International Francqui Professor

International Francqui Professor

International Francqui Professor Leerstoel voor Janis Whitlock

Prof. dr. Janis Whitlock is een uitmuntend onderzoeker met een wereldreputatie op het gebied van mentaal welzijn bij jongeren. Meer specifiek geniet ze internationale bekendheid vanwege haar onderzoek naar opzettelijke zelfverwonding (, waarin inmiddels meer dan 120 internationale onderzoekers samenwerken. Daarnaast is ze een pionier in een vernieuwende onderzoekslijn naar mentaal welzijn van jongeren in een digitale wereld. Prof. Whitlock is hoofd van het Bronfenbrenner Center of Translational Research, een excellent onderzoekscentrum waar onderzoek, beleid en praktijk gericht zijn op welzijn en ontwikkeling.

17-03-2022 Inaugurale rede

Professor Whitlock zal het in haar inaugurale rede hebben over de mentale uitdagingen van adolescenten in het digitale tijdperk.

The digital age has ushered forms of social interaction and knowledge acquisition unlike anything known in recorded human history. The need to deepen understanding and to assist communities in navigating the role that social media is playing in adolescent and young adult mental health is of critical importance. This lecture will focus on summarizing what we do and do not know about how social media is impacting development and well-being and will engage participants in a discussion of implications and next steps for advancing research and intervention in Belgium.

18-03-2022 Class of Excellence: Adolescent mental health in the digital age

This Class of Excellence will focus on summarizing and discussing a) what we do and do not know about how social media is impacting adolescent and young adult development and well-being, b) the unique methodological challenges associated with investigation of the many pressing questions related to this field, and c) implications for research, practice and policy broadly, with a focus on  next steps for advancing research and intervention in Belgium. It will begin by summarizing the state of the field, but will dedicate significant time to discussion of identified gaps and opportunities for both research and practice and policy approaches to maximizing benefits of social media and mitigating potential harms.

21-04-2022 Class of Excellence: Translational research

Translational research is the systematic application of research for the development, testing, and implementation of intervention and innovation that improve real-world practices and policies. It includes the bi-directional pathway between research and practice/policy and recognizes the way knowledge from practices and policies to inform research. This Class of Excellence will focus on sharing lessons professor Whitlock has learned about the translational research process and will facilitate discussion of how these might be applied to the BRUCC-initiative.

28-04-2022 Expert session: The role of social media in adolescents’ mental health

This online expert session will summarize challenges, opportunities, and implications of what is and is not known about how social media impacts mental health and well-being among adolescents and young adults. It will use professor Whitlock’s current research on the role of one peer-to-peer social media platform, Talk Life, to describe risks and openings for reducing negative impacts of social media on mental health. It will conclude with a summary of implications for youth, families and youth serving providers.

This expert session takes place in collaboration with BRUCCpro Expertsessies . 

19-05-2022 Class of Excellence: Advances in research on self-compassion intervention

Self-compassion focused approaches to both therapy and intervention have been shown to be effective in reducing a number of mental health challenges in youth and adults. Because of this, integrating self-compassion based frameworks into school and other youth serving based programs presents important and strength-based opportunities for reducing mental health burden and for increasing well-being. This Class of Excellence will engage participants in a discussion of opportunities for collaboratively applying compassion frameworks to both youth and parent focused well-being initiatives.

As part of this Class of Excellence participants can register for a clinical workshop on Selfcompassion / Zelfcompassie in de klinische praktijk on 20th of May via BRUCCpro Masterclasses .

17-05-2022 Lecture: Parenting teens in the digital age

The digital age has ushered forms of social interaction and knowledge acquisition unlike anything known in recorded human history. Because of this, few of us understand how the rapid and ongoing development of communication technology is affecting any of us, especially our young people. Parents, especially, face the daunting task of how to raise healthy children in an era that seems to challenge everything we know about raising healthy children. With a focus on mental health impacts and an eye toward detailing both risks and opportunities parents face, this talk will summarize what we know and do not yet know about how the Internet, social media in particular, impacts youth development and well-being. We will wrap up with a group discussion of implications for youth, families, and youth serving providers.

This lecture takes place in collaboration with BRUCC Welzijn .

21-06-2022 Class of Excellence: NSSI prevention

Self-injury research has advanced considerably in a number of key areas, all of which have important contributions to understanding self-injury prevention. This Class of Excellence will focus on lessons learned in self-injury focused research with relevance to self-injury prevention for adolescents and young adults. Participants are all NSSI scholars with important insights and experience so this workshop will focus on summarizing current opportunities for developing and piloting self-injury prevention programs.

5-07-2022 Symposium: Advances in the field

In het slotsymposium van deze Internationale Francqui Professor Leerstoel worden state-of-the-art onderzoeksbevindingen vertaald naar de klinische praktijk. Er zal worden ingezoomd op zelfverwonding en suïcide, en op zelfcompassie en de rol van social media in het welzijn van jongeren.


Pleinlaan 2 1050 Brussel
T +32 (0)476 600 130

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