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Violence Research Centre


The Zurich Project on the Social Development from Childhood to Adulthood (z-proso) is an on-going longitudinal study of 1,675 children since their admission to the first year of Zurich’s primary schools in the autumn of 2004.

It aims at understanding the developmental dynamics involved in aggressive behaviour and victimization during childhood and adolescence. Currently the main assessments have been conducted at ages 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15 and in their early 20s.

Over the waves, the study included, amongst others, experimental assessments of risk-seeking behaviour, the administration of an event history calendar, measures of friendship networks, scenario-based measures on judgement and decision-making, assessments of pubertal development and measures of resting heart rate.The study includes analyses of the specific effects of peer victimization on internalizing and externalizing behaviour problems, the variability of sex differences in aggression between children of different immigrant backgrounds, and the extent to which trust and trustworthiness at age 7 predicts trajectories of problem behaviour up to age 11. Other issues have been added as the study progressed, including young people’s perception of law and police work, the causes of substance abuse and the dynamics of mental health.

More information on the project can be found on the z-proso website of the UZH - Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development. Our 2018 report can be downloaded here.

Investigators: Prof. Manuel Eisner (PI), Dr. Ingrid Obsuth (University of Edinburgh), Aja Murray (University of Edinburgh), Dr. Denis Ribeaud (University of Zurich), Dr. Margit Averdijk (University of Zurich), Prof. Tina Malti (University of Toronto). | Funding: Jacobs Foundation and Swiss National Science Foundation, total funding since 2005 about £2.5 Mio. | Image: Jeff Meyer


On 26 October 2018, a Symposium marked the 15th anniversary of The Zurich Project on the Social Development from Childhood to Adulthood (z-proso). Read more about it here.




Averdijk, M.; Ribeaud, D.; & Eisner, M. (2018). The long-term effects of out-of-home placement in late adolescence: A propensity score matching analysis among Swiss youths. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, 9(1 (Special issue: Adult outcomes of children raised in care)), 30–57.

Eisner, M.; Murray, A.; Ribeaud, D.; van Gelder, J.-L. (in press): From the savannah to the magistrate’s court. The roots of criminal justice in evolved human psychology. In: Festschrift Diekmann.

Eisner, N., Murray, A., Eisner, M., & Ribeaud, D. (accepted (Apr2018)). An analysis of non-response and attrition in the Zurich Project on the Social Development of Children and Youths (z-proso). International Journal of Behavioral Development.

McKenzie, K.; Murray, A. L.; Murray, G. C.; Maguire, A.; Eisner, M.; & Ribeaud, D. (2018). Validation of the English language version of the Violent Ideations Scale (VIS). Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Advance online publication. DOI: 10.1177/0886260518757227

Murray, A., Booth, T., Eisner, M., Auyeung, B., & Murray G. (accepted (2018)). Sex differences in ADHD trajectories across childhood and adolescence. Developmental Science.

Murray, A., Booth, T., Eisner, M., Obsuth, I., & Ribeaud, D. (2018). Quantifying the strength of general factors in psychopathology: A comparison of CFA with maximum likelihood estimation, BSEM and ESEM/EFA bi-factor approaches. Journal of Personality Assessment, Advance online publication.

Murray, A., Booth, T., Ribeaud, D., & Eisner, M. (2018). Disagreeing about development: An analysis of parent-teacher agreement in ADHD symptom trajectories across the elementary school years. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research. Advance online publication.

Murray, A., Obsuth, I., Eisner, M., & Ribeaud, D. (accepted (Jul2018)). Disaggregating between and within-classroom variation in student behaviour: A multi-level factor analysis of teacher ratings of student prosociality and aggression. Journal of Early Adolescence.

