Department of Psychology

Developmental Psychology I

Valbar forskarutbildningskurs i ämnesteori, 7,5 hp
Selectable PhD course within the subject of psychology, 7.5 credits

The course syllabus below in PDF



The course aims to provide an in-depth knowledge of developmental psychology with an emphasis on social development and developmental theory.


The course is divided in five blocks, focusing on (1) the history of developmental psychology, (2) social cognitive development, (3) peer relationships, (4) developmental psychopathology, and finally (5) attachment.

The course will involve discussion of modern empirical methods and findings but also a strong theoretical emphasis, looking at different modern theoretical perspectives.

Teaching forms

Each block includes one or two introductory lectures and one discussion seminar. Each discussion seminar is organized around 1-2 page discussion papers written in advance by participant groups. The discussions will incorporate aspects from the lecture and the literature assigned to that block.


The course will be examined based on the written seminar assignments and on active participation at seminars. Absence from a small number of seminars can be compensated with a written exam.

Course literature

There are one or two key articles for each block:

History block.
Mameli, M., & Bateson, P. (2011). An evaluation of the concept of innateness. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,366(1563), 436-443.

Social cognition block.
Van Overwalle, F., & Baetens, K. (2009). Understanding others' actions and goals by mirror and mentalizing systems: a meta-analysis. Neuroimage, 48(3), 564-584.

Peer relations block.
Hay, D. F., Payne, A., & Chadwick, A. (2004). Peer relations in childhood. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45(1), 84-108.

Psychopathology block.
Rogers, S. J. (2009). What are Infant Siblings Teaching Us About Autism in Infancy? Autism Research, 2(3), 125-137.
Pennington et al. (2009) Gene x Environment Interactions in Reading Disability and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Developmental Psychology. Developmental Psychology, 45, 77-89.

Attachment block
Weinfeld, N. S., Sroufe, L. A., Egeland, B., & Carlson, E. (2008). Individual differences in infant-caregiver attachment: Conceptual and empirical aspects of security.  In  J. Cassidy & P.R. Shaver (Eds). Handbook of attachment (2nd edition. pp. 78-101). New York: Guilford Press.

Approximately two additional articles per block of approximately 20 pages each will be assigned at the beginning of the block.

Additional literature will be assigned during the course.

Course Leader

Gustaf Gredebäck