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Prevention and intervention programs in families: development and implementation


NB Language spoken is English unless only Dutch-speaking students participate


The objective of this course is to gain insight into the theoretical background, design, content and application of intervention and prevention programs relevant to the field of parenting and child development.

Preventing and reducing child psychopathology and promoting healthy child development is an important task for health care workers. To be able to effectively perform this task, it is important to learn how to build prevention and intervention programs that focus on families and how to evaluate their effectiveness.

During this course students will be introduced to a technique called Intervention Mapping, a highly systematic method of designing prevention and intervention programs. This method is widely used in the field of Health Psychology and relevant for the field of Education and Child Studies as well. Applying this method, students will learn which family processes foster or threaten healthy child development, and how to motivate families to change their behavior for the better.

In addition to the theoretical underpinnings of behavior change, students will be introduced to numerous techniques that are often used in these programs (e.g., motivational interviewing, goal setting, implementation intentions, video-feedback, cognitive and behavioral exercises).

The course will also discuss the theoretical background and content of existing interventions for (the prevention of) psychopathology in children and parenting problems. We will discuss effectiveness studies for these programs and critically evaluate the content of these programs from an Intervention Mapping perspective.

Finally, students receive a first introduction in how the VIPP program (Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting) can be used in practice.

Course objectives

  • To gain experience with how to develop a prevention or intervention program in the field of parenting and child development, using the Intervention Mapping method.

  • To gain knowledge on which parent or family factors should be targeted to prevent or treat a specific problem in children.

  • To gain knowledge about and experience with different behavior change techniques that are used in prevention and intervention programs for families.

  • To learn how to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions.

  • To learn to process scientific literature and use it to form opinions and new ideas.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable

Mode of instruction

Lectures and assignments.

Assessment method

  • Paper made in teams of students that consists of multiple parts that are handed in throughout the course. At the end of the course, students present the content of their paper to each other in an oral presentation.


During this course Brightspace will be used.

Reading list


It is mandatory to register for each course via uSis. This applies to both the lectures and the working groups, even if they take place online. Without a valid registration in uSis you will not be able to participate in the course and you will not have access to the Brightspace module of the course.

In addition, it is also mandatory to register separately in uSis for each exam (i.e. both the first exam opportunity and, if necessary, the resit) in uSis. This also applies to partial examinations in a course. This is possible up to 10 calendar days prior to the exam. You cannot take the exam without a valid registration in uSis.

NB If the exam concerns a paper or a practical assignment, you do not need to register in uSis.

Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Contact information

Co-ordinator of this course is Shelley van der Veek