PhD Position Media Effects on Adolescents' Wellbeing
University of Leuven, Leuven School for Mass Communication Research



The successful candidate will work in the School for Mass Communication Research (Faculty of Social Sciences) in collaboration with The School Psychology and Development in Context group (Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences), under the supervision of Steven Eggermont and Patricia Bijttebier. The School for Mass Communication Research is inspired by the question how media use and (young) people’s wellbeing are interlinked. Its wide and multidisciplinary research program has contributed to state of the art insights into relations between media and adolescent development. The School Psychology and Development in Context group is dedicated to the study of child and adolescent development within schools, family and peer systems. It seeks to gain more insight into developmental processes and the factors affecting them by conducting longitudinal research, intervention research, and experimental studies. KU Leuven is a research-oriented institution and is consistently ranked among the top research universities in Europe. Leuven is one of the oldest university towns in Europe, about 30 km from Brussels. It has a rich history and a unique friendly atmosphere.



The literature is unclear about the direction of relationships between media use and adolescents’mental wellbeing. This project introduces a dual-conditional model explaining the positive as well as negative role of levels of media use in depressive symptoms. The main hypothesis is that this role may unfold differently depending on one’s processing style of media use, with dampening and enhancing styles as (proximate) moderators that predict how media use, and mood management through media, relate to mental well-being. The hypotheses of this project will go through a rigorous program of studies, consisting of a longitudinal study, a diary study, and an experimental study. 



The applicant is passionate about academic research in the fields related to the project. S/he must have a Master's degree in social or behavioral sciences, or related fields, andhave excellent Dutch and English communication and writing skills. The position requires enrollment in the PhD-program of the Faculty of Social Sciences



We offer encouraging daily guidance, excellent research facilities, conference/travel budget, and a competitive salary. A PhD position is offered for an initial year, renewablefor up to 4 years, and is expected to result in the completion of a PhD and relevant scholarly publications. The starting date is October 1st 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter.



For more information please contact Prof. dr. Steven Eggermont, tel.: +32 16 32 32 38, mail: or Prof. dr. Patricia Bijttebier, tel.: +32 16 32 59 89, mail:


You can apply for this job no later than September 15, 2019 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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