Child development research for professionals working with children, young people and families

Course overview

Many experienced professionals working in health, education and social services settings can feel perplexed when faced with emotional, behavioural and developmental difficulties in young children, and are aware that new understandings have arisen in the field of child development research which could be helpful in informing their work.

There are new findings emerging from many fields, including attachment theory and neuroscience, about the impact of early experience on children's development.

This has relevance for professionals working with children, adolescents and families, for example social workers providing for the care of young children who have experienced the impact of early abuse, or teachers in early years who identify and support young children with developmental difficulties.

We are opening up the Child Development Research module of the Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Well-being: Multidisciplinary Practice course to professionals experienced in working with children and young people, who would welcome the opportunity to update their skills and knowledge in this area. As well as there being a set text, (Nurturing Natures: Attachment and Children's Emotional, Sociocultural and Brain Development by Graham Music), participants will be provided with a comprehensive study pack of important literature relevant to the topics covered in the course. Teaching includes a formal lecture, generally using audio visual material, with group discussion, led by Graham Music, with other visiting lecturers.

You will be introduced to key findings and ideas emerging from developmental science. Topics covered will include;

  • prenatal life and birth
  • early mother-infant interactions
  • an infant’s preconceptions of relationships
  • cultural influences on development
  • attachment neuroscience and the impact of early experience on brain development.

We then move on to the impact of disruption in early parent-infant interaction, how memories and representations of relationships form, as well as gender development, the role of fathers, the development of language and play, the influence of peers and siblings, adolescent development and the long-term effects of early experience.

The lecture series will centre around the development of a child as a social being, and integrates research findings from a range of disciplines, such as attachment theory, neuroscience, developmental psychology, cultural understandings and much more.

New dates for this course will be advertised here in due course. Please contact us at to be added to the waiting list.

Course fees will be announced here when the course is next available for booking

Included in your course fee, you will receive full membership of the Tavistock’s internationally-renowned library for the duration of your course.

Our friendly and knowledgeable library team will help to support you through your specialist CPD course, whatever your level of professional or academic experience. You will have access to an extensive range of eBooks, online journals, all the relevant key databases and our specialist audio-visual collection plus reference access to all our print books. Our Information Skills Trainer has made lots of material available on Moodle to help you to navigate our comprehensive electronic collections.  PCs and photocopiers are also available for your use.

Library staff curate various online resources, such as Audio/Video Playlists and Subject Updates, to help you stay on top of latest developments, as well as regularly sharing helpful news and research on Twitter and Facebook. Find out more on the Library website:

Certificate of attendance
The Tavistock Centre, London
Admission status:
Course lead:
Dr Graham Music

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