Ribeaud, D.; Eisner, M.; & Nivette, A. (2018). Extremistische Einstellungen unter Jugendlichen: Ergebnisse der Zürcher Längsschnittstudie z-proso. In C. Schwarzenegger & R. Nägeli (Eds.), EIZ: Vol. 184, S. 7-27. Zehntes Zürcher Präventionsforum: Kulturkonflikt und Identität - Radikalisierung und Kriminalität junger Migranten - Ansätze der Prävention. Zürich, Basel, Genf: Schulthess Juristische Medien AG.

van Gelder, J. L.; Martin, C.; van Prooijen, J. W.; de Vries, R.; Marsman, M.; Averdijk, M.; Reynald, D.; & Donker, T. (2018). Seeing is believing? Comparing negative affect, realism and presence in visual versus written guardianship scenarios. In: Deviant Behavior 39(4), 461-474. DOI: 10.1080/01639625.2017.1407106



Averdijk, M.; Ribeaud, D.; & Eisner, M. (2017). Friendship and status: Discrepancy between teacher-perceived and sociometric popularity and its relations with behavioral styles and peer victimization. In Bijleveld, C.; & van der Laan, P. (Ed.), Liber Amicorum voor Gerben Bruinsma. Den Haag: Boom criminologie.

Malti, T.; & Averdijk, M. (2017). Severe youth violence: Developmental perspectives: Introduction to the special section. Child Development, 88(1), 5-15.

Murray, A.; Eisner, M.; & Ribeaud, D. (2017). Can the Social Behavior Questionnaire help meet the need for dimensional, transdiagnostic measures of childhood and adolescent psychopathology? European Journal of Psychological Assessment, Advance online publication.

Murray, A.; Eisner, M.; Obsuth, I.; & Ribeaud, D. (2017). Evaluating longitudinal invariance in dimensions of mental health across adolescence: An analysis of the Social Behavior Questionnaire. Assessment, Advance online publication.

Murray, A.; Eisner, M.; Obsuth, I.; & Ribeaud, D. (2017). Identifying early markers of later onset attention deficit and hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms. Journal of Attention Disorders, Advance online publication.

Murray, A.; Eisner, M.; Obsuth, I.; & Ribeaud, D. (2017). No evidence that normative substance use causes ADHD symptoms in adolescence. Journal of Drug Issues, 47(3), 405–410.

Murray, A.; Eisner, M.; Obsuth, I.; & Ribeaud, D. (2017). Situating violent ideations within the landscape of mental health: Associations between violent ideations and dimensions of mental health. Psychiatry Research, 249, 70–77.

Nivette, A.; Eisner, M.; & Ribeaud, D. (2017). Developmental predictors of violent extremist attitudes: A test of general strain theory among a sample of Swiss youth. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 54(6), 755–790.

Obsuth, I.; Müller-Johnson, K.; Murray, A.; Eisner, M.; & Ribeaud, D. (2017). Violent poly-victimisation over time: A longitudinal examination of the prevalence and patterns of physical and emotional victimisation throughout adolescence (11-17 years). Journal of Research on Adolescence, Advance online publication.

Obsuth, I.; Murray, A. L.; Malti, T.; Sulger, P.; Ribeaud, D.; & Eisner, M. (2017). A non-bipartite propensity score analysis of the effects of teacher–student relationships on adolescent problem and prosocial behavior. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46(8), 1661–1687.

Ribeaud, D.; Eisner, M.; & Nivette, A. (2017). Können gewaltbereite extremistische Einstellungen vorausgesagt werden? Factsheet. Zürich: Universität Zürich, Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development.

van Gelder, J.-L.; Averdijk, M.; Ribeaud, D.; & Eisner, M. (2017). Punitive parenting and delinquency: The mediating role of short-term mindsets. In: British Journal of Criminology 58(3), S. 644-666. DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azx042



Averdijk, M.; Malti, T.; Eisner, M.; Ribeaud, D.; Farrington, David P. (2016a): A vicious cycle of peer victimization? Problem behavior mediates stability in peer victimization over time. In: Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology 2 (2), S. 162–181. DOI: 10.1007/s40865-016-0024-7.

