Personal information

Maartje van  Stralen

Maartje van Stralen is assistant professor at the Department of Health Sciences, EMGO Institute for Health and Care research, VU University in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Maartje is currently supported by a VENI grant of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.  


Maartje van Stralen completed her Masters in Human Movement Science at the VU University in Amsterdam in 2004. She started as research assistant on the Alife@Work project at the Department of Public and Occupational Health of the EMGO Institute for 1 year. In 2005 she started as a PhD student at the Open University of the Netherlands in Heerlen and Maastricht University in Maastricht. In her PhD project she focused on the development and eveluation of a tailored physical activity intervention among older adults. Specific attention was directed to factors that predict physical activity behavior change among this age group as well as the systematic development, implementation and evaluation of a tailored physical activity intervention applying the Intervention Mapping protocol. In 2009 she started as a post-doctoral researcher at the department of Social Sciences, EMGO Institute for Health and Care research, VU university medical center, on the MeMo project, the ENERGY project and ToyBox project. Her particular interest within these projects was disentangling the efficacy of interventions aimed at changing energy balance related behaviours by examining how they work (e.g., analyses of mediators, analyses of effective behaviour change techniques). Since april 2013 she is assistant professor at the department of Health Sciences wherin she combines research with teaching. She is involved in the Sleep project, a collaboration between the GGD Amsterdam, VU medical center and VU university. In her VENI project she aims to build and validate a relapse prevention model in weight loss maintenance.

Topics of interest

Maartje's research is in health psychology, focusing on the development, implementation and evaluation of interventions aimed at changing and maintaining health behaviours. Her current research interests focus on:

1.       Investigating determinants of relapse in weight loss maintenance and identifying relape prevention strategies.

2. Identifying mediators and moderators of intervention programs targeting energy balance related behaviors

3.       Understanding, developing and evaluating behaviour change interventions in terms of their behaviour change techniques

4.       Systematically develop health behavior interventions applying the Intervention Mapping protocol

In addition, she is coordinator and lecturer of the BSc course Health & Health behaviour for Health and Life Sciences students and Lifestyle Informatics students and gives several lectures for MSc students Health Sciences. She additionally gives courses on mediation and moderation analyses for PhD-students and PhDs.