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The University of Southampton

PSYC8040 Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties

Module Overview

This module will allow you to develop and demonstrate skills in the assessment of, and planning for, interventions with children and young people experiencing low incidence social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. You are required to consider the implications of any assessment and intervention in the context of non-discriminatory and non-oppressive practice. You will focus on promoting the psychological well-being of children as clients, with particular regard to their emotional and social needs. You will develop knowledge and understanding of complex emotional and behavioural needs and the likely impact of these. In addition, you may engage in a limited application of counselling and therapeutic approaches in work with children, their families and other professionals.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of evidence based practices, taking account of normal progression and development, and the modifications necessary to support effective learning and development for children, young people and young adults with special educational needs and disabilities relating to emotional and behavioural difficulties.
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of complex emotional and behavioural needs and the likely impact of these
  • Develop skills in the critical evaluation of research and produce systematically conducted research syntheses to inform practice and policy decisions.
  • Promote the place of enquiry and empirical research as a method that can support and inform decision-making processes for key partners such as educational settings, local authorities and other relevant organisations.
  • Generalise and synthesise knowledge and experience to enable application and adaptation in different settings and novel situations.
  • Identify needs and promote change through the application of psychological knowledge for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities relating to emotional and behavioural difficulties


The module extends the topics in PSYC 6071 to explore internalising and externalising behaviours and their effect on child development and learning. In addition, it considers assessment frameworks (Behavioural, Systemic, Cognitive) and Interventions derived from these frameworks, such as counselling approaches and family therapy. There is a close relationship with skills taught in Psychology in Professional Practice 2 and Consultation, Assessment and Intervention

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Core content in this module is covered mostly through taught sessions at the University, with use also of some problem based learning sessions. Additionally, trainees have the opportunity on placement to develop their knowledge and understanding of complex emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Independent Study50
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Timimi S, Gardiner N, McCabe, B. (2010). The Myth of Autism: Medicalising Men’s and Boys’ Social and Emotional Competence. 

Wicks-Nelson, R. & Israel, A.C (2008). Abnormal Child and Adolescent Psychology. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Critical Reflection 20%
Critique  ( words) 80%


MethodPercentage contribution
Critical Reflection 20%
Critique 80%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: PSYC6071

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