Averdijk, M.; van Gelder, J.-L.; Eisner, M.; Ribeaud, D. (2016b): Violence begets violence, but how? A decision making perspective on the victim-offender overlap. In: Criminology 54 (2), S. 282–306. DOI: 10.1111/1745-9125.12102.

Averdijk, M.; Zirk, J.; Ribeaud, D.; Eisner, M. (2016c): Long-term effects of two universal interventions on adolescent delinquency, substance use, and externalising behavior. In: Journal of Experimental Criminology 12 (1), S. 21–47. DOI: 10.1007/s11292-015-9249-4.

Cui, L.; Colasante, T.; Malti, T.; Ribeaud, D.; Eisner, M. (2016): Dual trajectories of reactive and proactive aggression from mid-childhood to early adolescence. Relations to sensation seeking, risk taking, and moral reasoning. In: Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 44 (4), S. 663–675. DOI: 10.1007/s10802-015-0079-7.

Murray, A.; Eisner, M.; Ribeaud, D. (2016a): Development and Validation of a Brief Measure of Violent Thoughts. The Violent Ideations Scale (VIS). In: Assessment online first.

Murray, A.; Eisner, M.; Ribeaud, D. (2016b): The development of the general factor of psychopathology, ‘p factor’, in childhood and adolescence. In: Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 44 (8), S. 1573–1586. DOI: 10.1007/s10802-016-0132-1.

Murray, A.; Obsuth, I.; Eisner, M.; Ribeaud, D. (2016c): Shaping aggressive personality in adolescence. Exploring cross-lagged relations between aggressive thoughts, aggressive behaviour and self-control. In: Personality and Individual Differences 97, 1-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2016.03.022.

Murray, A.; Obsuth, I.; Zirk-Sadowski, J.; Ribeaud, D.; Eisner, M. (2016d): Developmental relations between ADHD symptoms and reactive versus proactive aggression across childhood and adolescence. In: Journal of Attention Disorders online first. DOI: 10.1177/1087054716666323.



Eisner, M.; Malti, T. (2015): Aggressive and violent behavior. In: Richard M. Lerner und Michael E. Lamb (Hg.): Handbook of Child Psychology and Developmental Science, 3: Socioemotional Processes. 7. Aufl. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, S. 794–841.

Malti, T.; Averdijk, M.; Zuffiano, A.; Betts, L. R.; Rotenberg, K. J.; Ribeaud, D.; Eisner, M. (2015): Children’s trust and the development of prosocial behavior. In: International Journal of Behavioral Development.

Nivette, A.; Eisner, M.; Malti, T.; Ribeaud, D. (2015): The social and developmental antecedents of legal cynicism. In: Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 52 (2), S. 270–298. DOI: 10.1177/0022427814557038.

Obsuth, I.; Eisner, M.; Malti, T.; Ribeaud, D. (2015): The developmental relation between aggressive behaviour and prosocial behaviour. A 5-year longitudinal study. In: BMC Psychology 3 (16). DOI: 10.1186/s40359-015-0073-4.

Ribeaud, D.; Eisner, M. (2015): The nature of the association between moral neutralization and aggression. A systematic test of causality in early adolescence. In: Merrill-Palmer Quarterly 61 (1), S. 68–84.

Sell, A.; Eisner, M.; Ribeaud, D. (2015): Bargaining power and individual differences in adolescent aggression. the role of fighting ability, coalitional strength and mate value. In: Evolution and Human Behavior 44 (4), S. 663–675. DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2015.09.003.

van Gelder, J.-L.; Averdijk, M.; Eisner, M.; Ribeaud, D. (2015): Unpacking the victim-offender overlap. on role differentiation and socio-psychological characteristics. In: Journal of Quantitative Criminology 31 (4), S. 653–675. DOI: 10.1007/s10940-014-9244-3.



