dr. G.B. (Lonneke) van Leeuwen

dr. G.B. (Lonneke) van Leeuwen

Assistant Professor
  • Julius Center, dept. Global Public Health & Bioethics



Research mission

As a researcher in the team Public Health Practice, my mission is to promote equal health opportunities for individuals of all ages, with a particular emphasis on youth. My current research, rooted in a passion for promoting healthy lifestyles, centers on understanding the barriers that affect sports participation among disadvantaged youth, especially those from low-income families. This involves gaining a comprehensive understanding of these obstacles and developing and evaluating innovative strategies to overcome them. Furthermore, my research encompasses the evaluation of the implementation of UMCU's Schakelpunt Gezond Leven, a service that empowers patients to enhance their well-being by collaborating with lifestyle consultants.


Before joining the UMCU, I worked as a scientific associate at the Trimbos Institute, Netherlands institute of mental health and addiction in Utrecht (2001-2020). During this period, I contributed to various projects related to youth substance use, suicide prevention, and the impact of media on mental health and substance use. In 2015, I earned a PhD in (health) communication science from Wageningen University & Research. My doctoral research focused on understanding the effects of an Entertainment-Education television series on young viewers' alcohol use and associated psychological processes, such as identification with characters and alcohol outcome expectancies. I was trained as a medical biologist at UMCU in 2000.

Fellowship and Awards

Most recent grants

2023 EWUU Seed money grant for the project Reaching for success: A feasibility study into how sports empower disadvantaged youth, in collaboration with WUR, UU and TU/e.

2022 Grant from the Utrecht Sports Accord for the project Action research ClubVital@2040: Promoting the utilization of financial support options in Utrecht for children's Sports.

2021 Consortium partner for the ZonMw grant for the Vmbo-Sportlab project: Enhancing sports participation among secondary vocational education (vmbo) students.

2020 Two Sport & Society seed money grants to kickstart the project ClubVital@2040:  inhibiting and facilitating factors for sports participation among youth from low-income families and for the utilization of financial support funds, in collaboration with UU.

2016 Two grants in ZonMw's suicide prevention program to explore the media's role in suicide prevention and to create a manual for schools on how to communicate about suicides.

2016 A grant from ProRail to examine the impact of a suicide delay announcement on railway users' associations with suicide.


2014 Most promising Wageningen School of Social Science publication for publication: Televised Entertainment-Education to Prevent Adolescent Alcohol Use: Perceived Realism, Enjoyment, and Impact.

Research Output (9)

Acquiring Financial Support for Children’s Sports Participation:Co-Creating a Socially Safe Environment for Parents from Low-Income Families

van Leeuwen Lonneke, Ruiter Angelique, Visser Kirsten, Lesscher Heidi M. B., Jonker Merel 12 May 2023, In: Children. 10 , p. 1-16

Facilitating Children’s Club-Organized Sports Participation: Person–Environment Misfits Experienced by Parents from Low-Income Families

van Leeuwen Lonneke, Annink Anne, Visser Kirsten, Jambroes Marielle 14 Nov 2022, In: Children. 9

Latent Classes of Substance Use in Young Adults - A Systematic Review

de Jonge Martha Charlotta, Bukman Andrea Johanna, van Leeuwen Lonneke, Onrust Simone Arianne, Kleinjan Marloes 21 Feb 2022, In: Substance Use & Misuse. 57 , p. 769-785 17 p.

Personas of young adults and substance use

de Jonge M. C., van Leeuwen L., Onrust S. A., Bukman S. Sep 2020, In: European Journal of Public Health. 30 , p. V984-V984

Cue-Reminders to Prevent Health-Risk Behaviors: A Systematic Review

van Leeuwen Lonneke, Onrust Simone, van den Putte Bas, Kleinjan Marloes, Lemmers Lex, Engels Rutger C M E, Hermans Roel 30 Apr 2019, In: Frontiers in Public Health. 7 , p. 1-9 9 p.

Do Dutch News Reports about Suicide Refer to Suicide Prevention Strategies?

Van Leeuwen Lonneke, Bommelé Jeroen 2019, In: Crisis. 41 , p. 225-228 4 p.

Do Narrative Engagement and Recipients’ Thoughts Explain the Impact of an Entertainment-Education Narrative on Discouraging Binge Drinking?

van Leeuwen Lonneke, van den Putte Bas, Renes Reint Jan, Leeuwis Cees 2017, In: Media Psychology. 20 , p. 194-220 27 p.

Televised Entertainment-Education to Prevent Adolescent Alcohol Use: Perceived Realism, Enjoyment, and Impact

van Leeuwen Lonneke, Renes Reint Jan, Leeuwis Cees 2012, In: Health Education & Behavior. 40 , p. 193-205 13 p.

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