier career trajectory); (2) household characteristics (eg. labour market position and income of the spouse, common financial position) and (3) stimuli of institutional actors to slow down early retirement , stimulate re-entry or enlarge employability.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

The impact of the individual, organisations and institutions on the length of the professional career (CARLE). 01/12/2007 - 31/01/2010

Abstract

Even though the activity rate of workers aged above 45- and 55 is low in most European member states, there is clearly a great diversity. Belgium is the last comer. The European target is to reach an activity rate of 50% among the workers aged 55 and over. With the current 30%, Belgium is lagging far behind. Based on international comparative anlayses, we will look in this project for factors influencing the labour market behaviour of older emplmoyees and unemployed persons. We will look thereby at factors that (a) slow down early retirement, (b) encourage re-entry, (c) promote succesfull mobility of older workers and (d) stimulate their participation at employability-enhancing activities. We distinguish thereby between three levels of influencing factors: (1) individual characteristics of older employees and unemployed (eg. earlier career trajectory); (2) household characteristics (eg. labour market position and income of the spouse, common financial position) and (3) stimuli of institutional actors to slow down early retirement , stimulate re-entry or enlarge employability.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

From informal community credit associations to a formal social security system in India. 01/10/2007 - 30/09/2011

Abstract

Through case studies of some Indian community-based health insurance schemes (CHI), the socio-institutional context and policy reforms which trigger their success and the process of scaling-up are analyzed. The results from the analysis could contribute to the formulation of policy advice with regard to the evolution towards a health insurance system that insures the Indian poor full access to qualitative health care. In reference to the definition of poverty as local institutional process, the central hypothesis is formulated that some CHI schemes are more likely to adapt to the local institutional landscape because of the difference in their organizational design. In doing so some schemes are more effective in ensuring the sustainable access to qualitative health care and in linking the poor to strategic useful networks within the broader society. Hence the schemes could provide tools to generate solidarity ties and social action on a scale that is politically and economically relevant in the Indian states. The research will be executed in co-operation with the Prince Leopold Institute for Tropical Medicine, Antwerp.

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Project type(s)

  • Research Project

The impact of global health initiatives and donor harmonisation on health systems on national and district level. 01/10/2007 - 30/09/2009

Abstract

Research will be conducted into Global Health Initiatives (GHIs) and donor harmonisation in the health sector, among which the Sector Wide Approaches (SWAp) and Global Budget Support (GBS). We also study their relationship with other, more vertical GHIs, such as the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) and the President's Emergency Plan For Aids Relief (Pepfar). We notice that donors in the health sector adopt at the moment a two-track policy for their aid: on the one hand they focus on harmonisation and alignement, including SWAps and GBS and this in combination with the incitement of local governments towards more accountability and good governance. On the other hand we find the GHIs, which are mainly defined in the Northern countries and, more or less, imposed upon the Southern countries. These proliferate strongly in the field of HIV/AIDS control. This duality leads to serious problems of co-ordination and coherence on national and local level. The resulting research question is twofold: we investigate how the broad GHIs relate to donor harmonisation and alignement and next to it we study the impact of the two-track policy in the recipient countries, with a special focus on the policy and implementation level. The central goal of our research is to contribute to more clearness in the complex co-ordination between the different donors and between the donors and the recipient countries in the health sector. In the research we strive for a combination of a political-economical vision with a public health approach and it will be conducted in close collaboration with the Institute of Development Policy and Management of the University of Antwerp and the Institute for Tropical Medicine Antwerp.