Averdijk, Margit; Eisner, Manuel; Ribeaud, Denis (2014): Do social relationships protect victimized children against internalizing problems? In: Journal of School Violence 13 (1: Special Issue: Interrupting the Continuity From School Bullying to Later Internalizing and Externalizing Problems: Findings From Cross-National Comparative Studies), S. 80–89. DOI: 10.1080/15388220.2013.842175.

Nivette, A.; Eisner, M.; Malti, T.; Ribeaud, D. (2014): Sex differences in aggression amongst children from low and high gender inequality backgrounds. A comparison of gender role and sexual selection theories. In: Aggressive Behavior 40 (5), S. 451–464. DOI: 10.1002/ab.21530.

Topcuoglu, Tuba; Eisner, Manuel; Ribeaud, Denis (2014): Sex differences in the effects of parents' use of corporal punishment on children's aggressive behavior. In: Annales de la Faculté de Droit d’Istanbul 46 (63), S. 185–218.



Averdijk, Margit; Eisner, Manuel; Ribeaud, Denis (2013): Method effects in survey questions about peer victimization. In: S. Ruiter, W. Bernasco, W. Huisman und G. J. N. Bruinsma (Hg.): Envoud & verscheidenheid. Liber amicorum voor Henk Elffers. Amsterdam: VU/NSCR, S. 425–439.

Eisner, Manuel; Malti, Tina (2013): The Future of Evidence-based Bullying and Violence Prevention in Childhood and Adolescence. Strasbourg: European Science Foundation (Science Position Paper).

Malti, Tina; Averdijk, Margit; Ribeaud, Denis; Rotenberg, Ken J.; Eisner, Manuel (2013): "Do you trust him? " Children's trust beliefs and developmental trajectories of aggressive behavior in an ethnically diverse sample. In: Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 41 (3), S. 445–456. DOI: 10.1007/s10802-012-9687-7.

Topcuoglu, Tuba (2013): Parents' use of corporal punishment & children's externalising behaviour problems. A cross-cultural assessment. Istanbul: XII Levha.



Averdijk, Margit; Malti, Tina; Eisner, Manuel; Ribeaud, Denis (2012): Parental separation and child aggressive and internalizing behavior. An Event History Calendar analysis. In: Child Psychiatry & Human Development 43 (2), S. 184–200.

Eisner, Manuel; Malti, Tina; Ribeaud, Denis (2012a): Large-scale criminological field experiments. The Zurich Project on the Social Development of Children. In: David Gadd, Susanne Karstedt und Steven F. Messner (Hg.): The SAGE Handbook of Criminological Research Methods. London: Sage Publications, S. 410–424.

Eisner, Manuel; Malti, Tina; Ribeaud, Denis; Müller, Barbara (2012b): Groß angelegte Feldversuche in der kriminologischen Präventionsforschung. Das Zürcher Projekt zur sozialen Entwicklung von Kindern. In: R. Strobl, O. Lobermeier und W. Heitmeyer (Hg.): Evaluation von Programmen und Projekten für eine demokratische Kultur. Wiesbaden: Springer, S. 69–97.

Eisner, Manuel; Nagin, Daniel; Ribeaud, Denis; Malti, Tina (2012c): Effects of a universal parenting program for highly adherent parents. A propensity score matching approach. In: Prevention Science 13 (3), S. 252–266.

Malti, Tina; Ribeaud, Denis; Eisner, Manuel (2012): Effectiveness of a universal school-based social competence program. The role of child characteristics and economic factors. In: International Journal of Conflict and Violence 6 (2), S. 249–259.



Averdijk, Margit; Besemer, Sytske; Eisner, Manuel; Bijleveld, Catrien; Ribeaud, Denis (2011a): The relationship between quantity, type and timing of external childcare and child problem behaviour in Switzerland. In: European Journal of Developmental Psychology 8 (6), S. 637–660. DOI: 10.1080/17405629.2011.571846.

