Assistant Professor

PhD – Erasmus University, Rotterdam,

2014 MSc Epidemiology – Erasmus University, Rotterdam, 2011

MSc Public Health – Maastricht University, 2008

BA Social Sciences and Social Technologies, Sociology, and Social Work, 2007


Assistant Professor, Zayed University (2019-present)

Cross-sectoral Specialist and Health Information Management Specialist, World Health Organization Europe (2015)

Scientific Researcher, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Psychology (2008-2015)

Scientific Researcher, The Generation R Study Behavior and Cognition Research Group (2008-2015)

Research Consultant, Futures Group USAID, Health Policy Initiative Project (2006-2007)

Project Manager, non-governmental organization Socium–XXI (2004-2007)


Abu Dhabi - Khalifa City, FF1-1-045



Teaching Areas

Mental health; Public health; Psychiatric epidemiology; Human development; Behavioral problems; Gaming addiction, screen time and health; Peer interactions and bullying; Prenatal development and mental health.

Research and Professional Activities

Thomas, J., Verlinden, M., Al Beyahi, F., Al Bassam, B., & Aljedawi, Y. (2022). Socio-Demographic and Attitudinal Correlates of Problematic Social Media Use: Analysis of Ithra's 30-Nation Digital Wellbeing Survey. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 267.

Ringoot, A. P., Jansen, P. W., Kok, R., van IJzendoorn, M. H., Verlinden, M., Verhulst, F. C., ... & Tiemeier, H. (2021). Parenting, young children's behavioral self-regulation and the quality of their peer relationships. Social Development.

Verlinden, M., Thomas, J., Almansoori, M. H. A. A., & Wanigaratne, S. (2021). Gaming Disorder and Well-Being Among Emirati College Women. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12.

Ahmed, L. A., Verlinden, M., Alobeidli, M. A., Alahbabi, R. H., AlKatheeri, R., Saddik, B., ... & Al-Rifai, R. H. (2021). Patterns of Tobacco Smoking and Nicotine Vaping among University Students in the United Arab Emirates: A Cross-Sectional Study.International journal of environmental research and public health,18(14), 7652.

Thomas, J., Barbato, M., Verlinden, M., Gaspar, C., Moussa, M., Ghorayeb, J., ... & Bentall, R. P. (2020). Psychosocial correlates of depression and anxiety in the United Arab Emirates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11, 1248.