Netherlands, Nijmegen

Peer Relations and Interactions in Childhood and Adolescence

when 13 August 2018 - 17 August 2018
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 ECTS
fee EUR 535

Children and adolescents spend a significant amount of time each day in the company of peers. Together with these 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. pro- 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 program 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

Participants of the summer school are invited to present their own research project or proposal. After the presentation, they will receive feedback on their own research. During the course, there is also ample opportunity for individual consultancy where 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 Arizona State University.

Course leader

Toon Cillessen
Social Development
Behavioural Science Institute
Radboud University

Target group

Master, PhD, Professional. The course is designed for Research master students or PhD-students in the social or behavioural sciences (e.g., psychology, pedagogics, sociology, and educational sciences), marketing and communication sciences, medicine, or related fields. Regular master students or advanced bachelor 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 535: 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:
€ 482   early bird discount – deadline 1 April 2018 (10%)
€ 455   partner + RU discount (15%)
€ 401   early bird + partner discount (25%)

Register for this course
on course website