Karlijn Hermans is a postdoctoral researcher with an interest in social development in adolescence. She works on the valorization of research findings within a large longitudinal twin study on brain development in childhood and emerging adolescence, as part of the Leiden Consortium on Individual Development (L-CID)). Within this study, Karlijn specifically focusses on social development and how to optimally valorize research findings, for example by co-interpreting and co-implementing findings with youth. Additionally, using innovative methods developed in the SYNC lab, she works on different outreach projects (e.g. with youth workers and in education) to bring her research into practice.
Karlijn has a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and in Health Sciences (track Mental Health) and a Research Master’s degree in Cognitive Science and Clinical Neuroscience. During her masters, Karlijn worked as a research intern at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, were she used the Experience Sampling Methodology to investigate the daily lives of individuals with anomalous experiences and psychotic disorders. Following her interest in the Experience Sampling Methodology, Karlijn joined professor Inez Germeys’ Center for Contextual Psychiatry at the KU Leuven in 2016. During her PhD project in this lab, Karlijn supported the set-up of a large, longitudinal cohort study in Flanders, the SIGMA project. Within this project, she studied the role of social interactions in relation to the development of psychopathological symptoms in adolescents aged 12 to 18. Karlijn’s PhD project consisted of studies using the Experience Sampling Methodology in individuals at different stages of psychosis and of studies using a novel experimental set-up to measure social contingency detection in a general population of adolescents. In May 2021, Karlijn defended her PhD thesis titled “Capturing social interaction in adolescence – from social alterations to social impairments”.
In 2019, Karlijn participated in the Nationale DenkTank, during which she came up with practical solutions for pressing societal issues. This experience fostered Karlijn’s passion to bridge science and society and to join Eveline Crone’s lab in which she focuses on social development in youth from the perspective of citizen science. Part of the week, Karlijn also supports Healthy Start, an initiative in which complex challenges for a healthy start are addressed by interdisciplinary collaborations with societal stakeholders and youth.