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Sien Vandesande

Sien Vandesande
KU Leuven | ku leuven · Research unit for Parenting and Special Education

Master of Science in Educational Sciences

About

15
Publications
1,321
Reads
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81
Citations
Introduction
Sien Vandesande is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at KU Leuven’s Parenting and Special Education research unit. She holds a Master’s degree (June 2016) and a Doctoral degree (November 2021) in Educational Sciences. Her main research interest is the attachment relationship between parents and children with severe or profound intellectual (or multiple) disabilities.
Additional affiliations
October 2016 - October 2018
KU Leuven
Position
  • PhD Student
October 2016 - October 2020
KU Leuven
Position
  • PhD Student
September 2016 - September 2018
KU Leuven
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (15)
Article
Background A digital micro-intervention offering attachment psychoeducational videos was explored regarding its feasibility in parents of children with severe disabilities. Method: A mixed-methods study (including daily diaries and one-time questionnaires) with 16 parents (75.0% female) of children with severe disabilities (up to 10 years of age) w...
Article
Full-text available
Displaying selective attachment behaviours is an important developmental milestone for children with severe or profound intellectual disabilities (SPID). In the current study, between-child differences in their selective emotional responses to comfort provided by parents versus strangers were observed. We explored links between these differences an...
Article
Full-text available
Although widely accepted, attachment theory’s hypothesis that insecure attachment is associated with the development of depressive symptoms through emotion regulation strategies has never been longitudinally tested in adolescence. Additionally, previous research only focused on strategies for regulating negative affect, whereas strategies for regul...
Article
Background The feasibility and acceptability was explored of the newly-constructed Attachment Strengths and Needs Interview for parents of children with severe or profound intellectual disabilities. Method A partially mixed methods approach (with focus on the quantitative data) was used to clarify parents’ and professionals’ viewpoints regarding t...
Article
Children with a significant cognitive and motor developmental delay (SDD) are vulnerable for the development of (future) behavioral and mental health problems. To support children within this target group, knowledge on their social-emotional development is necessary. Therefore, in this paper, an explorative assessment of the changes in the social-e...
Article
Background: Within the context of the Special Interest Research Group (SIRG) on Persons with Profound Intellectual and Multiple Disabilities (PIMD), researchers often discuss the methodological problems and challenges they are confronted with. The aim of the current article was to give an overview of these challenges. Methods: The challenges are...
Article
Children with a significant cognitive and motor developmental delay (SDD) are vulnerable for the development of (future) behavioral and mental health problems. This paper aims to assess the social-emotional functioning of these children, both globally and in various domains. Semi-structured interviews with one or more primary caregiver(s) of 45 chi...
Article
The relationships between children with severe or profound intellectual disabilities (ID) and their parents may fulfil attachment functions, such as regulating emotional responses to stress. This study examined the extent to which children with severe or profound ID differentiate between their parents and a stranger as a resource for stress-regulat...
Article
Background: The general developmental as well as the disability specific literature has stressed the crucial influence of parents on their child’s social-emotional development. Attachment theory provides a framework to describe parental roles within the parent-child attachment relationship.The current study explored parents’ perspectives on their r...
Article
Background & Aims: Previous research indicates that young children with a significant cognitive and motor developmental delay show low levels of interactive engagement, their parents are generally responsive towards them and these variables are positively correlated. Adapting a micro-level approach, we aim to go beyond macro-level and correlational...
Article
Background The hallmark of attachment is that contact, proximity and relief from stress are sought from specific individuals, laying important groundwork for healthy socioemotional functioning. This study investigated the extent to which differentiated attachment behaviour can be observed in young children with significant developmental delay (DD)....

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
Young children with severe or profound intellectual disabilities (ID) are highly at risk to develop mental health or behavioural problems. Emotion regulation (ER) is at the core of such problems in people with and without ID. In typically developing children, the supportive role of parents as attachment figures in their emerging ER capabilities is emphasized. However, this support is possibly compromised in children with ID due to vulnerabilities both on the side of the child and the parent. The general aim of this PhD project is to examine and support the parent-child relationship from an attachment perspective, using new approaches such as psychophysiology and bioresponse. Throughout the research project the attachment bond is regarded as a dyadic phenomenon. Therefore, the general aim is specified in two objectives: (1) to elucidate the relationship from the child’s perspective (focusing on behaviour and psychophysiological arousal); (2) to support parents in strengthening the emotional bond with their child. This doctoral project examines parent-child attachment in children with severe or profound ID adopting various methodologies (e.g. observation, psychophysiology, intervention) and approaches (e.g. intra-individual, inter-individual, parent and child perspective).