Research on student mental health


Our research project aims to develop the personalized early warning system WARN-D that can predict depression in students before it occurs. This is important because early adulthood is a time in which mental health problems peak. It is also important because interventions can only help about 1 in 2 people, and experts agree that prevention is the most effective way to change depression’s global disease burden. The biggest barrier to prevention is to identify those at risk for depression in the near future. Our project tackles this challenge by developing WARN-D that forecasts depression reliably before it occurs, promising to radically transform the science of depression prevention. To do so, we will follow 2,000 students over 2 years, and integrate emerging theoretical, measurement, and modelling approaches from different scientific fields. These include complex systems theory, mental health measurement via smartphones and smartwatches, as well as network models and machine learning.

The WARN-D project is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Grant agreement No. 949059.

Scientific publications

The protocol paper of our study is now submitted to a scientific journal, and we posted it online as a preprint (that means it is not peer-reviewed yet). You can find other publications of Dr. Eiko Fried here.

Student theses

  • KJ Gorrisen (2022): “The relationship between childhood adversity and personality in students: A network analysis”
  • A Rimpler (2022): “Generating Feedback Reports for Ecological Momentary Assessment Data”
  • NM Platania (2022): “Examining Links Between Individual Depressive Symptoms, Indicators of Socioeconomic Status, and Stressors”
  • J Essen (2022): “Non-compliance in an Ecological Momentary Assessment Study on Students’ Mental Health”
  • H Galacian (2022): “Sample Representativeness of the First Cohort of the WARN-D Project Dataset”
  • H Boekestijn (2022): “Towards an understanding of resilience and symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in students: a network analysis”
  • TF Steiniger (2022): “Chronotype and Functioning: A Network Analysis and Comparison between Early and Late Chronotypes among University Students”
  • S Meyer (2022): “Network Analysis on the correlation between Preliminary HiTOP Items of Maladaptive Personality Traits in the Internalizing Spectrum and Symptoms of Depression, Anxiety & Stress”
  • T Scheltinga (2022): “Towards a suicide safety net: the relationship between suicidal ideation, depressive symptoms and social support”
  • F Ouska (2022): “Untangling the Web: A Network Approach to the Antecedents and Consequences of Bullying”
  • C Claessen (2022): “Substance Use, Personality and Pathology: a Network Approach”
  • A Symeonidou (2022): “Risk and Protective Coping Factors in Depression: A Network Analysis”
  • K Gorissen (2022): “The relationship between childhood adversities and personality: a network analysis”
  • C Haneveld (2022): “The Influence of Child Maltreatment, Depression and Protective Factors on the Risk of Suicidal Behaviors and Ideation”
  • A Röttgers (2022): “Investigating the Role of Physical Activity, Coping Mechanisms and Depression: A Network Perspective”
  • G Koehler (2022): “Social media use, symptoms of depression, and personality: A network analysis”
  • E Diehl (2022): “Network analysis of multiple risk factors for depression in university students”
  • R Lipka (2022): “Resilience as A Mereological Concept: A Network Perspective on Resilience Factors”

Scientific presentations

Association for Psychological Science, Chicago (US) May 2022:

  • Ricarda Proppert: “Survival of the fittest? Assessing bias in compliance to ecological momentary assessment protocols”
  • Ricarda Proppert: “Validating subjective EMA measures with objective activity tracking”
  • Carlotta Rieble: “Providing non-clinical feedback to motivate EMA participants”

WARN-D in the news


We have made a few introductory videos about the project in the last months which we will list below.

1. General overview video

2. One minute summary of the project, using Legos

3. Leiden University portray about WARN-D