12612 - Psychopathology of Development

Course Unit Page


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

Good health and well-being

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student:-will know the main contributions and theories in developmental psychopathology; -will know the main parenting issues and the most important disorders regarding parenthood; -will know the main clinical psychopathological disorders regarding first and second childhood, their relational perspective, their possible expression in the institutional contexts; -will know the main observational techniques based on psychodynamic approach in the contexts of the first and second childhood; -will know the main techniques of observation based on psychodynamic approach for the first and second childhood.

Course contents

The lessons will take place in the second semester (March-May 2019) in Bologna, in the halls of Zamboni Street, 32 and are aimed at students of the 3rd year of Laurea in Educatore nei Servizi per l'Infanzia.

1. Theoretical reference framework

Infant Research e develompmental psychodynamic - Interactive model in developmental psychopathology

2. Developmental Psychopathology

a) Diagnostic classification and Evaluation framework: Classification Systems – Instruments for clinical observation and evaluation of child development – Parenthood: relational dynamics and risk factors

b) Psychopathological disorders: Affective disorders – Eating disorders – Sleeping disorders– Attachment disorders– Psychosomatic disorders – Regulation disorders – Multisystemic Developmental Disorders

3. Prevention and intervention

Clinical observation and evaluation of adult-child interactions and relationship - Outdoor Education and implications for child psychological development.


For the exam, the student has to study the following 3 books: 

Ammaniti M. (2002). Manuale di psicopatologia dell'infanzia. Raffaello Cortina Editore: Milano. Study only the following Chapters: 1 pages12-17, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13.

Farnè R., Bortolotti A., Terrusi M. (2018). Outdoor Education: prospettive teoriche e buone pratiche. Carocci Editore: Roma.

Monti F. (2014). Osservare al nido. Pensieri in cerca di un Pensatore. Casa Editrice Persiani: Bologna.

Teaching methods

The course will be characterised by:

1. Frontal lessons on the main theoretical topics

2. Activities on instruments for clinical assessment and diagnostic evaluation in childhood

3. Group discussion of clinical cases

4. Work group of in-depth specific topics based on international scientific articles 

Assessment methods

The final exam will be a written exam on the 3 books (3 hour lenght).

The exam will contain 4 open questions, aimed at evaluating the achievement of the following didactic objectives:

1) to know the main theoretical models in developmental psychopathology;

2) to know the main problems in the parenting functioning;

3) to know the main psychopathological disorders in the 0-3 year period, the relational dynamics and their clinical expression;

4) to know the main observation techniques based on a psychodynamic approach in the 0-3 year period;

5) to know the Outdoor Education and its implications on child development.

To take the examination it is necessary to enroll by electronic bulletin board, respecting the deadlines. For those who fail to enroll for technical problems within the due date, it is required to communicate promptly the problem (before the registration list closes officially) to the administrative office. It will be faculty of the teacher to admit the student to the test.

Teaching tools

Videoprojector, DVD, PC.

The teaching material presented during the classes will be distributed by the teacher in electronic format.

Office hours

See the website of Francesca Agostini

See the website of Marianna Minelli