93516 - Developmental Psychopathology and Care Relationships

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 Quality education Gender equality Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will know the theoretical and clinical models to understand intrapsychic and interpersonal processes related to child development and individual mental health across life span. Students will build specific clinical competencies in communicative and relational field to manage psychopathological risk and to promote mental wellbeing in caring contexts, both in healthcare and psychoeducational ones.

Course contents

The course is designed to promote the understanding of the theoretical and methodological issues that are key to the study of psychopathology in the context of human development. The course will cover the following topics:

  • A foundational theoretical framework, as derived from recent findings in infant research, and studies in developmental psychopathology.
  • The crucial role of caring environments in promoting or hindering human psychological development, mental health, and well-being.
  • Classification systems, clinical observation, and evaluation tools.
  • The main psychopathological disorders diagnosable in human development.
  • Evidence-based intervention strategies aimed at supporting healthy psychological human development, mental health and well-being, through enhancing and supporting the quality of caring environments and promoting social inclusivity.
The course will take place during the second term (from February to May 2022) at the Department of Psychology in Bologna.


Scientific papers and other materials will be made available on the course website, and their study is to be considered mandatory to pass course examinations.

Teaching methods

The course will consist of frontal lessons and in-class discussions about the topics covered by the course. Individual, small-group and class work will also be used to further explore the key arguments discussed in the classroom.

Assessment methods

The exam will consist of the following three parts:

  • A small-group activity centred around developing and presenting a poster on a paper chosen among those covered during the course, on the role of early care environments in child development and wellbeing.
  • Having chosen a topic chosen among those covered during the course, focused on developmental psychopathology and the promotion of wellbeing and social inclusivity, each individual student will be required to produce:
    • An essay (word limit: 4000) on the chosen topic
    • An oral presentation on the chosen topic

    For the poster activity, students will receive a maximum of 10 points, divided as follows:

  • According to the quality of the poster, a maximum of 5 points.
  • According to the quality of the presentation, a maximum of 5 points.

For the individual presentations, students will receive a maximum of 5 points.

For the essays, students will receive a maximum of 15 points.

Teaching tools

Scientific papers, slides (PowerPoint) and videos.

Office hours

See the website of Leonardo Llewellyn Duncan De Pascalis