Researcher(s)

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Project type(s)

  • Research Project

AIDS, the lonely death? The importance of social capital in the implementation of antiretroviral treatment in the public sector in South Africa. 01/10/2007 - 30/09/2009

Abstract

The research aims to discern the different dimensions of the quality of life (QoL) in AIDS patients. The notion of QoL should be understood in the broadest sense possible. In accordance with standardized scales, physical functioning as well as mental, social and role functioning and the capacities to mobilize social capital and social support networks are included in the measurement of QoL. The different dimensions of QoL in AIDS patients and the factors influencing them will be analyzed on the base of data from approximately 400 South-African AIDS patients. Special attention will be given to the influence of their antiretroviral treatment. In the research the conceptualization of the dimensions and dynamics of the quality of life in AIDS patients in South Africa is the core interest. Executed in co-operation with the Centre for Health Systems Research and Development (CHSR&D), University of the Free State (UFS), Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Researcher(s)

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Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Feasibility study into arepetitive prevalence study under the general population (HARPA). 01/10/2007 - 31/05/2009

Abstract

Aims of the project: - To give a detailed comparison of the methods and designs of general prevalence studies in other European member states - To evaluate the strengths, limitations and necessary conditions and the cost of different options with the aim to perform a general prevalence study in Belgium - To perform a limited cognitive test of a pilot questoinnaire to the prevalence of drugs in Belgium.

Researcher(s)

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Project type(s)

  • Research Project

The evaluation of courses for students. 05/07/2007 - 04/07/2009

Abstract

The aim of thisproject is to test and validate the Mortelmans-Spooren instrument for the student evaluation of courses in hogher education in the Hogeschool Mechelen.

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Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Divorce and separation in Flanders. Risk factors, consequences and policy implications. 01/04/2007 - 30/06/2014

Abstract

The Divorce-in-Flanders project SiV aims to: ameliorate the well being of those directly or indirectly involved in divorce ameliorate the quality of services for those directly or indirectly involved in divorce supporting policy makers vis-a-vis the policy of divorce and persons directly or indirectly involved in divorce To realise these aims, the SIV-project: will: 1. build a longitudinal database with data on relation formation and dissolution - based on a sample of Flemish respondents (from 1971 onwards), representative for a population of married and ever-divorced persons. - using a multi-actor perspective whereby not only the (ex-)partners are involved in the survey but also their children and their parents - whereby information is collected on causes, process and consequences of relation dissolution - whereby the questionnaire is inspired by a multidiciplinary theoretical framework of sociological, demograpical, social-psychological, social-epidemiological, economical and juridical paradigms 2. enhance the knowledge on the divorce topic among different societal actors by means of policy preparing and evaluating research - by distributing on a free basis all the data to university centres and other scientific institutes - by pro-actively distributing the results of the project 3. contribute to an effective and curative policy of well-being to mediate the different problems with which the engaged parties are confronted - by means of drawing attention to this policy relevant theme - using a far-reaching and pro-active data valorisation strategy

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Project website

Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Poverty risks of Belgian widows and widowers. 07/02/2007 - 30/06/2007

Abstract

This project builds on a survey research from 2006 commisioned by the Minister of Pensions and the Federal Service of Social Policy. The focus of that project lies at the needs and wants of widow(er)s. A second aim was to look at the strategies of the surviving partner. Who choses a survivors pension - whether or not combined with labour - and who choose to renounce the survivors pension in favour of a labour career ? In this project, we use these survey data in combination with administrative data from the Datawarehouse Social Security to look more closely to the situation of the widows and widowers with the highest risk on poverty. First, we look at the differences between the different widows and widowers in terms of poverty risks. We look at the degree to which socio-demographic, relational caracteristics, household composition and income and spending patterns are of influence. Next, we will see whether or not the poverty risk plays an influence on the subjective well-being of the persons. Second, we look for explanatory factors that can explain the risk of becoming poor as a widow or widower.

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  • Research Project

Policy Research Centre Work and Social Economy. Research Stream "Quality of jobs and careers" (2007-2011). 01/01/2007 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

The Study Centre Work and Social Economy (WSE) is recognized by the Flemish Government as a policy preparating and supporting study centre. The Study Centre Work and Social Economy (WSE) is a knowledge centre building and disseminating expertise on topics of work, labour market and social economy. It aims at clustering knowledge on these topics and enlarging the existing knowledge with own research projects. The Study Centre Work and Social Economy (WSE) tries to use secondary databses where possilbe, playing a major role in unlocking sub-optimal used databases for labour market research.

