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Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology


Entry requirements

First-year examination in Psychology


In this specialisation course we will study the development of emotional competence in childhood and adolescence, and its links with psychopathology. In the first 4 lectures, the functionality of emotions and the process of emotion socialization are key 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 paid 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 socialisation in these groups compared to their normally developing peers can increase our understanding of the necessity for learning about all aspects of emotions in a social context. The following aspects of emotional competence will be dealt with:

  • Emotion expression and communication;

  • Emotion awareness and regulation; and

  • Social emotions and understanding others’ emotions.

In the second 4 lectures different aspects of emotional competence will be applied to social and interpersonal problems and psychopathology in children and adolescents. A central question is what happens when the process of emotion socialisation goes awry, what are the consequences for children and adolescents? The lectures will consider how deficits in emotional competence contribute to psychopathology, both internalising and externalising problems. The lectures will also discuss how psychopathology may hinder the emotion socialisation process. For example, how does an extremely anxious child learn to regulate his/her emotions? We will also pay attention to the question of how knowledge about emotional competence can be used in the treatment of youth psychopathology. Aspects of emotional competence and psychopathology that will be dealt with include:

  • Emotional competence and social adjustment;

  • Emotion regulation, rumination, and internalising psychopathology;

  • Emotion regulation and externalising psychopathology; and

  • Empathy, social relationships and 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; and

  • Explore a given topic in-depth and think critically about the operationalisation of the topics discussed into an assessment tool. Students will gain experience in conducting assessments of children, data analysis and presenting the results during a work group session.


For the timetables of your lectures, workgroups, and exams, select your study programme.
Psychology timetables



Students need to register for lectures, workgroups and exams.
Instructions for registration in courses for the 2nd and 3rd year

For information on registration periods consult the bachelor course registration


Elective students have to enroll for each course separately. For admission requirements contact your study advisor.

Exchange/Study abroad

For admission requirements, please contact your exchange coordinator.


Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date; students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination.
Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

8 2-hour lectures and 8 2-hour work group sessions.
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 young people with different forms of psychopathology might differ from typically developing peers on their assessment tool. The final 2 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.

Assessment method

Participation in all work groups is mandatory. The final grade for CCAP will be based on
1. The grade for the exam (60%). The exam consists of 8 open-ended essay questions.
2. The grade for assignments (40%) during work groups (active participation during group discussion; development of new instrument; final presentation of assignment).

Regulations on grade calculations

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has instituted that instructors use a software programme for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. In case of fraud disciplinary actions will be taken. Please see the information concerning fraud.

Reading list

The following reading list is provisional:
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.

  • Kerr, M.A. & Schneider, B.H. (2008). Anger expression in children and adolescents: A review of the empirical literature. Clinical Psychology Review., 28, 559-577.

  • Messinger, D. (2008). Smiling. In: M. M. Haith & J. B. Benson (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Infant and Early Childhood Development., Vol. 3, pp. 186-198. Oxford: Elsevier.

Lecture 3: Emotion Regulation

  • Fields, L. & Prinz, R.J. (1997). Coping and adjustment during childhood and adolescence. Clinical Psychology Review., 17, 937-976.

  • Rieffe, C., Meerum Terwogt, M., & Kotronopoulou, K. (2007). Awareness of single and multiple emotions in high-functioning children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 455-465.

Lecture 4: Social emotions

  • Ketelaar, L., Wiefferink, C. H., Frijns, J. H. M., Broekhof, E. & Rieffe, C. (2015). Preliminary findings on associations between moral emotions and social behavior in young children with normal hearing and with cochlear implants. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. doi: 10.1007/s00787-015-0688-2

  • Schmitz, E., Banerjee, R., Pouw, L. B. C., Stockmann, L., & Rieffe, C. (2015). Better to be equal? Challenges to equality for cognitively-able children with ASD in a social decision game. Autism, 19(2), 178-186.

Lecture 5: Emotional competence and social adjustment/relationships

  • Kim, J., & Cicchetti, D. (2010). Longitudinal pathways linking child maltreatment, emotion regulation, peer relations, and psychopathology. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry., 51, 706-716.

  • Otterpohl & Wild. (2015). Cross-lagged relations among parenting, children’s emotion regulation and psychosocial adjustment. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescents Psychology., 44, 93-108.

  • Schipper, M., & Petermann, F. (2013). Relating empathy and emotion regulation: Do deficits in empathy trigger emotion dysregulation? Social Neuroscience., 8, 101-107.

Lectures 6 and 7: Emotion regulation and internalizing and externalizing psychopathology

  • Braet, C., Theuwis, L. Van Durme, K., et al. (2014). Emotion Regulation in Children with Emotional Problems. Cognitive Therapy and Research., 38 (5), 493-504.

  • Cole, P.M., Luby, J., & Sullivan, M. Emotions and the development of childhood depression: Bridging the gap. Child Development Perspectives, 2, 141-148.

  • McLaughlin, K.A., Aldao, A., Wisco, B.E., & Hilt, L.M. (2014). Rumination as a transdiagnostic factor underyling transitions between internalizing symptoms and aggressive behavior in early adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 123, 13-23.

  • Röll et al. Emotion Regulation and Childhood aggression: Longitudinal associations. Child Psychiatry and Human Development., DOI 10.1007/s10578-012-0303-4

Lecture 8: Empathy and psychopathology

  • Cuff, B. M. P., Brown, S. J., Taylor, L., & Howat, D. J. (2014). Empathy: A review of the concept. Emotion Review., DOI: 10.1177/1754073914558466

  • deWied, M., Gispen-deWied, C., & van Boxtel, A. (2010). Empathy dysfunction in children and adolescents with disruptive behavior disorders. European Journal of Pharmacology., 626, 97 – 103.

  • 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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