First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Psychology
Course unit
PSP6074607, A.A. 2017/18

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
PS2292, Degree course structure A.Y. 2016/17, A.Y. 2017/18
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Department of reference Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialisation
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit


ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses M-PSI/07 Dynamic Psychology 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 42 108.0 No turn

Start of activities 09/10/2017
End of activities 12/01/2018

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
2 2017 01/10/2017 30/09/2018 SIMONELLI ALESSANDRA (Presidente)
DE PALO FRANCESCA (Membro Effettivo)
MISCIOSCIA MARINA (Membro Effettivo)
PAROLIN MICOL (Membro Effettivo)
SUDATI LAURA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: The course requires previous knowledge related to:
- Dynamic psychology, specifically about infant research approach and study of early adult-child interactions
- Emotional-relational developmental psychology and general and developmental psychopathology
- General and physiological psychology and neuropsychology, regarding in particular to neurophysiological bases of social brain during development and in the constructions of significant interactions and relationships during the cycle of life.

Some of these contents would be integrated with the ones related to other courses held in the same semester (e.g Developmental neuropsychology, Early predictors of atypical development) or during the next semester (e.g. Functional and cognitive bases of intersubjectivity).
Target skills and knowledge: The course aims to give to students deep and specialized knowledge regarding current theoretical models that defines parenting according to both dynamic and emotional-relational approaches and the most current point of view of parental brain and neurophysiological studies regarding child care and protection competences.

Furthermore it will be provided a specific description with clinical examples of the main manifestations of inadequacy, disease and psychopathological scenarios connected to parenting, and their possible short-term and long-term outcomes on child development trajectories and his psychological, physical and social adjustment.

Finally, it will be supported the acquisition of competences related to assessment and observational techniques and to intervention procedures, both supporting and therapeutic ones, with the child and his parents, in order to promote for the student a thorough and critical point of view of diagnostic and experimental models and also of the clinical activity in this field.

The knowledge presented could then be enhanced by the student through the acquisition of practical and professionalizing abilities, proposed in some laboratories in the first and second semester such as: Assessment of attachment with AAI, Assessment of attachment with AAP or finally, Methods of assessment of family interactions.
Examination methods: The exam is written, with the chance to integrate it with an oral session.

It is composed by 6 open questions, but specific, which the student will be asked to answer to, referring to what it has been taken in consideration during lessons and by books.
Questions are so organized:
- 4 questions regarding themes considered during the course, for which a wide answer is requested;
- 2 questions related to specific definitions of the key points and constructs of the discipline, for which a synthetic answer in requested
Assessment criteria: The evaluation of student’s performance will be made according to the following criteria:

- ability to answer to all questions;
-adequacy and adherence of the answers to the questions (Is the answer in line with the theme subject of examination? Is it vague or not well specified?)
- completeness and exhaustiveness of the given answers (Does it contain all the constitutive elements of the topic/construct requested in the question?)
- appropriateness of the language (the answer is formulated with an adequate language which refers to specific psychological terms to describe the construct and/or the theme requested?)
- ability to synthesize information
Course unit contents: Specific contents of the course will be divided in the following thematic areas:

- Theoretical and methodological bases of parenting: Belsky’s determinants of parenting model and Swain’s neurophysiological model
- Experimental and assessment methods and instruments: observational methods and techniques of early adult-child interactions, experimental models and techniques aimed to study parenting, parenting function interview, self-report used in empirical and clinical settings (PSI, FES,..)
- Classification systems of adult-child interactions quality (Classification 0-3 and other clinical and empirical references): bases, definition criteria and diagnostic classification
- Diagnostic process of parenting function

SECOND AREA: Risk factors and parenting pathology
- Adoptive parents: risk factors for adults and children, the weight of child traumas and of procreativity grief
- Maternal depression and its role in child care
- Substance abuse disease and the bio-psycho-social impact on pregnancy, child health and relationship with him
- Preterm birth and short-term and long-term consequences in the construction of adult-child relationship
- Parenting function pathology: attachment relationship diseases, abuse, negligence

THIRD AREA: Treatment
- Models and prospective for taking care of child care competences: representations level, behaviors level and the reciprocal influences between representations and behaviors
- Video-feedback techniques for interventions on parenting function
- Techniques aimed to help interaction
- Home visiting model
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course will be organized according to the following teaching methodologies:
- Frontal lessons with the teacher;
- Presentation of exemplificative clinical cases using video material and/or interviews that students will be able to watch;
- Discussion with students about themes debated during the course;
- Students’ presentation on themes discussed during the course and/or in-depth analyses related to them, with a following discussion with the teacher and the other students;
- Researchers and external clinician’s interventions on specific themes of the course and open discussion with the teacher and the other students.

It will be promoted and advocated critical discussion and the possibility for students to express their own doubts, difficulties and/or of requesting deeper explanations, in order to achieve the best possible learning of themes proposed, as well as an approach the most possible “professionalizing” on the themes considered.

During the semester there will be theme mornings\days with the participation of other course professors or external professors that are expert of the topics that are intended to enhance; they will be treated with an integrative and interdisciplinary approach in order to promote learning and understanding of the applied aspects, in research\clinical practice fields.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Texts must be studied entirely. Research materials that aim to increase and support knowledge about the different themes will be uploaded in Moodle platform.

One of the text recommended is fundamental material also for the course of Professor Ferruzza and it will be debated during the final section of this course.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Simonelli A., La funzione Genitoriale. Sviluppo e psicopatologia. Milano: Raffaello Cortina, 2014. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Venuti P., Simonelli A., Rigo P., Parental Brain. Milano: Raffaello Cortina, 2017.
  • Tambelli R., Psicologia clinica dell'età avolutiva. Bologna: Il Mulino, 2012. Saranno da studiare solo i capitoli V, VIII, IX. Il resto dei contenuti saranno da studiare nel corso della prof.ssa Ferruzza Cerca nel catalogo