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  • Research Project

Career outlooks on work. 11/12/2006 - 31/12/2007

Abstract

The main aims of this project are (1) to identify the most important assumptions about careers in the scientific literature and to identify the labour market policy on careers, (2) test the accuracy of these assumptions with existing empirical research and additional analyses on secondary data and (3) formulate a proposal to overcome weaknesses in the existing research in a survey design for career research in Flanders. The research will also aid in formulating advice on the ways in which existing and future policy measures could have the appropriate impact.

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  • Research Project

Process evaluation"care network suicide prevention". 01/10/2006 - 30/04/2007

Abstract

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  • Research Project

Determining factors in inappropriate health-seeking behaviour among TB and HIV/AIDS patients in the Free State with a view to developing appropriate intervention strategies. 14/09/2006 - 23/12/2006

Abstract

Non-uptake of VCT and non-adherence to TB/HIV/AIDS treatment hamper public efforts in the Free State to combat a co-epidemic of massive scale. It is imperative to gain understanding of the determinants of the health-seeking behaviour of TB/HIV/AIDS patients. The CHSR&D is conducting surveys amongst TB and ART patients in close collaboration with the Free State Department of Health. The proposed project constitutes an analysis of this data to develop strategies to facilitate appropriate health-seeking behaviour.

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  • Research Project

Exploration of a specific career pattern and formulation of recommendations with a view to remedy and improved statistical registration. 27/07/2006 - 30/11/2006

Abstract

This project has three main aims: 1) In a first phase, an inventory is made of all available statistical material to document Flemish career patterns as clearly as possible. Gender differences in career trajectories will be a major focus thereby. 2) A working group will be formed with representatives of the labour market and policy makers. The recommendations and conclusions of this working group will lead to the formulation of policy recommendations to change certain gender-stereotyped career patterns. 3) The project will also formulate recommendations to ameliorate the statistical registration of career data (administrative data sources and surveys).

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  • Research Project

The validity of student opinions in course and teacher evaluation. 01/07/2006 - 31/12/2010

Abstract

This research project aims to gain more insight in student perceptions and evaluation of course and teacher performance, and to examine the consequences of this with regard to the validity and usefulness of student evaluation of teaching quality. For this purpose, cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses on evaluation forms are conducted as well as an analysis of discourse based on content analysis of policy documents, focus groups and face-to-face interviews.

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  • Research Project

The choice between a survivors pension and labour participation in the active welfare state. 01/06/2006 - 31/12/2006

Abstract

The death of a spouse not only causes emotional stress. The decease also implicates financial consequences on the outliving partner and his family. Therefore, the surviving partner is entitled to a survivors pension. In the scope of an active welfare regime, it is crucial to look at the implications of the loss of a partner on the labour participation of the widow(er). This project focuses on the effects of cumulating a survivors pension with labour using a mail survey. With this survey, two reserach questions will be answered: 1. Which of the surviving partners chooses to accept a survivors pension and who prefers not to ? What reasons can be found for either one of the options ? 2. Of those surviving partners who do take up a survivors pension, who cumulates this with labour ? What difficulties can be observed in this group with respect to this cumulation ?

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  • Research Project

Book project "Families and Family Policy in Belgium". 14/04/2006 - 13/04/2007

Abstract

The States General of the Family was organised twice aiming at a broad discussion on families and family policy. This research project will deliver a book at the end of the second sycle of the States General. The aim of the book is to present an overview of the social debate on families and familiy policy. The main conclusions of the States General will be confronted with the standpoints of the civil society and with academic views on family policy.

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Project type(s)

  • Research Project

The place of "science" in the written press. 01/01/2006 - 31/12/2006

Abstract

This research project focuses on the role of the written press in the communication process on science. More specific, the role of science as a topic in Flemish newspapers and magazines is looked at together with the way in which the Belgian and the international scientific enterprise is portrayed. This analysis is supplemented with a description of the editorial policy on scientific communication and the role of the scientific journalist.

