DIVERGE is a scientific research project in which I investigate how and why some children overcome the experience of social disadvantage while others don’t.
If you have questions about the project or represent an organisation or a media outlet that are interested to hear more about the my research, please contact me here
Below is a summary of the research I conduct in DIVERGE.
Today a substantial share of children experiences their parents to separate or divorce, to re-partner with someone new, and potentially have children with this new partner. Whereas we know that such family environment instability has detrimental consequences for children’s behavior and mental health, it remains unclear the degree to which these negative effects are unevenly distributed among children of different backgrounds. In order to disentangle this question, DIVERGE investigates the role of social environment and genetic sensitivity in the effects of family instability circumstances from a cross-disciplinary perspective.
In DIVERGE I use new and unique data and combine insights from the social and the biological sciences in order to advance knowledge on three connected issues:
1. Do negative effects of family instability circumstances vary for children born into different family structures, and among children
experiencing more family instability circumstances during childhood?
2. Are negative effects family instability augmented among children with fewer resources available in their social environment?
3. Are negative effects of family instability concentrated among children with greater genetic sensitivity?
It is important to improve our understanding of heterogeneity in effects of family instability and the related circumstances because it allows us to more effectively address barriers to children’s’ development and families’ social mobility. The results from DIVERGE will help to better tailor interventions and programs serving children and families, and thus reduce children’s negative behavioural and mental health outcomes.
DIVERGE was initiated in 2016 and is a 3-year research project funded by a Marie Curie Global Fellowship from The European Research Council (grant#: DIVERGE – 707099).