Nijmegen, Netherlands

Peer relations and interactions in childhood and adolescence

online course
when 5 July 2021 - 9 July 2021
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC
fee EUR 350

Children and adolescents spend a significant amount of time each day in the company of peers. Together with their peers, children acquire a wide range of skills, attitudes and experiences that influence their cognitive, emotional, and social development. Peers are also powerful socialization agents, contributing well beyond the collective influences of family, school, and neighbourhood. This summer course focuses on the importance of peer relations and interactions for research on child and adolescent development.

The following topics will be addressed:

• Main theories and basic methods used in research on peer relations and interactions
• Friendship and social status
• Social behaviours (e.g. prosocial and antisocial behaviour, bullying and defending)
• Influence from inside and outside the peer group
• State of the art research measures and paradigms (e.g., implicit measures, observations, computerized sociometry, gaming)

The programme will include lectures as well as a variety of individual and small group assignments, including:

• working with state of the art research methods and paradigms
• (first steps in) data analyses
• observations of peer interactions
• critically reviewing literature
• ethical considerations
• brainstorming about new research designs.

You are invited to present your own research project or proposal. After the presentation, you will receive feedback on your own research. During the course, there also is ample opportunity for individual consultancy when specific individualized feedback is desired.

Participants in this course will gain extensive knowledge of the history, current state, and future directions of peer relations research. Moreover, you will be challenged to actively discuss theoretical, practical, and ethical issues regarding peer relations and peer relations research.

The course will be taught by a team of highly experienced researchers working in the Social Development group of Radboud University, who are specialized in peer relations research as well as by a guest lecturer from Concordia University, Canada.

Course leader

Prof. Toon Cillessen
Department of Social Development
Behavioural Science Institute
Radboud University

Target group

• Master
• PhD
• Post-doc

The course is designed for Research Master's students or PhD students in the social and behavioural sciences (e.g., psychology, pedagogics, sociology, and educational sciences), marketing and communication sciences, medicine, or related fields.

Regular Master's students or Advanced Bachelor's students who have strong interest in or experience with peer relations research are also welcome.

Course aim

After this course you are able to:

1. Understand the main theories and basic methods in peer relations research
2. Understand the importance of friendship, social status, and social behaviours for child and adolescent development
3. Use state of the art research measures and paradigms to assess peer relations and interactions
4. Apply recently acquired knowledge into the design of new peer relations research

Fee info

EUR 350: The fee includes the registration fees, course materials, access to library and IT facilities, coffee/tea, lunch, and a number of social activities.


We offer several reduced fees

Register for this course
on course website