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  • Research Project

Generations and Gender project. 01/12/2005 - 30/06/2010

Abstract

This project accompanies the data collection of the Belgian GGS-project. The Generations and Gender Survey aims at a longitudinal analysis of processes of family formation, divorce, fertility and retirement. The main focus lies on the initiating factors steering these developments. Other themes like family care, personal health care and emancipation are also touched in the questionnaire. The GGP-project tries to explain the recent trends in partner relations on the one hand and intergenerational relations on the other (child-parent, parent-child, fertility, care relations between generations).

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  • Research Project

Financial consequences of divorce. A longitudinal analysis on the Crossroads Bank of Social Security. 01/10/2005 - 31/12/2007

Abstract

The project focuses on the financial consequences of a relational break-up. Using a large sample form the Crossroads Bank of Social Security, the magnitude of the financial consequences of divorce and cohabitation break-ups in Belgium is estimated. The analysis will imply comparisons for the gender of the ex-partners, the presence of children, the residence of the formal partners, the length of the relation and its character (being a marriage of a cohabitation).

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  • Research Project

Constructing identities by means of consumption. The role of consumption in the construction and expression of identity by youngsters. 01/10/2005 - 30/09/2007

Abstract

The main research question of this doctoral project is the use of consumption as a tool for the construction and communication of identity among teenagers. In the contemporary postmodern society, the identity of people has to be constructed by the individuals themselves. Moreover, this identity has to be communicated to others effectively. Consumption plays a central role in both processes. Objects are often seen as extentions of the self. The construction of ones identity does not take place in a social vacuum. Consumption is also used as a communication tool of identity (Cf. Veblen). In these domains, not only the choices young people make will be focussed on, but also the reasons behind these choices will be scrutinized. In this aspect, the influence of the peergroup is supposed to be crucial. One often buys objects to identify with certain groups or to dissociate from others. Socio-demographic and economic background, value-pattern, leisure time activities and media-use are also put forward as possible exploratory factors. The approach of this research is mainly quantitative. Our aim is to formulate answers to the different research questions, using a large-scale survey among 12- tot 18-year olds in Flanders.

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  • Research Project

AIDS, the lonely death? The importance of social capital in the implementation of antiretroviral treatment in the public sector in South Africa. 01/10/2005 - 30/09/2007

Abstract

The research aims to discern the different dimensions of the quality of life (QoL) in AIDS patients. The notion of QoL should be understood in the broadest sense possible. In accordance with standardized scales, physical functioning as well as mental, social and role functioning and the capacities to mobilize social capital and social support networks are included in the measurement of QoL. The different dimensions of QoL in AIDS patients and the factors influencing them will be analyzed on the base of data from approximately 400 South-African AIDS patients. Special attention will be given to the influence of their antiretroviral treatment. In the research the conceptualization of the dimensions and dynamics of the quality of life in AIDS patients in South Africa is the core interest. Executed in co-operation with the Centre for Health Systems Research and Development (CHSR&D), University of the Free State (UFS), Bloemfontein, South Africa.

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  • Research Project

Family policy: impact of policy measures on families. 01/07/2005 - 31/03/2006

Abstract

This research project looks at possibilities to introduce a Family Impact Monitor for new Flemish policy decision.

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  • Research Project

Scientific support of the States General of the Family. 15/04/2005 - 15/01/2006

Abstract

This project covers the scientific support of the second States general of the Family. The support consists of (1) participation in the scientific committee of the States General and (2) the preparation, methodological follow-up and analysis of a general Family Survey.

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  • Research Project

Social and economic impact of ageing in Flanders and Europe. How can policy at the Flemish level respond ? 01/04/2005 - 31/12/2009

