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I am the Principle Investigator of the CONOPP project. The main reason for developing the CONOPP project was my feeling that too little attention is paid to the influence of one’s family of origin on demographic behaviour and later-life outcomes. The discourse of ‘individualization’ that has increasingly dominated demographic research on family formation since the 1980’s, has tended to neglect the long-term effects of one’s family background. The retreat of the Welfare State in many European countries and the economic crisis of recent years have renewed the interest in the role that families play in securing a future for their children. These themes merge in the CONOPP project that studies cross-national differences in the extent to which one’s family of origin influences demographic behaviour during young adulthood and later-life outcomes.


My background is in sociology and social psychology. Since the 1980’s, I am interested in themes related to the transition to adulthood. I have studied determinants and consequences of demographic events, such as leaving home, unmarried cohabitation, marriage, parenthood and divorce. 

Aat Liefbroer

Members CONOPP team

T: + 31 (0)70 3565230


Since March 2014, I am a PhD student at the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) in the Hague. My background is in Sociology. In 2013, I completed the research master  ‘Sociology & Social Research’ at the University of Utrecht.


Within the CONOPP project I will focus on the link between parental background (e.g. socio-economic status of parents or household situation during childhood) and demographic decision-making concerning union formation and dissolution during young adulthood. The key aim of my work is to examine to what extent this link between parental background and union formation and dissolution behaviour differs across countries and how these country differences can be explained.



Anne Brons

T: +31 (0)70 3565281


I graduated at the Utrecht University with the interdisciplinary research master ‘Migration, Ethnic Relations and Multiculturalism’. In February 2014 I started as a PhD student at the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (Nidi) in The Hague.


Within the CONOPP project I look at the influence of childhood disadvantage (e.g. family disruption, low family socio-economic status) on fertility decisions as a young adult. I’m for example interested in the question how childhood disadvantage influences the incidence of becoming an early parent, a single-parent or a cohabiting parent. The most important contribution of my work will be to examine how the relationship between childhood disadvantage and later-life fertility decisions differ across countries and how these differences can be explained. 



Judith Koops

T: + 31 (0)70 3565216


Within the CONOPP project I work on a dissertation about how family background shapes the trajectory of the transition to adulthood. During young adulthood individuals usually experience many demographic transitions: they leave the parental home, finish their education, enter full-time employment, start living together with a partner, marry and may ultimately have children. Regarding family background I focus mainly on the social-economic status (SES) of the mother and the father, although other characteristics of the family home, such as whether the parents divorced during childhood and the religious background, are likely to be incorporated as well. The aim of my dissertation is to disentangle the different mechanisms in which parental background influences the decisions of timing and order of demographic transitions. Furthermore, I examine how parental background affects the choice for certain demographic transitions, such as the choice for married and unmarried cohabitation.


My background is in sociology. I obtained both my bachelor’s and master’s degree at the University of Utrecht. 



Sapphire Yu Han

Jarl Mooyaart

I graduated as a Biomedical Engineer from University of Twente in 2013 and worked as a biostatistician in industry.

I joined CONOPP as a Ph.D researcher in November  2014.


I have vast experience in database,  statistical analyses and interactive data-visualization. I am using R for data manipulation, machine learning, and  interactive web applications. Within the CONOPP project I will investigate models which are suitable for the analysis of  young adults’ family-life trajectories how they are influenced by experiences of childhood disadvantages. I hope that my PhD project will provide innovative probability models to study the life course.



T: +31 (0)70 3565248


T: + 31 (0)70 3565229



Joanne Muller

In 2015 I joined the CONOPP team as a PhD researcher. My research topic is the relation between childhood disadvantage and later-life outcomes in comparative perspective. For instance, how does parents’ socioeconomic status relate to their children’s status at adult age? The strength of the relationship depends on the opportunities that the country context offers to abate the adverse impact of economic and social deprivation. By comparing pathways of social mobility between countries, I study the effects of different contexts.


Before I worked at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment in the Netherlands. I graduated from the London School of Economics with a master’s degree in Social Policy (research).



T: + 31 (0)70 3565274



In November 2015 I joined the CONOPP team as a post-doc researcher. In 2015 I received my PhD from the VU University Amsterdam for the dissertation entitled “Disentangling the relationship between family life events and criminal offending for high-risk men and women” and worked as a researcher at the VU University (Faculty of Law). Previously I studied psychology at Tibiscus University of Timisoara (Romania), completed a postgraduate program in Organizational and Management Psychology at the Western University of Timisoara, and obtained a master in Methodology and Statistics at Leiden University.


I am interested in life-course analysis and within the CONOPP project I study correlates and determinants of later-life outcomes. Using a cross-national comparative perspective, I will focus on understanding how childhood social disadvantage and young adulthood demographic behavior relate to adverse experiences at older ages.



Mioara Zoutewelle - Terovan

T: + 31 (0)70 3565236


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