Clinical Child and Family Studies

Current facets (Pre-Master)

Pedagogy and Education

At the section of Clinical Child and Family Studies, we study the influence of the complex interplay of environment, biology and personality on child adaptive and maladaptive development from infancy to emerging adulthood.

Using a life span perspective, we study the effects of environmental (parents, peers), biological (epigenetics, brain structure, cortisol), and parent and child personality factors on behavioural maladjustment, including internalising, externalising and antisocial behaviour, as well as behavioural adjustment, focusing specifically on prosocial and moral development.

Our research ranges from the study of day-to-day parenting practices, like sleep routines, to chaotic family circumstances and marital discord that can precede problematic child outcomes. It encompasses expertise on both the historical roots and empirical testing of attachment theory, and on the subsequent development of child self-regulation.

The effectiveness of evidence-based interventions is studied to support parents of children with developmental disorders, like autism (e.g. VIPP-auti, Simple Steps). Next to this, we study parents of children with Down’s syndrome and Cerebral Palsy, and applied studies are conducted on the consequences of inclusive education on behaviour of youth with and without learning disabilities. Furthermore, a special focus is on the unique role of the father in parenting and in child development, and the development of international adoptees from childhood into adulthood.

In several of our studies, we make use of large cohort studies; the Generation R Study and the Flemish Study on Parenting, Personality and Development (FSPPD).

Contact: prof. dr. Peter Prinzie