Abstract

The most important societal issues with which Flanders and Europe will be confronted in coming decades is the twofold ageing of the population. The three principal policy issues that arise in this context are: i) the manner in which the burden of population ageing should/can be distributed between and within generations; ii) the development of high-quality and affordable care support for all; iii) and the enhancement of participation by the elderly in economic, social, political and cultural life in order that the capital of experience, knowledge and skills that the elderly represent could be utilised maximally. As far as the Flemish policy level is concerned, all aspects of these problematic areas are relevant: policy on formal and informal care for the elderly, including the Flemish care insurance scheme, employment policy, tax policy, housing policy, sociocultural and educational policy and, as a context for all policy domains, the structure of income and expenditure distribution and particularly the position occupied by the weaker groups (who may be targets of specific provisions). Some important research has already been conducted into the socio-economic aspects of population ageing in Flanders, but often this research is insufficiently prospective and informative for policy purposes. Moreover, usually a European angle is lacking, even though Flemish policy can obviously draw lessons from developments in other European countries. We therefore propose to construct an interdisciplinary knowledge platform with a view to: -bringing together available expertise in Flanders in the field of policy-oriented research into the issue of population ageing; -collecting high-quality data for Flanders that allow comparison with other regions and countries in Europe; -developing research instruments and methods to analyse these data in dynamic perspective and to test policy alternatives for their economic and social efficiency.

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  • Research Project

An exploration of the "new volunteer" phenomenon in comparison with the traditional volunteer-type. 01/02/2005 - 31/01/2006

Abstract

Following the suite of the late modern society in general, the sector of youth volunteer work undergoes major transformations. The ideal type of the traditional volunteer is in decline, being influenced by the dynamics pertaining to the emerging "new volunteer" type. The latter term is no rare find both in the scientific literature and in the field, indicating a whole new set of motivations, values and expectations. The intention of this research is to explore the theoretical as well as empirical underpinnings of the phenomenon of the "new volunteer". What moves these individuals, what constitutes their hopes and which problems they experience on the way of their realization ¿ these questions are central to the research.

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  • Research Project

Youth information policy. 15/01/2005 - 31/12/2005

Abstract

Today's youth is overwhelmed with information about numerous issues. One could say there is an information overload. This complicates decision-making for youngsters since not all information is objective, clear, nor adjusted to the information needs of young people. Furthermore, the information is not always accessible for the target group that is aimed at. It is obvious that young people need more specialized information in order to have an overview of their possibilities and opportunities which enable them to make the right decisions. Thus, efficient information is a first requirement for young people to find their way in our society. This research aims to develop a coherent youth information policy. On the basis of the description of the research domain, we will examine organizations which fulfill an explicit role with regard to youth information. In addition, we look at the the policy domains in which information initiatives have been established. With the help of in-depth interviews, there will be a study of the extent to which the information is within reach of the target group and how the target group is involved in the development of the information. On the basis of the research results, recommendations will be made about the current information amount. Furthermore, suggestions will be formulated to enhance the participation of juveniles in the development of information aimed at young people.

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  • Research Project

Study of Global Ageing and Adult Health. 20/12/2004 - 01/10/2005

Abstract

This research aims to test the anchoring vignettes method used in the WHO study of Global Ageing and Adulth Health. The vignettes method is used to improve the cross-national comparability of data/results from SHARE. The objective is to provide additional training for fieldworkers and researchers on data capture related to the vignettes methodology. A second objective is to interview at least 500 randomly selected respondents (aged +50) using the set of self-reported health state questions, anchoring vignettes and performance test as used by the WHO.

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  • Research Project

A research on the effects of products of VVKSM. 01/02/2004 - 31/01/2005

Abstract

The goal of this study is to gain insight into the weekly activities and the role of leaders in the Flemish boy scout movement. The umbrella organization of scouting (VVKSM), offers a bulk of literature to spread their educational ideas amongst the leaders. After a period of modernization, they want to field-test the publications. Do the leaders read the books and brochures? Do they use the information to organize the activities? The results of this quantitative research are primarily intended to support the policy of VVKSM, but can also be of interest to a broader audience.

