Development of Primary Relationships
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleSOW-PSB2SP60E
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryBA (Bachelor)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Social Sciences; Psychology;
PreviousNext 1
dr. R. Beijers
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. R. Beijers
Other course modules lecturer
dr. Y.H.M. van den Berg
Other course modules lecturer
dr. Y.H.M. van den Berg
Other course modules lecturer
E.S.A. de Cock, MSc
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2018
PER2-PER3  (05/11/2018 to 14/04/2019)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
At the end of the course:
  1. You can describe the main psychological theories, models, concepts and mechanisms in the field of primary relationships in your own words and use them to analyse examples. (FQ 2, 3).
  2. You will have insight into the development, nature and function of three primary relationships (family, peers and romantic partners) (FQ 2, 3).
  3. You will have insight into the development, nature and function of primary relationships in different phases of life according to the lifespan perspective (from infancy to late adulthood) (FQ 3).
  4. You know how the quality of primary relationships and the functioning and well-being of individuals influence each other (FQ 3).
  5. You can recognize and describe common problems in primary relationships (FQ 3).
  6. You have knowledge of significant recent research into primary relationships (FQ 2, 3, 4).
  7. You have demonstrated that you can integrate theory, empirical results, and subjective information obtained in an interview, in an essay that you have written as a team of two students (FQ 2, 3, 5, 6).
Humans are social creatures by nature. We value relationships with others, and these relationships are important for our development, well-being and health. During this course, we will first address main theories and definitions. Subsequently, we will discuss the three clusters of primary relationships: 1) family, 2) peers, and 3) romantic partners. We will use a life span perspective meaning that we will examine how and why relationships develop during different developmental stadia (e.g. infancy, childhood, adolescence and (late) adulthood). Finally, we will focus on several problems associated with primary relationships, including loneliness.
During the life cycle, individuals are involved in a variety of primary relationships. Individual relationships are formed on the basis of repeated interactions. On the one hand the existence of relationships and the quality of relationships are outcomes of emotional, cognitive and social development. On the other hand, relationships are also contexts for development. During the life cycle primary relationships provide support for meeting challenges and developmental tasks that arise. However primary relationships themselves may be the source of challenges and demands; adjustment problems and mental disorders are often related to developments within relationships.
Additional comments
Specialty Courses are admissible for Psychology students only. Further information: see Course enrolment in the General Information section.

Test information
• Written exam with multiple choice questions and open-ended questions
• Essay in small groups

• Psychology students who are admitted to the second year (B2)
• The course may not be taken as a minor by students from other disciplines
• The course cannot be taken as contract education.

Required materials
Jackson-Dwyer, J. (2009). Interpersonal Relationships.

Recommended materials
To be announced
Two scientific papers.

Instructional modes
Attendance MandatoryYes

8 lectures

Question-and-answer seminar

Attendance MandatoryYes

3 workgroups

Multiple choice & open answer questions
Test weight70
Test typeExam
OpportunitiesBlock PER2, Block PER3

Test weight30
Test typeEssay
OpportunitiesBlock PER2