93507 - Risks and Protective Factors in Development

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Chiara Suttora

  • Learning modules Annalisa Guarini (Modulo 1)
    Chiara Suttora (Modulo 2)

  • Credits 8

  • SSD M-PSI/04

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures (Modulo 1)
    Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)

  • Language English

  • Campus of Cesena

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Psychology of Wellbeing and Social Inclusivity (cod. 5700)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale


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

Good health and well-being Quality education Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will know the theoretical models on the effects of risk and protective factors in typical, at risk and atypical development, methods and techniques for observing and evaluating indexes of developmental risk, strategies and intervention programs to promote development in educational and care contexts from infancy to adolescence.

Course contents

The course is designed to describe the role of protective and risk factors on typical, at risk and atypical development. The course is divided into three different parts: theoretical models; methods and techniques for evaluating indexes of developmental risk, observing contexts, and promoting interventions; application of theoretical and methodological contents on educational and care contexts. The course includes the following integrated modules:

Chiara Suttora (6 credits; 45 hours)

This module will first focus on recent theories of developmental psychology, as neuroconstructivism, considered essential in the understanding of the complex interplay of risks and protective factors from infancy to adolescence. It will provide students with knowledge on methods, designs, and procedures, which are necessary to recognize risk and protective factors in child development and to implement intervention protocols. Two developmental contexts will be introduced to stimulate students in applying theoretical and methodological contents and developing intervention projects:

- language delay in populations of children with at-risk and atypical development;

- role of parenting in promoting development and wellbeing in populations of children with at-risk and atypical development.

Annalisa Guarini (2 credits; 15 hours)

In the second module two other contexts will be proposed to deepen in-class theoretical and methodological reflections and to promote wellbeing:

- preterm birth and its impact on development from infancy to adolescence;

- prevention of bullying and cyberbullying in educational settings and promotion of social inclusivity.


Scientific papers and other materials will be made available at the course website. These readings are mandatory to pass the final exam.

Teaching methods

The course will consist of lessons and in-class discussions. Individuals, small-groups, and the class will work on presentations of scientific papers and on implementing intervention projects.

Assessment methods

The exam will consist of the following three parts:

- Brief interviews and multiple-choice tests to assess knowledge and competencies on theoretical models and methodological topics;

- In-class work on case studies regarding the identification of risks and protective factors;

- Individual or small-group project on a chosen topic in developmental psychology aimed at recognizing risk and protective factors and promoting wellbeing and social inclusivity.

The maximum score for the exam is 30 with honors and 18/30 is the minimum score to pass the exam.

Teaching tools

Scientific papers, slides (PowerPoint presentations), short videos and live data analysis will be proposed.

Office hours

See the website of Chiara Suttora

See the website of Annalisa Guarini