The Centre for Studies in Human Development | CEDH is a research unit of Universidade Católica Portuguesa created in 2013 (see here the dispatch and regulation), aimed at fostering research and advanced training programs in areas related to Human Development.

CEDH takes a broad and multidimensional perspective on human development. The research developed within CEDH’s framework is based on the argument that each individual comprehends multiple facets and constructions that define his/her place in the society. It is also based on the idea that, being part of social, cultural, and political groups and organizations, individuals undertake different roles which are mutable throughout their life paths.

Thus, the individual development dimension is crucial in CEDH’s research, but it is also given great relevance to the organizational level, as well as to the cultural and political domains. On the one hand, these levels are considered essential for understanding individual development. On the other hand, organizations, policies and practices in areas such as education or justice are, themselves, study objects.

At the same time, CEDH perspectives human development as encompassing all stages of the life cycle, considering and analyzing the different transitions that guide life paths. This perspective falls within the context of contemporary societies, featuring fast changes and complex social problems.


CEDH is organized into three research groups.

In the group "Psychological Development and Well-being" research focuses on the individual dimension of human development. The group "Transitions and Psychological and Social Development" broadens the focus of analysis to consider the organizational, political and cultural dimensions in which individuals and groups are integrated and developed. Finally, the group "Education and Development" also adopts this multidimensional framework, but focuses specifically on the context of education.

At CEDH researchers from different backgrounds work together on content specific and interdisciplinary projects according to the following research lines:

  • Exclusion, Social Inclusion and Citizenship
  • Professions and Human Development
  • Territory, Community and Knowledge 
  • School Organizations: leadership, professional development, evaluation and school improvement
  • Teaching and Learning, classroom climate 
  • Mental Health: Challenges in a changing society
  • Family processes in a changing society


CEDH’s current board of directors is: Raquel Matos (Director), Ana Filipa Sobral, Ilídia Cabral, Patrícia Oliveira-Silva.