Averdijk, Margit; Malti, Tina; Ribeaud, Denis; Eisner, Manuel (2011b): Trajectories of aggressive behavior and children’s social cognitive development. In: International Journal of Developmental Science 5 (1-2), S. 103–111. DOI: 10.3233/DEV-2011-10067.

Averdijk, Margit; Müller, Barbara; Eisner, Manuel; Ribeaud, Denis (2011c): Bullying victimization and later anxiety and depression among pre-adolescents in Switzerland. In: Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research 3 (2: Special issue “Health consequences of school bullying”), S. 103–109. DOI: 10.1108/17596591111132927.

Eisner, Manuel; Meidert, Ursula (2011): Stages of Parental Engagement in a Universal Parent Training Program. In: The Journal of Primary Prevention 32 (2), S. 83–93. DOI: 10.1007/s10935-011-0238-8.

Eisner, Manuel; Ribeaud, Denis (2011): Was bringt universelle Frühprävention von Gewalt? Ergebnisse des Zürcher Projektes zur sozialen Entwicklung von Kindern. In: Erich Marks und Steffen Wiebke (Hg.): Solidarität leben - Vielfalt sichern. Ausgewählte Beiträge des 14. Deutschen Präventionstages (8. und 9. Juni 2009 in Hannover). Mönchengladbach: Forum Verlag Godesberg, S. 291–303.

Malti, Tina; Ribeaud, Denis; Eisner, Manuel (2011): The effectiveness of two universal preventive interventions in reducing children's externalizing behavior. A cluster randomized controlled trial. In: Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology 40 (5), S. 677–692.



Ribeaud, Denis; Eisner, Manuel (2010a): Are moral disengagement, neutralisation techniques and self-serving cognitive distortions the same? Development of a unified scale of moral neutralisation of aggression. In: International Journal of Conflict and Violence 4 (2), S. 298–315.

Ribeaud, Denis; Eisner, Manuel (2010b): Risk factors of aggression in preadolescence. risk domains, cumulative risk, and gender differences. Results from a prospective longitudinal study in a multiethnic urban sample. In: European Journal of Criminology. Special Issue on Criminal Careers Research: Show-Casing Studies and Approaches 7 (6), S. 460–498. DOI: 10.1177/1477370810378116.



Eisner, Manuel (2009): The uses of violence. An examination of some cross-cutting issues. In: International Journal of Conflict and Violence 3 (1), S. 40–59.

Eisner, Manuel; Murray, Joseph; Ribeaud, Denis; Topcuoglu, Tuba; Kazemian, Lila; Besemer, Sytske (2009): The Event History Calendar as an instrument for longitudinal criminological research. In: Monatsschrift für Kriminologie und Strafrechtsreform 92 (2/3), S. 137–159.

Jünger, Rahel; Eisner, Manuel (2009): Prävention von Problemverhalten durch die systematische Förderung von sozialen Kompetenzen mit dem PFADE Programm. In: Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Heilpädagogik 15 (3), S. 18–24.

Murray, Joseph; Farrington, David P.; Eisner, Manuel (2009): Drawing conclusions about causes from systematic reviews of risk factors. The Cambridge Quality Checklists. In: Journal of Experimental Criminology 5 (1), S. 1–23.



Eisner, Manuel; Ribeaud, Denis (2008a): Das Zürcher Interventions- und Präventionsprogramm an Schulen 'zipps' - Eine Zusammenfassung der zentralen Ergebnisse (Forschungsbericht zuhanden des Bundesamtes für Gesundheit). Bern.

Eisner, Manuel; Ribeaud, Denis (2008b): Markt, Macht und Wissenschaft. kritische Überlegungen zur deutschen Präventionsforschung. In: Hans-Jürgen Kerner und Erich Marks (Hg.): Internetdokumentation des Deutschen Präventionstages. Hannover.

Eisner, Manuel; Ribeaud, Denis (2008c): Wie wirkt Frühprävention von Gewalt? Zentrale Ergebnisse des Zürcher Interventions- und Präventionsprogramms an Schulen (zipps). In: Psychologie und Erziehung 34 (2), S. 18–25.

