32111 - Evaluation and Intervention Methods in Developmental Psychopathology

Academic Year 2022/2023

  • Moduli: Francesca Agostini (Modulo 1) Erica Neri (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Cesena
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in School and community psychology (cod. 0993)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the teaching, the student: - will know the psychodynamic models of development; - will be able to detect risk and protective factors and signs of discomfort in educational context; - will know the main psychodynamic assessment methods; - will know the techniques of psychodynamic counselling.

Course contents

The course will take place during the first semester (26 September - 16 December 2022). The course is for students attending the 2nd year of Laurea Magistrale in Scholastic and Community Psychology. The lessons will be held in AULA F, first floor, Piazza Aldo Moro 90, Cesena. 

Main topics of the course are:

  • Models and definitions of Developmental psychopathology
  • Methods of Clinical assessment in Developmental psychopathology
  • Transition to parenthood and parental functioning: risk and protective factors
  • Parental psychopathology and risk for child development
  • Diagnostic classification for mental disorders during childhood
  • Psychosomatic disorders
  • Feeding disorders
  • Affective dysregulation and attachment disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Stressful and traumatic events: impact on the child development
  • Outdoor Education and implications for mental health.


The student has to study the 3 following books:

Tambelli R. (2017). Manuale di psicopatologia dell'infanzia. Bologna: Il Mulino. To study all the chapters, except for Chapter 5.

Lingiardi V., McWilliams N. (2017). PDM-2 Manuale Diagnostico Psicodinamico. Milano: Raffaello Cortina Editore. To study: Sezione IV-Prima infanzia, pp.665-779.

Farné R., Bortolotti A., Terrusi M. (2018). Outdoor Education: prospettive teoriche e buone pratiche. Roma: Carocci Editore. Studiare solamente i Capitoli 1 e 4.

Teaching methods

  • Frontal lessons
  • Training on instruments for assessment and diagnostic evaluation during childhood
  • Discussion in group on clinical cases
  • Invited experts on topics regarding assessment and intervention in Developmental psychopatholgy

Assessment methods

Final oral exam on the 3 books.

The contents of both Module 1 (Professor Agostini) and of Module  2 (Prof.ssa Neri) will be evaluated through one oral exam.

Particular relevance is given to the achivement of an organic vision of all the topics, together with a mastery of a specific technical language and a deep knowledge of the methods for the assessment of child psychopathology.

Scoring is graduated as follow:

The knowledge is limited to a small number of contents of the course, critical comprehension is lacking (or it emerges only through the help of the professor), and language is not adequate → 18-19;

The knowledge is limited to a small number of contents of the course, language is adequate, critical analysis emerges only for practical topics, language is adequate → 20-24;

The knowledge covers most of the contents of the course, the critical comprehension is adequate and specific terminology is mastered  → 25-29;

The knowledge covers all the contents of the course, the critical comprehension and ability of connection is evident, mastery of specific terminology of the course, ability to critically discuss all the topics → 30-30L.

Possible questions focus on:

  • Theoretical models in Developmental Psychopathology
  • Main concepts in Developmental Psychopathology
  • Protective and risk factors for parenthood
  • Observation instruments and developmental scales
  • Diagnostic Classifications in infancy and childhood
  • Specific disorders(e.g. feeding disorders, anxiety disorders)
  • Implications of Outdoor Education on mental health

In agreement with the Professor, it is possible to choose to participate to a group work, characterised by the deepeneing of a specific topic and a preparation of a ppt file to present during the course.

More details will be given at the beginning of the lessons.

The student has to subscribe for the exam to the internet website respecting the deadline. Studentes having problems in the subscription, nedd to get in contact with the Didactic Office.

The Professor will then decide if admitting the student or not.

Teaching tools

Projector, dvd, pc, supplementary books and clinical cases.

Office hours

See the website of Francesca Agostini

See the website of Erica Neri


Good health and well-being Quality education

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.