nl en

Behaviour Training with Children


Admission requirements

Master Students Child and Adolescent Psychology


This course has two aims. The first aim is to explain the principles of behaviour modification in children. The principles are those of operant and classical conditioning, modelling, and rule-governed behaviour. They can be used to account for roles of experience in child development, and to help troubled children. The second aim is to give a basic training in using principles of behaviour modification for the benefit of children.

The course provides the basis for the course “Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy with Young People”.

Course objectives

At the end of this course, the student should be capable of (1) interpreting everyday behaviour changes in terms of well-established forms of learning and (2) carrying out behavioural assessment, making behavioural objectives, and devising treatment plans for simple behaviour problems.


Behaviour Training with Children (2012-2013)

Mode of instruction

  • Seven (7) lectures introducing the principles of behaviour training with children.

  • Seven (7) work group meetings facilitating training in the application of the principles.
    Each student works with two children, between four and eight years old. The aim is to teach the children useful behaviour. This can involve self-help skills, social behaviour, language, on-task behaviour, or fear of failure. The student searches for a school, and chooses the children in consultation with teachers in Groups 1-4 (kindergarten, first or second grade). The student visits the school three times per week, for a period lasting eight to ten weeks.

Assessment method

Written report on work with two children during the course.

From January 1, 2006 the Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted the Ephorus system to be used by instructors for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. Please see the information concerning fraud .


Information on

Reading list

Martin, G., & Pear, J. (2010). Behavior modification: What it is and how to do it (9th ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.


Course enrolment

Students need to enrol for the course via uSis on the master’s introduction and course enrolment day that takes place at the start of each semester. Please, consult the master’s agenda Psychology.

Contact information

Dr. H. Boelens
Room 3B38
Tel: +31 (0)71 527 3697