Prof Eva-Maria (E. M.) Merz PhD


BSc Medicine
MSc Social Sciences (cum laude)
PhD Developmental Psychology


Caring for Your Loved Ones? An Attachment Perspective on Solidarity Between Generations
Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam

Research interests

Donor Behaviour, Neurogenetics of Altruism, Social Relationships and Health, Inequality and Health, Aging and Health Behavior, Emotions and Health Compliance


Project overview donor studies


Survey Research
Qualitative in-depth interviews
Stata, SPSS, MlwiN


2021-present Professor of Donor Behaviour, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
2017-2021 Associate professor, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
2015-present ASPASIA Talent Fellow at the Dept of Sociology (0.2fte), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
2014-present Senior researcher at the Dept of Donor Studies, Sanquin Research
2008-2014 Researcher at the Dept of Social Demography, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI-KNAW), The Hague

PhD Student at the Dept of Clinical Child and Family Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Extensive CV (pdf)


Other publications

Das M, De Valk HAG, Merz E-M. Mothers' mobility after separation: Do grandmothers matter? Population, Space and Place 2016.

Merz E-M, De Jong Gierveld J. Childhood memories, family ties, sibling support and loneliness in ever-widowed older adults: quantitative and qualitative results. Ageing & Society 2016; 36(3):534-61.

Rooyackers IN, De Valk HAG, Merz, E-M. Mother-child relations in adulthood within and across national borders: Non-Western immigrants in the Netherlands. Ageing & Society 2015

Rijken AJ, Merz EM. Double standards: Differences in norms on voluntary childlessness for men and women. European Sociological Review 2014; 30:470-482.

Rooyackers IN, de Valk HAG, Merz EM. Mother-child relations in adulthood: Immigrant and non-immigrant families in the Netherlands. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 2014; 45:569-86.

Consedine NS, Fiori KL, Tuck NL, Merz EM. Attachment, activity limitation, and health symptoms in later life: the mediating roles of negative (and positive) affect. J Aging Health 2013; 25(1):56-79.

De Jong Gierveld J, Merz EM. Parent’s partnership decision making after divorce or widowhood: The role of (step)children. Journal of Marriage and Family 2013; 75:1098-113.

Merz EM, Jak S. The long reach of childhood. Childhood experiences influence close relationships and loneliness across life. Advances in Life Course Research 2013; 18:212-22.

Merz EM. Fertility intentions depend on intergenerational relations: A life course perspective. Family Science 2012; 3:237-45.

Merz EM, Consedine NS. Ethnic group moderates the association between attachment and wellbeing in later life. Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol 2012; 18(4):404-15.

Merz EM, Liefbroer AC. The attitude toward voluntary childlessness in Europe: Cultural and institutional explanations. Journal of Marriage and Family 2012; 74:587-600.

Fiori KL, Consedine NS, Merz EM. Attachment, social network size, and patterns of social exchange in later life. Research on Aging 2011; 33:465-93.

Merz EM, Huxhold O. Wellbeing depends on social network characteristics: comparing different types and providers of support to older adults. Ageing & Society 2010; 30:843-57.

Merz EM, Schulze H-J, Schuengel C. Consequences of filial support for two generations: A narrative and quantitative review. Journal of Family Issues 2010; 31:1530-54.

Merz EM, Consedine NS. The association of family support and wellbeing in later life depends on attachment style. Attach Hum Dev 2009; 11(2):203-21.

Merz EM, Consedine NS, Schulze H-J, Schuengel C. Wellbeing of adult children and ageing parents: associations with intergenerational support and relationship quality. Ageing & Society 2009; 29:783-802.

Merz EM, Özeke Kocabas E, Oort FJ, Schuengel C. Intergenerational family solidarity: Value differences between immigrant groups and generations. J Fam Psychol 2009; 23(3):291-300.

Merz EM, Schuengel C, Schulze H-J. Intergenerational relations across four years: Wellbeing is affected by quality not by support exchange. Gerontologist 2009; 49(4):536-48.

Merz EM, Schuengel C, Schulze H-J. Inter-generational relationships at different ages: an attachment perspective. Ageing & Society 2008, 28:717-36.

Merz EM, Schuengel C, Schulze H-J. Intergenerational solidarity: An attachment perspective. Journal of Aging Studies 2007; 21:175-86.

Aronson DC, Bosgraaf RP, Merz EM, van Steenwijk RP, van Aalderen WMC, van Baren R. Lung function after the minimal invasive pectus excavatum repair (Nuss procedure). World J Surg 2007; 31(7):1518-22.