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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

PhD Position on the Topic of Psychological Well-being

24.06.2021, by Tina Keil

Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Application deadline: July 31st, 2021

Logo: Tilburg University
Logo: Tilburg University

The Department of Social Psychology at Tilburg University is looking for a PhD student on the topic of psychological well-being during the transition to parenthood in the fields of Social and Developmental Psychology & Sociology (1.0 FTE per 1 November 2021).

Project description

The transition to parenthood represents a major life event that shapes individual and couple development. How does parenthood affect psychological well-being? This has been a central question in personality-developmental, social psychology and family sociology for decades. Yet, research has fallen short of reaching a consensus, with studies portraying the transition to parenthood as either negative or positive experience with regard to psychological well-being. The project’s overarching goal is to reconcile these inconsistent findings by examining whether the transition might have different consequences for different aspects of psychological well-being and for different individuals. To study well-being dynamics surrounding the transition to parenthood, the project will use longitudinal and intensive longitudinal methods, including analyses of existing panel datasets as well as collection of novel data using experience sampling methods.

Job description

The PhD project is part of a collaboration between the Departments of Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Sociology, funded by The Herbert Simon Research Institute at Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences (TSB). The PhD student will be involved in all three departments.

The PhD student will work with secondary data (e.g., Pairfam), collect novel data (as part of the Brabant study) via online questionnaires and smartphones, and apply advanced statistical longitudinal analyses to answer the following research questions:

  1. How does the transition affect different types of well-being, including hedonic (e.g., life satisfaction) and eudaemonic (e.g., meaning in life) global assessments and moment-to-moment daily experiences of well-being?
  2. Is there between-individual variability in reactions to the transition to parenthood and if so, what factors (e.g., daily experiences during the transition, individual differences, immediate and broader social context) explain it?

Job requirements and qualifications of the candidate

We look for a highly motivated, inquisitive, enthusiastic, proactive, and goal-oriented PhD candidate. Applicants must have a relevant MSc/MA degree (preferably a research master), for example in social, developmental or personality psychology, sociology, or social/health sciences.

  • Excellent research skills and data analytical abilities, including in-depth knowledge of statistical programs (e.g., R, Stata, Mplus)
  • Interest in interdisciplinary work combining psychological and sociological perspectives
  • Interest in high-quality research on psychological well-being, life transitions and developmental change, and close relationships
  • Excellent cooperation skills and the ability to work independently as well as in a (cross-disciplinary) team
  • Data collection skills and interest in learning how to manage / organize a panel study including experience sampling modules
  • Interest in engaging in education (up to 25% of total time), such as thesis supervision
  • Proficiency in English (Dutch is a plus but not necessary)

For further details and information on how to apply, please visit: