Parenting and Child Development (MSc)
Do you want to learn how to prevent child problems by optimising caregiving? Would you like to advise parents, professional caregivers and policy makers on caregiving-issues? In that case the master’s specialisation Parenting and Child Development is the ideal choice for you!
Why choose this specialisation?
Everyone will agree that it is highly important to promote optimal child development from the very start of life. Parents and professional caregivers have a profound influence on the socioemotional and cognitive development of children through their caregiving. The master’s specialisation Parenting and Child Development focuses on understanding the exact nature of this influence and on preventing child and family problems by fostering optimal caregiving.
By focusing on prevention, it differs from the clinically oriented master’s specialisations that concentrate on how to reduce problems in children and caregiving after the problems have developed. Focusing on prevention is extremely relevant and beneficial in today’s society where waiting lists for treatment as well as health care costs continue to grow. If you want to take a pro-active approach towards child and family problems by promoting a healthy caregiving environment, the master’s specialisation Parenting and Child Development is the ideal choice for you.
The master’s specialisation Parenting and Child Development focuses on child development in the context of different caregiving circumstances. The courses cover both normative and problematic caregiving, ranging from sensitive and warm parenting to abuse and neglect, and from stable family circumstances to divorce and temporary foster care. An important part of the curriculum is the study of evidence based prevention and intervention programmes to improve caregiving qualities of parents and professional caregivers.
What you will learn
The master’s specialisation Parenting and Child Development will provide you with a state-of-the-art, in-depth understanding of
- family and caregiving factors that influence child development, such as caregiver-child attachment, parenting styles and practices used by (professional) caregivers and family functioning
- historical trends in parenting advice and how these influence current advice
- the new challenges and opportunities digital media pose in current-day caregiving
- neural, behavioral, and social-cognitive development in early childhood with specific attention to the interaction between child characteristics (e.g., temperament or neurobiological make-up) and environmental factors
In addition, you will acquire the tools to
- critically analyze the quality of (research on) parenting advice, parenting interventions, and child development
- develop evidence-based preventive parenting/caregiving programmes
Finally, you will gain practical experience with
- the work involved in conducting research in the field of parenting, child care and development during your master thesis (often involves training in observation of caregiver-child interactions, and/or using laboratory techniques such as attentional, behavioral or neurophysiological measures)
- the work of professionals in the field of parenting and child development during your internship. Examples of internships institutions are companies providing parenting advice and courses on child development to (professional) caregivers, adoption agencies, youth health care institutions, childcare organizations.
Dutch students who complete this master’s specialisation and completed the bachelor Pedagogische Wetenschappen or the pre-master programme Pedagogische Wetenschappen at Leiden University, fulfill the criteria for the NVO-registration for 'Basis pedagoog' and the SKJ-registration for 'Master-pedagoog'.