Prof. dr. Koen Ponnet

Professor at the research group for Media, Innovation and Communication Technologies, Department of Communication Sciences, Ghent University.

Koen Ponnet - nieuw


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Online/offline health and risk behavior
Structural equation modeling

Prof. dr. Koen Ponnet is assigned as a teaching professor at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Ghent University, and is associated with the research group Media, Innovation and Communication Technologies (imec-mict). He teaches several theoretical as well as methodological courses, and conducts research in the field of Public Health, Media Psychology and Social Psychology. Until 2018, he worked as an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Antwerp (both Sociology and Communication Sciences).

After obtaining his PhD in Psychology (Ghent University) in 2004, he worked several years in a non-academic environment. In 2009, he returned to the academic world and started to examine the determinants of online and offline health and risk behaviors of adolescents and adults (e.g., sexting, online self-disclosure, depressive symptoms, drug use, unsafe and unsecure behavior, attitudinal changes). Koen Ponnet deliberately conducts research that has implications for theory-building as well as relevance for practice and policy.

His research is built on various theoretical frameworks and combines insights from social psychology, communication sciences and sociology. In his research, Ponnet also pays attention to the situation of vulnerable groups, like those who are at risk of poverty. He co-operated in many national and international data collection projects, and has extensive expertise in developing questionnaires and research designs.

Koen Ponnet is (co-)author of several books and book chapters. His work has been presented several times on international conferences (>110 presentations). He has published over 125 papers in WOS-ranked journals, incl. JAMA Pediatrics (IF: 12.01), CHB (IF: 5.00); Energy Policy (IF: 5.04); New Media & Society (IF: 4.18); PLoS ONE, … He is leading a team of 11 PhD researchers and 2 post-docs. The work of his team has been awarded several times (e.g., three times best paper award, four times outstanding dissertation award, public M-award, …).

Koen Ponnet holds an MA in Psychology (1999), an MA in Industrial Entrepreneurship (2004) and a PhD in Psychology (2004). He also completed a one-year post-university program in Business Administration (2003) and a one-year post-university program in Project Management (2004).

Koen Ponnet is father of three sons: Jef (°2006), Joppe (°2008) and Guust (°2015).