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Child Abuse and Neglect: Neurobiological Aspects and Intervention


NB Language of instruction is English

Admission requirements

This course builds on the knowledge and skills acquired in the following Bachelor courses: Inleiding Pedagogische en Onderwijswetenschappen 1A, Inleiding Pedagogische en Onderwijswetenschappen 1B, Neurobiologische Achtergronden van Opvoeding en Ontwikkeling and Gezinspedagogiek.


Child abuse and neglect (CAN) is a pervasive but deviant type of child-rearing with potential negative consequences for children’s socio-emotional and cognitive development, both on a behavioral and neurobiological level. This course focuses on the predictors and sequelae of CAN on all levels of development, with a special focus on the neurobiological aspects of CAN. Animal models of CAN will be discussed to better understand these neurobiological aspects. Consequences of CAN may differ for individual children. Therefore, the course also focuses on factors that may explain these differential effects. We will also discuss the effects of structural neglect, as seen in institution-reared children. Finally, interventions aimed at reducing and preventing (the behavioral and neurobiological effects of) CAN will be discussed.

Course objectives

  • Gaining knowledge about recent studies on (neurobiological) aspects of CAN.

  • Reading and critically evaluating scientific literature (written assignments and presentations in groups).

Achievement levels (Master Education and Child Studies) 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.
Achievement levels (Research Master Developmental Psychopathology in Education and Child Studies 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 11.



Mode of instruction

Lectures and seminars.

Assessment method

  • Assignments

  • Presentations

  • Written exam

Research Masterstudents make all assignments, presentations and exams in English. They also make an extra assignment.


During this course Blackboard will be used.

Reading list

Scientific papers, to be announced during the course.


Please note that separate uSis registration is mandatory for lectures, seminars, exams and re-exams. Student who do not register, cannot attend courses or take exams.


  • Registration for the lectures of the course is possible as of 100 calendar days through 10 calendar days before the first lecture at the latest;

  • Registration for the seminars of the course is possible as of 100 calendar days through 10 calendar days before the first seminar at the latest.


Student must register for each exam through uSis. This is only possible until 10 calendar days before the exam. More information on exam registration

Contact information

Co-ordinator: Lenneke Alink
Room 4B45
If you have any questions please make an appointment by e-mail.