Welcome to the personal website of Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg.

My ORCID ID is 0000-0001-7763-0711. My Web of Science ResearcherID is AAF-7746-2020

You can contact me via contact@marianbakermanskranenburg.nl

My research focus is attachment and emotion regulation in parents and their children, with special emphasis on neurobiological processes in parenting and development. My academic interests include the interplay between nature and nurture, exploring and testing the ‘differential susceptibility’ model, hormonal correlates of parenting, in particular in fathers, and interventions.

I am currently a full professor at ISPA Lisbon.  I am also a visiting scholar and research associate at the Center for Attachment Research, The New School for Social Research, New York, and visiting professor at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technical University, in Singapore. In the past 30 years I have been affiliated with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Section Clinical Child and Family Studies, and with Leiden University. My research activities include, e.g., the ERC-funded Father Trials research program, the L-CID gravity program, the 3 Generations study of the Family Lab, and the Collaboration on Attachment Transmission Synthesis (CATS).


We conducted a new meta-analysis on the effectiveness of the Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD), including 25 RCTs in various countries. VIPP-SD turns out to enhance parental cognitions about sensitive parenting, sensitive parenting behaviour, and attachment security. Child externalising behaviour is affected to a lesser extent. The paper is available here.

The transition to parenthood is an intense period. Not all mothers and fathers feel a strong bond with their baby immediately after birth. Read more in our contribution to The Conversation.

We wrote specifically about the transition to fatherhood in the Child & Family Blog. Today, fathers in Western, industrialized countries are much more actively involved in child care than fathers were: a three- to six-fold increase in time over what their own fathers typically did. How are men prepared for the life-changing event of becoming a father? The transition to fatherhood is accompanied by changes in fathers’ brains and hormones. These changes are probably related to new activities and routines that fathers are involved in and develop. These brain-related and hormonal changes are functional: They support fathers’ sensitive responses to their infants’ needs. A new study using ultrasound imaging and feedback during pregnancy indicates that positive father-child interactions can get a head start before birth.

The “best-interest-of-the-child” standard is often referenced in decision-making on child protection and child custody. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child stipulates that “in all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration” (Article 3.1). However, it is not always clear what is the best interest of the child, and as a result in the courts inconsistent or even contradictory conclusions are drawn with reference to attachment theory and research. Read our consensus paper on what can and cannot be concluded based on attachment research.

In June 2020 The Lancet Psychiatry and The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health published our papers on children in residential care: (1) The effects of institutionalization and deinstitutionalization, and (2) Policy and practice recommendations for global, national, and local actors. These two papers are available here:



In April 2020 The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health published a letter on the implications of COVID-19 for children in residential care:


I contributed to the discussion about adoption in the Netherlands in De Volkskrant:


An interview on the Father Trials study in Horizon, the EU Research and Innovation Magazine:


The version with correct tables of the Buisman et al (2020) paper in PlosOne can be found here:

Buisman et al 2020 Transmission in a multi informant design