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Developmental Psychopathology


Students of the Dutch bachelor’s programme, see Ontwikkelingspsychopathologie

Entry requirements



The course focuses on the origins and development of a range of psychological disorders in childhood and adolescence (e.g. anxiety, depression, behavioural problems, intellectual disability, autism) taking the developmental psychopathology perspective as a theoretical framework. This framework provides a broad and developmentally orientated approach to understanding psychological disorders across the lifespan. It emphasises the relationship between normality and pathology, the complex interplay of multiple risk and protective factors, and developmental pathways such as continuity and change. Knowledge of the origin and development of disorders experienced by young people is essential in the development of interventions to improve quality of life. While this course does not focus on the treatment of problems experienced by young people, the final workgroup draws on students’ accruing knowledge of risk and protective factors to develop a preventive intervention.

Course objectives

Students prepare for future clinical and/or research work with young people. At the end of the course the student can:

  • identify key features of the developmental psychopathology perspective, including standards to differentiate between normal and abnormal development in young people;

  • identify key features of the empirical approach to classifying psychopathology;

  • critically evaluate the DSM, and methods/instruments used to assess cognition

  • identify the DSM criteria used to classify psychopathology in young people;

  • identify risk factors, processes and, age and gender trends associated with psychopathology in young people;

Students prepare for work in the broader field of psychology. At the end of the course, the student can:

  • apply a theoretical model (a model of psychopathology) to the development of disorders.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable



Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course. The exception here is that first-year bachelor students are assigned and registered for all components in the first semester or academic year by the administration of their bachelor programme. The programme will communicate to these students for which course components and for which period the registration applies.


You must register for each exam in My Studymap at least 10 days before the exam date. Don’t forget! For more information, see the enrolment procedure.
You cannot take an exam without a valid registration in My Studymap.

Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Students who take this course as part of a LDE minor or a premaster programme, exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

Mode of instruction

  • 8 2-hour lectures. The lectures serve to enhance student learning of the textbook materials as well as to introduce additional materials that are not covered in the textbook.

  • 4 2-hour work-group sessions (in English or Dutch; exchange students should ensure they register for an English-language workgroup; IBP students will automatically be enrolled in English-language workgroups). Various problem areas are addressed in greater depth in the work group sessions. The activities include reviewing video material, becoming familiar with assessment tools, evaluating scientific articles, and discussing the application of the developmental psychopathology framework to case material.

  • 2 graded assignments (such as reviewing empirical studies or applying theoretical models to case material).

  • 1 optional practice exam (does not count towards final mark for the course, but helps to prepare for the final exam).

Language of instruction
For IBP students all course components are in English; lectures, work-group sessions, workgroup assignments and the multiple choice exam.

Assessment method

  • Component 1: multiple-choice exam at the end of Block 1, worth 70% of the overall course mark. Exam material is based on the prescribed readings from the textbook (Israel et al., 2021; see readings materials below) and (web)lecture content. More detailed information on the exam content is provided in the course syllabus for students (PDF made available via the Brightspace course module).

  • Component 2: 2 workgroup assignments (30% of course mark).

Students will be informed on Brightspace about the post-exam review.

Students whose mark for component 1 is lower than 5 will need to take the resit in February. Active participation in all work group sessions is mandatory. Students are allowed to miss one work group session at most.

Students whose average mark for component 2 is lower than 5.5 will be given the possibility to submit one new assignment to replace the lowest grade of the two regular workgroup assignments.

The Institute of Psychology uses fixed rules for grade calculation and compulsory attendance. It also follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. All students are required to take and pass the Scientific Integrity Test with a score of 100% in order to learn about the practice of integrity in scientific writing. Students are given access to the quiz via a module on Brightspace. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of these three policies.

Reading list

  • Israel, A. C., Malatras, J.W., & Wicks-Nelson, R. (2021). Abnormal child and adolescent psychology with DSM-V updates (9th edition.). Routledge. (Approximate cost: 52 euro; 75% of the text is prescribed reading.) ISBN: 9781032157207

  • Peer-reviewed articles available via Brightspace

  • Lectureslides/(web)lectures

Contact information

Course coordinator: Dr. Evelien Broekhof