Parental Psychiatric Disorders and Children's Development

Module titleParental Psychiatric Disorders and Children's Development
Module codePSY3426
Academic year2016/7
Module staff

Dr Lamprini Psychogiou (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Parental mental health problems are associated with a wide range of child outcomes. In this module you will gain a thorough understanding of the environmental processes by which parental psychiatric disorders may affect children’s development. You will also gain a critical understanding of how and why some groups of children may function well despite exposure to risk factors. There will be an emphasis on how to translate recent empirical findings into prevention and intervention efforts that have the potential to help parents and their children.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to provide students with a thorough and critical understanding of the mechanisms by which parental psychiatric disorders may exert their effects upon children’s development.

Through attending the weekly seminars and completing the assessments, you will further develop the following academic and professional skills: problem solving (linking theory to practice, developing your own ideas with confidence, being able to respond to novel and unfamiliar problems), managing structure (identifying key demands of the task, setting clearly defined goals, responding flexibly to changing priorities), time management (managing time effectively individually and within a group), collaboration (respecting the views and values of others, taking initiative and leading others, supporting others in their work), and audience awareness (presenting ideas effectively in multiple formats, persuading others of the importance and relevance of your views, responding positively and effectively to questions).

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Describe thoroughly how and why parental psychiatric disorder affects children
  • 2. Identify issues pertinent in this field of study such as the combination of risk factors and the need to adopt a developmental psychopathology perspective
  • 3. Scientifically, address important research questions and evaluate existing methodological approaches
  • 4. Clinically, demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of interventions designed to help parents themselves, and also improve the lives of their children

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Acquire detailed, systematic and comprehensive knowledge within the discipline, with in-depth specialisation at the forefront of the discipline in certain areas, and demonstrate advanced critical understanding of this knowledge and of the limits and provisional nature of this knowledge
  • 6. Review and critically evaluate published work at an advanced level and identify the strengths and weaknesses of this work, and at an advanced level structure this literature to present logical, coherent and sustained arguments to support conclusions at an advanced level
  • 7. Address systematically complex problems at an advanced level which may be framed within unpredictable contexts, think critically, creatively and independently, and fully appreciate the complexities of the issues
  • 8. Understand and apply essential principles in designing novel research, and critically evaluate and analyse empirical evidence, and assess the reliability of empirical evidence using a range of defined techniques at an advanced level
  • 9. Illustrate the wider ethical issues relating to the subject and its application at an advanced level

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 10. Interact effectively and supportively within a learning group
  • 11. Manage your own learning using the full range of resources of the discipline and with minimum guidance
  • 12. Demonstrate confidence in your own criteria of self evaluation and challenge received opinion and reflect on your actions, and seek and make use of feedback
  • 13. Select and manage information, and undertake competently study tasks with minimum guidance
  • 14. Take responsibility for your own work and criticise it
  • 15. Engage effectively in debate in a professional manner and produce detailed and coherent written work
  • 16. Demonstrate confidence and flexibility in identifying complex problems and in the application of appropriate knowledge and methods for their solution
  • 17. Act autonomously with minimal supervision or direction, within agreed guidelines
  • 18. Manage time effectively to meet deadlines

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The seminar meetings will discuss papers in the association between parental psychiatric disorders and children’s outcomes.

Mechanisms of risk transmission:

  • Disturbances in parent-child interactions
  • Marital conflict
  • Exposure to stressful environments.

Moderators: The seminars will discuss factors which may lead some children to be more resilient and others more vulnerable.

Prevention and intervention efforts: Strategies for prevention and intervention efforts will be discussed.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching33Seminar
Guided Independent Study52Seminar preparation
Guided Independent Study40Reading and directed learning preparation for seminars
Guided Independent Study15Reading and preparation for course essay assessment
Guided Independent Study10Reading and preparation for presentations.


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group presentation30 minutesInformal feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Examination603 hoursAllFinal mark
Essay402000 wordsAllWritten


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
ExaminationExaminationAllAugust Ref/Def
EssayEssayAllAugust Ref/Def

Re-assessment notes

Two assessments are required for this module. Where you have been referred/deferred in the examination you will have the opportunity to take a second examination in the August/September re-assessment period. Where you have been referred/deferred in the essay you will be required to resubmit the essay. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%; deferred marks are not capped.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Cummings, EM., Davies PT., and Campbell, SB. (2000). Developmental psychopathology and family process: Theory, research, and clinical implications. New York: Guildford Press.

Goodman, SH., and Gotlib, IH. (2002). Children of depressed parents: Mechanisms of Risk and Implications for treatment. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Lamb, ME. (2004). The role of the father in child development. 4th ed. New York: Wiley.

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Developmental psychopathology, prevention, interventions

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

PSY2306 or equivalent

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date