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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) has potential negative consequences for children’s socio-emotional, cognitive, and somatic development, on a behavioral and neurobiological level. These consequences can be pervasive and life-long. This course focuses on predictors and sequelae of CAN on different levels of development, with a focus on neurobiological aspects of CAN. Animal models of CAN will be discussed to better understand the effects and predictors of CAN and their mechanisms. 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 up-to-date knowledge about (neurobiological) aspects of CAN: consequences, mechanisms, differential effects, and interventions.

  • Critically evaluating scientific literature in the area of CAN and where possible translating this knowledge to clinical practice.


Lectures Seminars Exam

Mode of instruction

Lectures and seminars.

Assessment method

  • Written exam (60%)

  • Written assignments (30%)

  • Oral presentations (10%)

Attendance at the seminars is mandatory. Students have to pass the exam (grade at least 5.5), assignments (average grade at least 5.5), and presentation (grade at least 5.5) to pass the course. Retaking the exam, assignments, or presentation is not possible with grades 5.5 or higher.

Research Master students complete all assignments, presentations, and exams in English. They also complete 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.