Eisner, Manuel; Ribeaud, Denis; Jünger, Rahel; Meidert, Ursula (2008a): Frühprävention von Gewalt und Aggression. Ergebnisse des Zürcher Präventions- und Interventionsprojektes an Schulen. Zürich: Rüegger Verlag.

Eisner, Manuel; Ribeaud, Denis; Meidert, Ursula (2008b): Kriminologische Forschung in multikulturellem Kontext. Erfahrungen aus dem Zürcher Projekt zur sozialen Entwicklung von Kindern. In: Friedrich Lösel, Doris Bender und Jörg M. Jehle (Hg.): Kriminologie und wissensbasierte Kriminalpolitik; Entwicklungs- und Evaluationsforschung. Mönchengladbach: Forum Verlag Godesberg, S. 379–413.



Eisner, Manuel (2007): Civilising children. A comment on Richard Tremblay's "The development of youth violence: An old story with new data". In: European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research (Special issue on preventive interventions) 13 (3), S. 171–173. DOI: 10.1007/s10610-007-9051-6.

Eisner, Manuel; Parmar, Alpa (2007): Doing criminological research in ethnically and culturally diverse contexts. In: Roy D. King und Emma Wincup (Hg.): Doing Research on Crime and Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, S. 171–198.

Eisner, Manuel; Ribeaud, Denis (2007a): Conducting a criminological survey in a culturally diverse context. Lessons learned from the Zurich study on the social development of children. In: European Journal of Criminology 4 (3), S. 271–298.

Eisner, Manuel; Ribeaud, Denis (2007b): Zur Evaluation von Gewaltpräventionsmassnahmen. Drei Analysen zur Wirksamkeit von Interventionen. Zürich (Forschungsberichte aus dem Zürcher Projekt zur sozialen Entwicklung von Kindern).

van Lier, Pol; Vitaro, Frank; Eisner, Manuel (2007): Preventing aggressive and violent behaviour. Using prevention programs to study the role of peer dynamics in maladjustment problems. In: European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research (Special issue on preventive interventions) 13 (3-4), S. 227–296. DOI: 10.1007/s10610-007-9054-3.



Eisner, Manuel; Jünger, Rahel; Greenberg, Mark (2006a): Gewaltprävention durch die Förderung emotionaler und sozialer Kompetenzen in der Schule. das PATHS/PFAD Curriculum. In: Praxis der Rechtspsychologie 16, S. 144–168.

Eisner, Manuel; Meidert, Ursula; Ribeaud, Denis (2006b): Anmeldung, Teilnahme und Verbleib in einem Elterntrainingsprogramm - Erfahrungen mit Triple P. In: Antisoziales Verhalten bei Kindern, psychosoziale Risiken von Jugendlichen: Was bringt Prävention und Beratung? Präsentation wissenschaftlicher Ergebnisse aus dem Nationalen Forschungsprogramm 52, S. 13–17.



Eisner, Manuel; Ribeaud, Denis (2005a): A randomised field experiment to prevent violence. The Zurich intervention and prevention project at schools, zipps. In: European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice 13 (1), S. 27–43. DOI: 10.1163/1571817053558293.

Eisner, Manuel; Ribeaud, Denis (2005b): Auf dem Weg zu evidenzbasierter Gewaltprävention. In: terra cognita, Schweizer Zeitschrift zu Integration und Migration, 6, S. 32–37.



Eisner, M. (2003). “Towards more Effective Youth Violence Prevention – An Overview”, in: Council of Europe (Ed.). Violence in Schools – A challenge for the Local Community. Strasbourg: Council of Europe, pp. 23–41. 72.Eisner, M. (2003) Améliorer la prévention de la violence chez les jeunes: aperçu géneral”, in: Conseil de l’Europe (ed.) Violence à l’ecole – un défi pour la communauté locale. Strasbourg: Council of Europe, pp. 27-46.

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