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  • Research Project

The consequences of divorce on the welfare of Belgian women and their households. A longitudinal, multivariate research on the socio-economic consequences of divorce. 01/01/2004 - 31/12/2007

Abstract

This research project primarily focuses on this economic regression after a separation. It is not only one of the major factors in personal well-being but it is also of general interest to cast light on the protective and risk factors. In this context, we point towards the increased poverty risk for ex-partners and to the more persistent form of poverty for single-parent families compared to single-earner families. An additional motivation for a focus on the economic consequences are the potential psychological and social implications. Several authors have referred to the relationship between economic decline and other factors, such as higher depression levels, a decrease in housing quality and an increase in working hours. Representing an overall picture of one's economic position includes charting the working, housing, income and health situation, as well as the socio-economic status. The aim of the research is to obtain a comprehensive insight into welfare and well-being, rather than merely into the financial position after a divorce. Special attention will be given to the welfare evolution of women after divorce (marital or cohabitational). As shown in the literature, women are both socially, psychologically and economically more vulnerable than men.

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  • Research Project

Constructing identities by means of consumption. The role of consumption in the construction and expression of identity by youngsters. 01/10/2003 - 30/09/2005

Abstract

The main research question of this doctoral project is the use of consumption as a tool for the construction and communication of identity among teenagers. In the contemporary postmodern society, the identity of people has to be constructed by the individuals themselves. Moreover, this identity has to be communicated to others effectively. Consumption plays a central role in both processes. Objects are often seen as extentions of the self. The construction of ones identity does not take place in a social vacuum. Consumption is also used as a communication tool of identity (Cf. Veblen). In these domains, not only the choices young people make will be focussed on, but also the reasons behind these choices will be scrutinized. In this aspect, the influence of the peergroup is supposed to be crucial. One often buys objects to identify with certain groups or to dissociate from others. Socio-demographic and economic background, value-pattern, leisure time activities and media-use are also put forward as possible exploratory factors. The approach of this research is mainly quantitative. Our aim is to formulate answers to the different research questions, using a large-scale survey among 12- tot 18-year olds in Flanders.

Researcher(s)

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Project type(s)

  • Research Project

Analysis of the CBGS survey on Formal and Informal Care in Flanders, in preparation of the Care Congress of December 2003. 01/09/2003 - 30/06/2005

Abstract

In preparation of the Care Congress of December 2003, the CBGS carried out a large postal survey on Formal and Informal Care in Flanders. This project analyses the data from this survey and reports the results to the CBGS.

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  • Research Project

Social indicators on children : living as a child in 2002. 01/09/2003 - 28/02/2004

Abstract

This project consists of descriptive, quantitative research on the living conditions of children in Flanders in 2002 and must be considered a logical continuation of similar studies from the Panel on Belgian Household Studies for Kind en Gezin. A many-sided and complete image implies that the child cannot be seen as separate from the family he or she lives in. Therefore, the project will perform a series of analyses, revealing information on both the child and its family. General demographic information on the children and the parents, the working situation of the parents, the financial situation of the household, the living situation of the children, their everyday living environment, as well as their parents' are being looked upon.

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  • Research Project

The concept "career". 01/03/2003 - 30/09/2005

Abstract

The aim of this project lies in the identification of the contemporary career transitions and the determining factors of those transitions. In contrast with the traditional straightforward career, the new career is characterised by the sequence of job opportunities in several organisations and the connection with other domains in life. The thorough knowledge of the restrictive and facilitating elements of a career is important for both scientists and policymakers. This project consists of two phases. In the first phase nine waves of PSBH-data (1992-2000) will be analysed from the viewpoint of the sociology of labour. This will result in a general overview of the career transitions of the respondents. The second phase is made up of two components. The determining factors of the professional career on the business and the socio-juridical level are being examined. This process will result in the rethinking of the societal and juridical concept of a career.

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  • Research Project

Preparation and data collection of the 'Population Policy Acceptance Survey'. 01/12/2002 - 30/11/2003

Abstract

This project aims to prepare the 'Population Policy Acceptance Survey'. The project includes the preparation of questionnaire, the data collection and the data input of the survey.

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  • Research Project

Social economic and demographic panel (AGORA). 01/10/2001 - 31/12/2004

Abstract

Construction and valorisation of a data-gathering instrument, a demographic and social economic panel of 4.300 households representing the Belgian population. Building a demographic and social economic database on household topics. In 1999 and 2001 we plan two additonal annual inquiries.

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  • Research Project