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Theses Bachelor/Master Prof. Schwenck


How many theses does the department assign?


For the coming academic year, the department will probably award 9 master theses and 6 bachelor theses. You will find the current vacancies for the respective projects.

The Master's theses are awarded to students with a focus on "Development and Disorders in Child Development" and "Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy" as well as to students without a focus.


It is also possible to start your thesis in the summer semester. Please state this in your application.


External master theses on the subject of clinical child and youth psychology can be supervised after consultation. If you are considering such a project, please make an appointment with Ms. Schwenck before applying.


Which topics can I work on?


Child welfare and right of access 

This project takes place in cooperation with the project Petra GmbH (


After divorce or separation of parents with underage children, conflicts often arise afterwards, which mainly concern the rules of contact. In an exploratory study, it should be examined for what reasons parents separate most frequently, whether the reasons for separation influence the parents' willingness to cooperate, and what this means for contact arrangements.
Project management: PD Dr. Büttner from Project Petra and Prof. Dr. Schwenck from the university.


Study on the Initiation of care 

This project takes place in cooperation with the project Petra GmbH (

Taking into care: in this setting, the number of cases has risen sharply over the last 10-15 years, and a significant increase in the average length of stay can be observed. With regard to the needs of attachment and relationship, this circumstance poses challenges, especially for younger children. It is necessary to examine the reasons for the frequent months, and sometimes years, of residence in care institutions.

Project management: PD Dr. Büttner from Project Petra and Prof. Dr. Schwenck from the university


Anxious, aggressive and cold? 

In contrast to medically physical symptoms, it is assumed that psychological symptoms cannot be attributed to a single cause. It is assumed that different psychological symptoms are interdependent with regard to their development and maintenance. For example, anxiety or emotional coldness in children seem to contribute to the development and maintenance of aggressive behaviour. With the help of a combined online and telephone study, this project aims to investigate the connection between these seemingly contradictory symptoms in children.

Project management: Felix Vogel and Daniela Hartmann


Project Callous-unemotional traits in children with and without social behaviour problems 


In this project, differences in emotion processing or emotion recognition and reward and punishment learning in terms of operant conditioning are investigated. In our sample we examine children aged 7 to 10 years with and without problems in social behavior. In addition, we distinguish whether the children show a high or low degree of the so-called Callous-Unemotional Personality Traits (CU-Traits). CU-Traits are characterized by a lack of feelings of remorse and guilt as well as indifference and bluntness towards the feelings of other people.

The study consists of various experimental tasks on the computer and the use of various diagnostic tools. The exciting thing about this project is that we test both the children and their mothers for the same experimental tasks. This way we hope to find out differences and similarities within the generations. During the computer tasks, facial expressions, skin conductance, heart rate, pupil width and eye movement are recorded. The project therefore offers the possibility to gain insights into many different peripheral physiological measurement methods (emotion detection, GSR, eye-tracking).

Project management: Anne Herr


Children of mentally ill parents 


In one of the projects, children of parents suffering from a mental disorder will be examined with regard to emotion processing and regulation and compared with a comparison group of children with mentally healthy parents. The children will perform various tasks on the computer and, in addition to behavioural measures, peripheral physiological measures (mimicry, skin conductivity and heart rate) will be collected. In a further project, a free play situation with subsequent frustration task between children and their parents will be recorded on video and evaluated with regard to parent-child interaction. This project is integrated into a larger RCT study, which will examine the effectiveness of various interventions in children of mentally ill parents.

Project management: Arleta Luczejko & N.N & N.N


What is the procedure and how is the work supervised?


In our department, we try to form small teams of bachelor and master students working together on each topic. Of course, each student has his or her own questions. In this way it is possible to work in a group on a topic in terms of content and practice, complementing and supporting each other. In addition to working on your final thesis, you do not have to get involved in other research projects, but we expect all the more commitment for your own project. Since the children may attend kindergarten or primary school depending on their age, the dates of our surveys always take place outside school hours (afternoons or weekends).


At regular meetings of all those writing a thesis, the project managers and Ms Schwenck, we discuss topics concerning the preparation of your thesis, practical topics of implementation and, of course, the content of your work itself.


Master studentsHow can you apply?


Please bundle the following documents in a pdf document and send it by e-mail to Prof. Dr. Schwenck ():

  • Letter of motivation (max. one page)
  • Curriculum vitae with photo
  • Certificates
  • Special experience in dealing with children with or without mental illness through internships, previous professional experience etc. is desirable.
  • Current recruitment opportunities for children and young people in the Giessen area (e.g. through association activities, etc.) are advantageous.

Which application deadlines must be observed?

  • Focus students on "Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy" and "Child development and disorders of child development": 26.05.2020
  • the remaining : application deadline is 09.06.2020