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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 and family functioning 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 create a positive change.

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.

Course objectives

At the end of this course, students…

  • can design a prevention or intervention program in the field of parenting and child development, using the Intervention Mapping method.

  • can explain which parent or family factors should be targeted to prevent or treat a specific problem in children or families.

  • can describe different behavior change techniques that are used in prevention and intervention programs for families.

  • are able to choose which behavior change techniques can be used to change behavior

  • can design an evaluation plan to study the effectiveness of interventions.

  • are able to form opinions and new ideas based on existing literature.


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

Articles: will be announced on Brightspace.


Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register via My Studymap up to 5 days prior to the start of the course.

It is mandatory for all students to register for each exam and to confirm registration for each exam in My Studymap. This is possible up to and including 10 calendar days prior to the examination. You cannot take an exam without a valid pre-registration and confirmation in My Studymap.

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

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