Maaike Verhagen is assistant professor within the Developmental Psychopathology group of the Behavioural Science Institute. She conducted many molecular genetic studies in relation to various forms of psychopathology and loneliness and is currently interested in belongingness needs, emotional processes, and internalizing problems in adolescents.
Our research aims to transform young people’s mental health by developing and testing a social game for resiliency when facing stress events. Working in collaboration with the Award winning studio Aardman Animations, we want to harness the important mental health implications of both social support and mindsets, to develop a fun and engaging intervention.
People with large social networks on average live longer, happier, less stressed lives. We can potentially leverage virtual reality to increase the experience of social support and impact daily stress and anxiety. Therefore, this project aims to pinpoint which aspects of virtual social interaction are needed to convey a sense of social support.
Student life is regularly considered as one of the best periods in your life. It usually takes place in vivid and dynamic environments, with lots of opportunities to connect to others, to hang out on the campus or in bars, to play sports together, to go on cultural outings, to exchange ideas, opinions and so on. This provides students with various opportunities for making friends. In fact, one never has to be alone and one could suppose that there is no reason for students to feel lonely. However, that is not what a recent survey on our Radboud campus tells us… One out of four students feels lonely!