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PSYC435 Developmental Psychopathology

Exploration of the biological, social and cultural contexts of child and adolescent development from theoretical and applied perspectives.

Advanced study of developmental differences is important to many sectors in society - parents, policy analysts and practitioners. That developmental psychopathology has particular relevance for practitioners is reflected in its inclusion as a core competency for psychologists who aim to register as psychologists under the clinical and educational psychology scopes of practice.

This paper addresses issues in atypical development, with an emphasis on research-informed teaching, and considerations regarding the implications of knowledge of typical development, factors influencing development, and research evidence for practice and policy.

Paper title Developmental Psychopathology
Paper code PSYC435
Subject Psychology
EFTS 0.0833
Points 10 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $704.22
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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PSYC 464

Entry into Psychology 400-level normally requires a major in Psychology, a B+ average or higher in Psychology 300-level papers, and a pass in PSYC311 Quantitative Methods. We highly recommend that students have completed PSYC310. Students from other universities must show evidence of an equivalent level of competence.


Associate Professor Dione Healey

Dr Amanda Clifford

Teaching staff

Associate Professor Dione Healey

Dr Amanda Clifford

Paper Structure

This paper explores issues in developmental psychopathology, considering the contributions of developmental psychology to developmental psychopathology. Course material includes current research and theory in child psychopathology, examining each in the context of our growing knowledge of child development and factors relating to developmental outcomes.

Internal Assessment: 60% of the final grade will consist of one piece of written work and oral presentations in class.


Weekly readings will be assigned from primary research material and selected book chapters.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Successful completion of this paper will:

  • Develop literacy in developmental psychopathology, a base of knowledge pertaining to developmental psychopathology and recognition of psychopathology within a developmental context.
  • Provide the context and groundwork for the development of a strong conceptual understanding of models of psychopathology (contributors and development) and the ability to think critically and scientifically about such models.
  • Foster curiosity about contributors to developmental outcomes, to encourage participation in research into developmental psychopathology and to stimulate learning from research in the field.
  • Promote the capacity and desire for lifelong learning around issues affecting children and young people, including those who experience developmental differences, as critical consumers in society and/or for self-directed continuing education for career development in professional psychology.
  • Enhance the academic skills and other personal attributes (e.g. communication, community, ethical awareness, social responsibility) relevant to promoting the welfare of children and young people in society and required for a career in professional psychology.

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Thursday 09:00-11:50 9-14, 16-22