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Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology


Entry requirements

All 60 ec of the first-year in Psychology obtained.


In this specialisation course we will study the development of emotional competence and its links with psychopathology.

In the first 4 lectures, the functionality of emotions and the process of emotion socialization are central themes. What do children need to learn to become emotionally competent, how do they learn this, and what is the role of the social environment in this process? Special attention will be given to groups with communicative impairments, i.e. an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a Specific Language Impairment (SLI), or children who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH). Studying emotion socialization in these groups as compared to normally developing peers can increase our understanding of the necessity for learning about all aspects of emotions in a social context. Aspects of emotional competence that will be dealt with are

  • Emotion expression and communication

  • Emotion awareness and regulation

  • Social emotions

In the second 4 lectures different aspects of emotional competence will be applied to positive social and interpersonal adjustment and psychopathology in children and adolescents. A central question is, what happens when the process of emotion socialization goes awry, what are the consequences for children and adolescents? The lectures will consider how deficits in emotional competence contribute to psychopathology, both internalizing and externalizing problems. Example aspects that may be dealt with are

  • Socialization agents, development of emotional competence, and adaptive adjustment

  • Emotion socialization and internalizing psychopathology

  • Emotion competence and internalizing and externalizing psychopathology

Course objectives

  • Students will be able to critically read and discuss the recent developmental literature based on scientific articles. These articles cover 1. current emotion theories, especially those which focus on development during infancy, childhood and adolescence; 2. the influence of various interpersonal and intrapersonal factors on emotion-socialisation( e.g., different groups with communicative impairments); 3. developmental psychopathology in relation to emotional competence deficits. This provides students with tools to keep up to date with the newest insights in their field once they’ve entered the workplace.

  • Students will be able to explore a given topic in-depth and critically think about the operationalization of the topics discussed into an assessment tool. This prepares the students for conducting research in the workplace. •Students will gain relevant experience for the workplace through conducting assessments of children, data analysis, preparation and presentation of results in a professional manner during the workgroup sessions.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable

This course is offered twice a year.



Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course. The exception here is that first-year bachelor students are assigned and registered for all components in the first semester or academic year by the administration of their bachelor programme. The programme will communicate to these students for which course components and for which period the registration applies.


It is mandatory for all students, including first-year bachelor 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.

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

Students who take this course as part of a LDE minor or a premaster programme, exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

Mode of instruction

The course comprises 8 lectures and 8 work group sessions. Lectures are given in English. Workgroup sessions are offered in English and Dutch.

For the work group sessions students will be asked to explore a topic from the lectures in more detail and develop an assessment tool. This tool will be used for the assessment of a small number of children, after which the data obtained will be analysed by students (independently) in SPSS. Students will also be asked to consider and formulate predictions about how youth with different forms of psychopathology might differ from typically developing youth on their assessment tool. The last two work group sessions will be used to present the findings to members of the work group. In addition, during work group sessions, students will discuss issues based on exam questions and statements that are related to the scientific articles that have been studied. These discussions must be prepared by the students individually, prior to the work group meeting.

Lectures and work group sessions will take up to a total of 80 hours, including the research and preparation of the assignments. In addition, students are expected to spend 200 hours preparing for the examination.

Weblectures will be available.

Assessment method

Participation to all work groups is mandatory. The final grade for CCAP will be based on:
1. Grade for the exam (60%). The exam consists of 4 open-ended essay questions. Exam questions are in English. Answers can be written in English or Dutch. Assigned articles, lectures, and lectures slides are included as exam material.

  1. Grade for assignments (40%) during working groups (active participation during group discussion; development new instrument; final presentation of assignment).

The Institute of Psychology uses fixed rules for grade calculation and compulsory attendance. It also follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of these three policies.

Reading list

The following reading list is provisional and subject to change according to the most recent and relevant literature:

Lecture 1: Emotion Theories

  • Scherer, K.R. (2000). Emotion. In M. Hewstone & W. Stroebe (Eds.). Introduction to Social Psychology: A European perspective (3rd. ed., pp. 151-191). Oxford: Blackwell.

Lecture 2: Emotion Expression

  • Jenkins, J.M. & Ball, S. (2000). Distinguishing between negative emotions: Children’s understanding of the social-regulatory aspects of emotion. Cognition and Emotion, 14, 261-282.

  • Tsou, Y. T., Li, B., Kret, M. E., Frijns, J. H. M., & Rieffe, C. (in press). Hearing status affects children's emotion understanding in dynamic social situations: An eye-tracking study. Ear and Hearing. doi: 10.1097/AUD.0000000000000994.

  • Novin, S., Rieffe, C., Banerjee, R., Miers, A. C., & Cheung, J. (2011). Anger response styles in Chinese and Dutch children: a sociocultural perspective on anger regulation. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 29, 806-822.

Lecture 3: Emotion Regulation

  • Bos, M.G.N., Diamantopoulou, S., Stockmann, L., Begeer, S., & Rieffe, C. (2018). Emotion control predicts internalizing and externalizing behavior problems in boys with and without an autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48, 2727-2739. doi: 10.1007/s10803-018-3519-8.

  • Fields, L. & Prinz, R.J. (1997). Coping and adjustment during childhood and adolescence. Clinical Psychology Review, 17, 937-976.Rieffe, C., Broekhof, E., Eichengreen, A., Kouwenberg, M., Veiga, G., Da Silva, B.M.S., Van der Laan, A., & Frijns, J.H.M. (2018). Friendship and emotion control in pre-adolescents with or without hearing loss. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 23, 209-218.

Lecture 4: Social emotions

  • Tangney, J. P., Stuewig, J., & Mashek, D. J. (2007). Moral emotions and moral behavior. Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 345-372.

  • Broekhof, E., Bos, M. G. N., & Rieffe, C. (2021). The roles of shame and guilt in the development of aggression in adolescents with and without hearing loss. Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, 49, 891-904. doi: 10.1007/s10802-021-00769-1.

Lecture 5: Emotional competence and social adjustment

  • von Salisch, M. (2001). Children’s emotional development: Challenges to their relationships to parents, peers, and friends. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 25, 310-319.

  • Do social media foster or curtail adolescents’ empathy? A longitudinal study. Computers in Human Behavior, 63, 118-124.

Lecture 6: Emotional competence and anxiety

  • Haller, S.P.W., Kadosh, K.C., & Lau, J.Y.F. (2014). A developmental angle to understanding the mechanisms of biased cognitions in social anxiety. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, article 846.

Lecture 7: Emotional competence and depression

  • Sheeber, L et al. (2009). Dynamics of affective experience and behavior in depressed adolescents. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, 1419-1427.

Lecture 8: Emotional competence as a transdiagnostic factor

  • McLaughlin, K.A., & Nolen-Hoeksma, S. (2011). Rumination as a transdiagnostic factor in depression and aniety. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 49, 183-193.

  • Deschamps, P. K. H., Schutter, D. J. L. G., Kenemans, J. L., & Matthys, W. (2015). Empathy and prosocial behavior in response to sadness and distress in 6- to 7- year olds diagnosed with disruptive behavior disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 24, 105-113.

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