Child and Adolescent Psychiatry / Psychology

The research programme of this department focuses on the study of frequency, determinants, and course of child psychiatric conditions such as anxiety, somatoform disorders, depression, movement disorders, aggressive behaviour, hyperactivity, and developmental problems such as autism, learning disorders and mental retardation.

The main focus is on longitudinal study of general population samples, clinical samples, and high risk samples. In addition, the contribution of genetic factors in the presence and persistence of psychopathology is studied in twin samples. Because one of the main obstacles hampering the acquisition of knowledge on child psychopathology is the lack of standardized assessment procedures and diagnostic systems, epidemiological approaches are used to develop and test internationally available assessment instruments and diagnostic procedures, and to obtain normative population data.

The research programme of the department is designed to ensure:

  • The development of assessment instruments, diagnostic procedures and biomarkers of illness and illness progression
  • The assessment of the prevalence and incidence of child and adolescent disorders
  • The determinants of the onset and course of psychopathology from infancy to young adulthood using longitudinal research designs
  • The assessment of the effectiveness of treatment approaches.

The programme uses epidemiological methods to study child psychopathology in the general population, populations at risk, and clinical samples. The current research is carried out in three main epidemiological samples:

  1. Generation R – a birth cohort of 10,000 from the general population
  2. Trails – a cohort of 10-12-year-olds from the general population
  3. Spectrum – a cohort of 150 children with autism spectrum disorder

For more information, faculty member profiles, and publications, visit the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Psychology website.