Course Syllabus

Developmental Psychopathology

Preliminary Syllabus

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Semester & Location:

Beginning Fall 2024 - DIS Stockholm

Type & Credits:

Core Course - 3 credits

Study Tours:

Lund, Malmö


Major Disciplines:

Psychology, Neuroscience, Pre-Health/Medicine  


One course in psychology at university level. 

Faculty Members:

Monica Siqueiros Sanchez, PhD  (current students please use the Canvas Inbox)

Program Contact: 

Time & Place:

Time: TBA

Classroom: TBA


Course Description

What is the nature of psychological disorders that develop during childhood and adolescence, and how are these experienced by young people in Scandinavia? In this course, we will review the neurobiological and psychological features associated with the development and maintenance of disorders such as ADHD and autism spectrum disorders by situating them within a broader sociocultural framework. For example, how do parental leave policies and parental stress impact prenatal and infant development? How does a modern welfare state address early detection and early intervention for developmental disorders, and how are the needs of youth with developmental disorders met (or not met) in the Swedish educational system? We will also review contemporary issues and controversies in the field, such as the discourse around neurodiversity/neurotypicality vs. a strictly medical model of illness and treatment.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course students will be able to demonstrate the following:

  1. An understanding of the major categories of developmental psychopathology, including issues of classification, defining features, and comorbid conditions.
  2. An understanding of the complex etiological and maintenance factors implicated in developmental psychopathology.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge about evidence-based methods for prevention and interventions in developmental psychopathology.
  4. An in-depth understanding about one particular area of research within developmental psychopathology.
  5. The ability to summarize, integrate, critically evaluate, and communicate about research relevant to developmental psychopathology.



Monica Siqueiros-Sanchez, PhD. Monica obtained her PhD in Medical Science, from Karolinska Institutet (KI; Sweden). A clinical psychologist by training, she became interested in neurodevelopmental disorders during her clinical practice. She then went on to do her MSc in Developmental Psychopathology at Durham University, followed by her PhD at KI where she combined eye tracking and twin modelling to investigate the relative contribution of genes and environment to autistic and ADHD traits, oculomotor behavior, and the association between them. She recently completed her postdoctoral training at Stanford University where she used a combination of neuroimaging modalities and psychological assessments to characterize the effects of rare genetic variation on brain morphology to better understand psychiatric disorders.  Her interests include socio-communicative skills, attention, neurogenetic syndromes, neurodevelopmental disorders, and white matter. With DIS since 2023.


Required Textbooks (provided to students by the DIS Library: please check it out from Book Pickup during Arrivals Week):

  • Venta, A., Sharp, C., Fletcher, J.M., & Fonagy, P. (2021). Developmental psychopathology. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
  • Wilmshurst, L. (2022). Child and adolescent psychopathology: A casebook (5th ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.

Required Articles (please note that these may be revised and updated - you should check the calendar for the updated list of journal articles).

Boman, C., & Bernhardsson, S. (2023). Exploring needs, barriers, and facilitators for promoting physical activity for children with intellectual developmental disorders: A qualitative focus group study. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities27(1), 5-23.

Bölte, S., Leifler, E., Berggren, S., & Borg, A. (2021). Inclusive practice for students with neurodevelopmental disorders in Sweden. Scandinavian journal of child and adolescent psychiatry and psychology9(1), 9-15.

Bölte, S. (2023). A more holistic approach to autism using the International Classification of Functioning: The why, what, and how of functioning. Autism27(1), 3-6.

Green, T., Naylor, P.E. & Davies, W. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in phenotypically similar neurogenetic conditions: Turner syndrome and the RASopathies. J Neurodevelop Disord 9, 25 (2017).

Green, T., Shrestha, S. B., Chromik, L. C., Rutledge, K., Pennington, B. F., Hong, D. S., & Reiss, A. L. (2015). Elucidating X chromosome influences on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and executive function. Journal of Psychiatric Research68, 217-225.

Idring, S., Lundberg, M., Sturm, H., Dalman, C., Gumpert, C., Rai, D., ... & Magnusson, C. (2015). Changes in prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in 2001–2011: findings from the Stockholm youth cohort. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders45, 1766-1773.

Lee, E. A. L., Black, M. H., Falkmer, M., Tan, T., Sheehy, L., Bölte, S., & Girdler, S. (2020). “We can see a bright future”: Parents’ perceptions of the outcomes of participating in a strengths-based program for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of autism and developmental disorders50, 3179-3194.

Li, R., Bruno, J.L., Lee, C.H. et al. Aberrant brain network and eye gaze patterns during natural social interaction predict multi-domain social-cognitive behaviors in girls with fragile X syndrome. Mol Psychiatry 27, 3768–3776 (2022).

Lord C, Brugha TS, Charman T, Cusack J, Dumas G, Frazier T, et al. Autism spectrum disorder. Nat Rev Dis Primer. 2020;6(1):1–23.

Linnsand, P., Gillberg, C., Nilses, Å., Hagberg, B., & Nygren, G. (2021). A high prevalence of autism spectrum disorder in preschool children in an immigrant, multiethnic population in Sweden: challenges for health care. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders51, 538-549.

Nygren, G., Hagberg, B., Billstedt, E., Skoglund, Å., Gillberg, C., & Johansson, M. (2009). The Swedish version of the diagnostic interview for social and communication disorders (DISCO-10). Psychometric properties. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders39, 730-741.

