Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Laura Palareti

  • Credits 8

  • SSD M-PSI/05

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Planning and managing of educational intervention in social distress (cod. 9228)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale


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

No poverty Good health and well-being Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students will know: - the main theories about social distress and drug addiction; - the main socio-psychological theoretical models of educational intervention in a systemic and contextualist approach; - the socio-psychological conditions for designing residential cares based on the concept of everyday life; - how assessing and monitoring the processes and the outcomes of the residential care.

Course contents

The course uses the Developmental Psychopathology and the Ecological Theory of Bronfenbrenner as theoretical paradigms useful to analyze and understand the mechanisms that, starting from childhood, can lead to behavioral or mental health problems in adulthood. The theme of ineffectiveness and damage caused by institutionalizing interventions will be discussed, illustrating how everyday life (routine, rituals and rules) should be intentionally designed and used in an educational and therapeutic key depending on the characteristics and the objectives to be achieved with the specific clients of residential interventions (children victims of neglect or maltreatment, unaccompanied foreign minors, subjects with drug addiction problems etc.).
On the basis of these notions the specificity of the three levels of design inherent in the interventions will be treated: the community project, the framework project and the individualized educational project. The ecological theory is finally proposed as a conceptual framework useful for thinking, implementing and monitoring residential work, highlighting the quality indicators and the conditions under which these interventions can lead to positive results for the people in charge.


The following texts are required:


  • Emiliani F. (2008) La realtà delle piccole cose, Bologna: Il Mulino. Capitoli IV, V, VI


  • Pedrazza (2010). Pratiche educative e processi psicologici. Carocci.
  • Bastianoni, P., & Taurino, A. (2009). Le comunità per minori. Modelli di formazione e supervisione clinica, Carocci, Roma. (Read all chapters, study the first 2).
  • Palareti, L. (2003). Valutare le comunità per minori. Psicologia clinica dello sviluppo, 7(3), 351-384 (free download from the course website).
  • Bastianoni, P., Zullo, F., & Taurino, A. (2012). La ricerca-intervento come processo formativo nelle comunità per minori: l'esperienza in un contesto residenziale per adolescenti. Psicologia clinica dello sviluppo, 16(1), 133-144 (free download from the course website).
  • Ciriello M. (2016) La progettazione educativa partecipata. In Bastianoni, Ciriello e Fucili (a cura di), Comuni_care in comunità per minori. Edizioni Junior, gruppo Spaggiari, pag 129-147 (free download from the course website).
  • Slides and further documents illustrating the theoretical concepts covered will be made available on the course website.


  • Coletti, M. Grosso, L. (2011) La comunità terapeutica. Ed Gruppo Abele. Fare parte I (sintesi su piattaforma e-learning), II, and III

Upon agreement with the teacher, foreign students can replace two of the required books with the following:

  • Whittaker, J. K., Del Valle, J. F., & Holmes, L. (2015) Therapeutic Residential Care for Children and Youth. Exploring Evidence-informed International Practice. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Horwath, J. (2001) The child's world: assessing children in need. Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Teaching methods

Classes will be interactive much as possible, encouraging students to partecipate by discussing concrete situations.

Assessment methods

Written exam with three open questions (1 hour and a half of time).

One of the questions may be replaced by an exercise proposed in elearning. More detailed information will be provided at the beginning of the course.

Teaching tools

Classes will be conducted with the help of PowerPoint slides to illustrate concepts and research data. Videos and written documents will be proposed to stimulate discussion in the classroom

Office hours

See the website of Laura Palareti