nl en

Behaviour Training with Children


Entry requirements

Master’s students in Psychology with specialisation Child and Adolescent Psychology.


This course introduces behaviour therapy for the benefit of children. Lectures, workgroups, and self study prepare the student for the final assignment of the course, which is to teach two children, between 4 and 8 years old, different useful skills. The first is a self-help skill, which is often easy to teach. It serves as a warming-up for the second skill, which concerns social behaviour, academic content (language, reading, math, writing), or task-related behaviour. The second skill is often more difficult to teach. The student searches for a school, and chooses the children in consultation with teachers in Groups 1-4 (kindergarten, first or second grade). The student visits the school 3 times per week, for a period lasting 8 to 10 weeks.

Course objectives

The course has a primary and a secondary goal. The primary goal of the course is that you can design and carry out a program for treating a simple behaviour problem in a child. The secondary goal has three parts: 1) you can see basic forms of learning in stories about children's behaviour, 2) you can cooperate with others for the benefit of children, and 3) you can prepare for that cooperation.

These goals are essential for child behaviour therapy, which is practised worldwide.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable



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.


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

Exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

Mode of instruction

7 2-hour lectures discussing the concepts, principles and procedures of behaviour training with children.
7 2-hour work group sessions facilitating the final assignment of the course

The total workload of the course is:

  • 14 hours lectures

  • 14 hours workgroup sessions

  • 61 hours self study

  • 50 hours final assignment

  • 1 hour of individual consultation with workgroup facilitator

Assessment method

Students' learning is assessed on the basis of (1) study questions answered during the course and (2) written reports of final assignments. This assessment method is entirely natural, because the primary goal of the course refers to the final assignment, and the secondary goal refers to all other course activities, including the answering of study questions.

The course has a manual, which describes the mode of instruction and the assessment method in detail.

The Institute of Psychology 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 this fraud policy.

Reading list

Martin, G., & Pear, J. (2019). Behavior modification: What it is and how to do it. (11th ed.) New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780815366546. Available via Studystore.

Contact information

Dr. Harrie Boelens