Development of Primary Relationships
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleSOW-PSB2SP60E
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryB2 (Second year bachelor)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Social Sciences; Psychology;
PreviousNext 1
Contactperson for the course
dr. Y.H.M. van den Berg
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
drs. E. in t Ven
Other course modules lecturer
G.P. Verheijen
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2021
PER2  (08/11/2021 to 28/01/2022)
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 will be able to 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 gained insight into the development, nature and function of three primary relationships (family, peers and romantic partners) (FQ 2, 3).
  3. You will have gained insight into the development, nature and function of primary relationships in different phases of life according to the life-span perspective (from infancy to late adulthood) (FQ 3).
  4. You will understand how the quality of primary relationships and the functioning and well-being of individuals influence each other (FQ 3).
  5. E. You will have knowledge of recent significant research into primary relationships (FQ 2, 3, 4).
  6. F. You will have demonstrated that you can integrate the theory, empirical results and the subjective information obtained from an interview into an essay that you will have written in 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 the main theories and definitions. We will subsequently discuss the three clusters of primary relationships: 1) Family, 2) Peers, and 3) Romantic partners. For this purpose, 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, adulthood and late adulthood).

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 also provide a context for development. During the life cycle, primary relationships provide support for meeting the 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.

Presumed foreknowledge
  • 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.
Test information
  • Written exam with open-ended questions
  • Essay in groups of two
Specialty Courses are admissible for Psychology students only. Further information: see Course enrolment in the General Information section.
Required materials
Jackson-Dwyer, J. (2009). Interpersonal Relationships.

Recommended materials
To be announced
Two scientific papers.

Instructional modes
Type of instructional modeLecture

7 interactive lecturs

Preparation of meetings
Watch thematic videos

Question-and-answer seminar
Type of instructional modeResponse course

Type of instructional modeWorking group

2 preparation meetings essay (final assignment)

Preparation of meetings
Watch thematic video's

Open answer questions
Test weight50
Test typeDigital exam with CIRRUS
OpportunitiesBlock PER2, Block PER3

Test weight50
Test typeEssay
OpportunitiesBlock PER2, Block PER3