Welcome to the website of the Research Institute of Child Psychology and Pathopsychology

Information about VÚDPaP

The Research Institute of Child Psychology and Pathopsychology (Slovak abbr. VÚDPaP) is a directly managed contribution organization of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic.

As a departmental scientific-research and methodological workplace, it focuses on solving issues and current needs arising from educational practice, primarily in the area of counseling and prevention system.

It deals with the comprehensive study of mental development and personality development of children in both norm and pathology, examines factors and conditions of development, possibilities of its optimization in family, school, and other facilities and institutions, creates and updates standards of professional and professional-methodical activities, creates expert materials, implements education for pedagogical and professional employees in the counseling and prevention system and school educational facilities.

The tasks of the Research Institute of Child Psychology and Pathopsychology primarily arise from fulfilling the program objectives of the Slovak government in the field of education and are implemented based on valid legislation.

To implement activities, it uses resources from the state budget and project financing.

Currently implemented activities can be found on the subpages https://vudpap.sk/hlavne-cinnosti/.

History of VÚDPaP

VÚDPaP was established by a resolution of the Presidium of the Slovak National Council of November 26, 1963, with effect from January 1, 1964. The idea of establishing a workplace focused on child psychological research was promoted by associate professor PhDr. Miroslav T. Bažány, who also became its first director. The institute has been working in the education sector since the beginning, and since 1968, it has been fulfilling the role of its founder, the Slovak Ministry of Education. Until 1992, the institute had jurisdiction throughout the former Czechoslovakia.

The tasks of VÚDPaP enshrined in the first statute included:

  • research on the formation of a child’s psyche and the social determination of this process,
  • research on the mental development of disabled children and children with learning and behavioral disorders,
  • elaboration of basic theoretical issues of psychological educational care for children and youth and professional management of the Psychological Educational Clinic in Bratislava,
  • concentration of scientific information in the fields of child psychology, pathopsychology, and social pathology,
  • development, verification, and standardization of psychodiagnostic methods.

The last task shortly after the establishment of the institute required the creation of a separate workplace (Psychodiagnostic and didactic tests, n.p. – today Psychodiagnostika, a.s.), so it was removed from the statute. More Psychological Educational Clinics were added to the one in Bratislava in other cities, eventually creating an entire educational counseling system. Since 1976, its individual workplaces have been called pedagogical-psychological counseling centers, and they still operate this way in the Czech Republic. In Slovakia, they have been renamed to centers of pedagogical-psychological counseling and prevention since September 1, 2008. VÚDPaP was entrusted with their methodological management.

At its inception, the institute had 25 employees, five years later 57, and in 1989 already 74. In 1993 the number was reduced to 50, and it has remained around this number ever since. The structure of the institute has undergone changes, but during the first 25 years, the key organizational units included the Department of Developmental Psychology, Department of Child Pathopsychology, Department of Social Development, and the Center of Scientific Information (with a specialized library). Since 1966, VÚDPaP has been publishing the professional journal Psychológia a patopsychológia dieťaťa (Psychology and Pathopsychology of the Child).

In 1989, the then representatives of the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Socialist Republic decided to abolish the institute, despite protests from the scientific community and professional public. In their opinion, psychology should have helped more in fulfilling the tasks of socialist pedagogy, so they merged the institute with the Research Institute of Pedagogy and subordinated it to its management (the Research Institute of Pedagogy and Psychology was created). This situation lasted exactly one year. As of July 1, 1990, the Minister of Education of the Slovak Republic restored the independence of both workplaces.

Since 1991, VÚDPaP has been involved in the grant system of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic and the Slovak Academy of Sciences, within which it has been one of the most successful psychological workplaces. By 2010, its employees had solved thirty-five tasks approved by the Scientific Grant Agency. Since the VEGA financial resources are intended only for universities and institutes of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, the institute did not participate in this grant scheme in the following period.