Shannon Dickson is a PhD candidate at the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Erasmus MC, where she focuses on risk, resilience, and early identification of mental health problems in young people using Experience Sampling Methodology. Shannon recently graduated from Utrecht University with a Research Masters in Methodology and Statistics and has a background in Psychology. Further interests are in using novel statistical methods to improve diagnostic measurements in complex mental health problems such as personality and affective disorders, network science, and statistical programming. Shannon is currently reviewing ESM studies with a view to identify areas for improvement in advance of designing her own protocol.

Research question

“Can we identify risk for emotional problems at a much earlier stage using experience sampling and daily diary methods?”


The advent of mobile technologies has facilitated real-time studies of individuals’ emotions, behaviours, and interactions in their daily lives, such as through experience sampling methods. Risk factors can be classified as static or dynamic. Static risk factors are fixed and unchanging, measured at a single time-point, while dynamic risk factors fluctuate over seconds to hours and are best measured at multiple time-points throughout the day. Using cutting-edge technology to monitor real-time emotions, behaviours, and interactions of adolescents and emerging adults (aged 12-25), I will develop a theoretical framework of static and dynamic risk factors for emotional problems that is empirically verified using real-life data. My longer-term goal is to develop a new toolbox with to monitor real-time functioning of adolescents with smartphone apps and create a centre of methodological and clinical expertise around experience sampling methods. This allows us to identify whether a given individual is at risk in real-time, in real settings, leading to earlier diagnostics.

Shannon Dickson

PhD student,
Erasmus MC