Nygren, G., Cederlund, M., Sandberg, E., Gillstedt, F., Arvidsson, T., Carina Gillberg, I., ... & Gillberg, C. (2012). The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in toddlers: a population study of 2-year-old Swedish children. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders42, 1491-1497.

Rai, D., Lewis, G., Lundberg, M., Araya, R., Svensson, A., Dalman, C., ... & Magnusson, C. (2012). Parental socioeconomic status and risk of offspring autism spectrum disorders in a Swedish population-based study. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry51(5), 467-476.

Singh, M.K., Gorelik, A.J., Stave, C. et al. Genetics, epigenetics, and neurobiology of childhood-onset depression: an umbrella review. Mol Psychiatry (2023).

van den Berg, G. J., & Siflinger, B. M. (2022). The effects of a daycare reform on health in childhood–Evidence from Sweden. Journal of Health Economics81, 102577.

Viktorsson, C., Bölte, S. & Falck-Ytter, T. How 18-month-olds with Later Autism Look at Other Children Interacting: The Timing of Gaze Allocation. J Autism Dev Disord (2023).

Field Studies

Field studies serve to complement your course work by placing you in the professional field to extend and rethink what we read about, discuss in class, and encounter in practicum. Please be ready for each field study by completing all readings and preparing questions in advance.

We may divide the class into smaller groups, each visiting different sites located in the greater Stockholm area. Specific field study details are yet to be determined.

Guest Lecturers

TBD. At certain points in the course, guest lecturers may be invited to provide their experience and expertise on select topics being covered in class.

Expectations of the Students

As this is a predominantly discussion-based seminar, the success of the course depends on your serious commitment to truly engage with the material. To that end, I expect you to spend at least 6 hours every week outside of class preparing for this class. You must come to class prepared, having closely read and evaluated the reading assignments, and your class discussions should reflect this careful reading. While taking notes on the reading assignments, try to identify which portions of the assignments were particularly notable/important and why they caught your attention. Include summaries in your own words, write questions to yourself, agree/disagree with the content, and generally try to delve yourself deeply into a thoughtful evaluation of the reading assignments.

You are expected to behave professionally and participate actively during class and field studies. This includes all of the following:

    • Attend all class meetings, field studies, and related activities.
    • Be punctual and stay for the entire experience.
    • Contribute to shared learning: ask relevant questions, offer critical reflections, and respond respectfully to others’ comments.
    • Put your phone away and turn off notifications on any other electronic devices.


To be eligible for a passing grade in this class you must complete all of the assigned work.

You will be evaluated based on your performance on the course assignments as outlined below. Additional details will be provided in class.





Class participation and engagement (including study tour assignments)


Discussion cases (In class): Critical questions and observations


Debates & Journal Clubs


Psychology in popular science paper


Final research project


Course Policies 

Attendance: You are expected to attend all DIS classes when scheduled.  If you miss a class for any reason, please contact the faculty no later than the day of the missed class. If you miss multiple classes the Director of Teaching and Learning, and the Director of Student Affairs will be notified and they will follow-up with you to make sure that all is well.  Absences will jeopardize your grade and your standing at DIS.  Allowances will be made in cases of illness or religious holidays, but in the case of multiple absences you will need to provide a doctor’s note. 

Academic Honesty, Plagiarism, AI tools, and Violating the Rules of an Assignment: DIS expects that students abide by the highest standards of intellectual honesty in all academic work. DIS assumes that all students do their own work and credit all work or thought taken from others.  Academic dishonesty will result in a final course grade of “F” and can result in dismissal. The students’ home universities will be notified. DIS reserves the right to request that written student assignments be turned in electronic form for submission to plagiarism detection software. The use of AI tools like ChatGPT for answering discussion and opinion  questions in assignments is also considered academic dishonesty. See the Academic Handbook for more information, or ask your instructor if you have questions.

Reading assignments: Students are expected to read the assigned articles and book chapters prior to class. Assigned readings will be posted on the Canvas Calendar class events. Please use that as your guide for the assigned articles each week. Each student should come to class prepared to discuss the readings. 

In class assignments: Students are expected to attend all lectures, of which some will include in-class assignments. In class-assignments are open only during the duration of the class plus some tolerance period. If you are unable to attend class you are expected to inform faculty (see attendance) and submit the assignment. In case of illness see Extensions section.

Policy on Late Papers: Late essays will be accepted for up to 3 days after the deadline, but for each day late, excluding the weekends, a 5% penalty will be applied. 

Extensions: You may request an extension for an assignment, but you must ask more than 1 day before the assignment is due. Extension requests on the due date, without an excusable reason, will not be considered.

Policy for Students Who Arrive Late to Class: Please come to classes on time as it is disturbing for the lecturer and other students. Repeated lateness will result in a referral to the head of the Teaching and Learning department.

Use of Laptops, Phones, and Headphones in Class: Computers and iPhones are allowed in class PURELY for academic purposes (e.g. note taking, literature searching, data handling purposes). In case of other private uses such as Facebook, Contexto, iMessage, or internet surfing, it will have a very negative impact on your participation grade. The use of cell phones and headphones during class is strictly forbidden.


Academic Regulations

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:


DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -


Course Summary:

Date Details Due