Line of research: Developmental and educational psychology

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This line of research brings together researchers investigating different aspects of developmental and educational psychology. The course is organized around the following topics:

  •  Communication, language, and Theory of Mind
  •  Child abuse and child-parental violence
  •  Mindfulness in educational settings
  •  Lanaguage adquisition in people with Down Syndrome
  •  Dyslexia, education, and neuroscience 
  •  Cognitive and social-amotional development in children and adolescents in residentialfoster care
  •  Cognitive predictors of literacy in different languages
  •  Neurodevelopmental disorders: Risk factors


This line of research is headed by eight faculty members. Their experience is demonstrated by their contributions to numerous scientific publications, their PhD, and their participation in competitive publicly-funded research projects.




Francisco Javier Fernández Baena 

University of Malaga

Antonia M. González Cuenca 

University of Malaga

Juan Luis Luque Vilaseca 

University of Malaga

Carmen Barajas Esteban

University of Malaga

María José González Valenzuela 

University of Malaga

Miguel Galeote Moreno

University of Malaga

Miriam Delgado Ríos

University of Malaga

 David Cantón Cortés

University of Malaga

Isaias Martín Ruiz

University of Malaga


Teams associated with this line of research 

>Grupo Ales-Down 

> Dificultades del aprendizaje y alteraciones del desarrollo [Learning difficulties and developmental disorders] 

>Grupo Ales-Down 

Communication, language, and Theory of Mind. 

>Desarrollo y bienestar de la infancia y adolescencia en acogimiento residencial

Ongoing projects and recent publications 


Title: Aprendizaje de la lectura y desarrollo del lenguaje oral en niños y adolescentes con síndrome de Down [Learning to read and oral language development in children and adolescents with Down syndrome].  

Reference: PSI2014-57056-R 

Funded by: Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. 

Duration:  1 January, 2015 to 31 December, 2019 

Head researchers: Miguel Galeote Moreno 

Participating entities: University of Malaga and Autonomous University of Madrid 


Title: Implantación de un modelo de respuesta a la intervención mediante una plataforma online en la escuela pública andaluza. [Implementation of a response model to an intervention online platform in Andalusian public schools.]

Reference: PY18-1624.

Funded by: JUNTA DE ANDALUCÍA (Andalusian Regional Government) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)- Excellence and challeneg initiatives

Head researchers: Juan Luis Luque Vilaseca


Title: Habilidades de comunicación social en niños y niñas de educación primaria.[Social communication skills in primary school children.] Impact on academic and social achievement.

Reference: B3-2019-02

Funded by: Proyecto del Plan Propio de Investigación y Transferencia de la Universidad de Málaga de Ciencias Sociales. [Malaga University Project for Research and Transfer in Social Sciences]

Head researchers: Carmen Barajas Esteban


>Fuentes, M. J., Bernedo, I. M., Salas, M. D., & García-Martín, M. A. (2019). What do Foster families and social workers think about children's contact with birth parents? A focus group analysis. International Social Work, 62(5), 1-15. doi: 10.1177/002087281877475

>Giménez, A., Bordoy, S., Sánchez, A., López-Zamora, M., Sopena, J. M. & Luque, J. L. (2020). A supplemental computerassisted intervention programme to prevent early reading difficulties in Spanish learners: A stratified random control trial. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 1-11. doi: 10.1111/jcal.12504

>González-Valenzuela, M. J., González-Mesa, E., Cazorla-Granados O., & López-Montiel, D.  (2019). Type of delivery, neuropsychological development and intelligence in twin births. Frontiers in Psychology, 10 (972). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00972

>Ortiz, A., Martínez-Murcia, F. J., Luque, J. L., Giménez, A., Morales-Ortega, R. y Ortega, J. (2020). Dyslexia Diagnosis by EEG Temporal and Spectral Descriptors: An Anomaly Detection Approach. International Journal of Neural Systems, Vol. 30, No. 7. doi: 10.1142/S012906572050029X.

>Salas, M. D., Bernedo, I. M., García-Martín, M. A., & Fuentes, M. J. (2020). Behavioral Observation and Analysis of Participants in Foster Care Visits. Family Relations. doi:10.1111/fare.12430


>González-Valenzuela, MJ., López-Montiel, D., Cazorla-Granados, O., & González-Mesa, E. (2019). Type of delivery and reading, writing, and arithmetic learning in twin births. Developmental Psychobiology, 62, 484-495. doi: 10.1002/dev.21932

>Cantón-Cortés, D., Cortés, M.R., y Cantón, J. (2020). Child sexual abuse and suicidal ideation: The differential role of attachment and emotional security. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, 3163.

>Junco-Guerrero, M., Ruiz-Fernández, A., y Cantón-Cortés, D. (2021). Family environment and child-to-parent violence: The role of emotional insecurity. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.


(Latest update: February, 2022)

If you would like further information on this line of research, please get in touch with María José González Valenzuela (; member of the Academic Committee for the PhD Program).


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·         Communication, language, and Theory of Mind 

·          Child abuse and child-parental violence 

·          Mindfulness in educational settings 

·          Language acquisition in people with Down Syndrome 

·          Dyslexia, education, and neuroscience 

·         Cognitive and social-emotional development in children and adolescents in residential foster care 

·          Cognitive predictors of literacy in different languages 

·          Neurodevelopmental disorders: risk factors 

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