About Rianne

Photo by Wilma van der Hel


Dr. Rianne Kok

Researcher Clinical Child & Family Studies

I work as an associate professor at the Department of Psychology, Education and Child Studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam, specialized in clinical child and family studies.

I study moral development of children within their families, with a special focus on lying: how and why do parents lie to their own children and does parental lying affect child development? In addition, I explore how early social relationships and interactions shape the regulation of cognitive and emotional processes that help people to function according to social norms and standards in society. I am fascinated by the question of why some children struggle with self-regulation more so than others and propose that these regulation differences can be vital to explain the intergenerational patterns we observe in psychiatric problems, problem behaviors, and socio-economic adversities.

Overall, my work contributes to a better understanding of the social origins of children’s regulation of behavior, emotions, and cognition. I study these processes in an ecologically valid way to better understand children’s ability to socially adapt in naturalistic settings. I am specialized in using observational paradigms and coding schemes to study the interaction and (dyadic) regulation of parents and children.

My research line is focused on self-regulation in early childhood, because of my fascination with the immense development in this period - from an infant solely dependent on regulation by external agents, to a preschooler capable of basic regulation

Professional Highlights


PhD, Child and Family Studies

Leiden University in collaboration with Generation R Study, Erasmus Medical Center

MSc, Developmental Psychopathology in Education and Child Studies

Leiden University, Centre for Child and Family Studies

MSc, Clinical Neuropsychology

University of Amsterdam
Graduated Cum Laude

BSc, Psychology

University of Amsterdam
Graduated Cum Laude

Postgraduate training

Observing and coding parent-child interaction (Leiden University, VU University, Erasmus Medical Center)



Fami-LIES - Early roots of lying in families (applicant, €1.500.000)

SNIP Grant Erasmus University

A Family of Lies (applicant, €10.000)

Erasmus Initiative Grant

Social stress, self-regulation and antisocial behavior development (co-applicant, €250.000)

EUR Fellowship Grant

We all need somebody to lean on (applicant, €135.000)

Sophia Foundation Grant

Parenting capacity in mothers with a severe mental illness (co-applicant, €249.000)

Other activities

Member research ethics review committee

Department of Psychology, Education and Child Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Member Education Committee

Pedagogical Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Staff panel education & research visitation

Pedagogical Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam

PhD Supervisor

Erasmus MC and Erasmus University Rotterdam

Editorial board member

Tijdschrift voor Orthopedagogiek

In the Media

EditieNL interviewed me about my research on lying. When do people lie and why? // October 2019

Link to the article (in Dutch)

We can spoil toddlers by showering them with gifts or snacks. But can we spoil them with ‘too much’ attention? No. Research tells us that it is actually very healthy to respond appropriately to the needs and signals of the child. // April 2019
Link to the article (in Dutch)

Erasmus University Rotterdam interviewed me and psychologist Sophie van der Zee on lying. // November 2018
Link to the article (in Dutch)

Radio Rijnmond interviewed me about lying in parents and children and my contribution to the theatre production Serious Comedy: Zoete leugens, stoute leugens (sweet lies, bad lies). // November 2018
Link to the interview (in Dutch)

Radio Rijnmond interviewed me about the Arosa Project, in which I studied the characteristics of victims of domestic violence. // April 2018
Link to the interview (in Dutch)