Developmental Psychopathology
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleSOW-BS037
Credits (ECTS)4
CategoryMA (Master)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Social Sciences; Behavioural Science;
dr. R. Beijers
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. I. Granic
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. I. Granic
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
prof. dr. I. Granic
Other course modules lecturer
prof. M.D. Lewis
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2017
PER2  (13/11/2017 to 04/02/2018)
Starting block
Course mode
RemarksFor external (PhD) students, see
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-

Upon succesful completion of the course, students will be able to:
- identify a subset of the main disorders, how they are defined, their developmental course and evidence-based interventions that target those disorders.
- conceptualize disorders from a developmental and contextual framework, as well as the first-person perspective.
- critically reflect upon research findings in the field by balancing empirical/research considerations with individuals’ lived experiences.
- work in groups effectively (i.e., share ideas, contribute fairly and conscientiously towards a cooperative goal, debate effectively).
- communicate complex theoretical and clinically sensitive material to a naive, intelligent audience.

This course explores child psychopathology from a developmental perspective, recognizing that pathology expresses itself in different ways at different ages and stages of development.  Concepts such as risk and resilience and early predictors of better and worse outcome will be integrated with a review of the major types of psychopathology seen in children and adolescents.  Emphasis will be on the recent scientific research literature on several conditions, including our understanding of the causes of each disorder and the ways the disorder may be manifest in different individuals.
We will focus on a limited number of topics in depth rather than survey a large and more comprehensive list of psychopathologies at a more superficial level. Students will have an opportunity to learn more about topics not covered in this class as part of assignments.
We will combine two types of information in this course. The first may be called “objective”: Throughout the course, we will focus on theoretical and empirical reviews that summarize carefully conducted scientific research on the topics we are considering. Theoretical and methodological issues will be considered and critiqued. The second type of information will be “subjective” and will include three books (one fiction and two memoirs) and one documentary film. Each of these latter materials aim to provide a “first-person” developmental account of different child and adolescent psychopathologies. Students learn what it is like to actually be the child with autism, psychosis, depression and conduct disorder.
Students will be expected to combine these two forms of information – the objective and subjective – to form their own critiques about the quality and importance of research, and also to examine their own ideas and beliefs about what constitutes mental health, well-being, and maladjustment in children, and how and when it is best to intervene.

Teaching format 
Lectures, videos, case presentations, guided small-group discussions, group video presentations and associated discussions
Additional comments
Required viewing:
Docherty, Neil (producer/director), (1994). The Trouble with Evan. (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). -- Documentary

Test information
Essay: 50%
Group Video Presentation: 25%
Weekly thought questions: 25%

Required materials
Selected chapters (one per week) from: Cicchetti, D., & Cohen, D. J. (Eds.), (2006). Developmental Psychopathology, (Second Ed.): Theory and Method. New York: Wiley.
Selected chapters (one per week) from: Cicchetti, D., & Cohen, D. J. (Eds.), (2006). Developmental Psychopathology, (Second Ed.): Risk, Disorder and Adaptation. New York: Wiley.
Two out of three of the following books: Haddon, M. (2003). The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. New York: Random House.
Two out of three of the following books: Sachs, Elyn R. (2007). The Center Will Not Hold. My Descent into Madness. New York: Hyperion.
Two out of three of the following books: Wurtzel, E. (1996). Prozac Nation: Young and depressed in America. London: Quartet Books.

Instructional modes

Test weight1
OpportunitiesBlock PER2, Block PER3