António José dos Santos


António José dos Santos
António José dos Santos

General Information

Academic Category: 
Associate Professor
Scientific-Pedagogical Department : 
Psychological Sciences
Research<br />Unit: 
William James Center for Research

Biographical note

Holds a degree in Clinical Psychology from ISPA and a PhD in Development Psychology from the Université du Quebec in Montreal, Canada. Guest professor at the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Auburn University, USA. Develops mostly investigation in child social development, more specifically in the areas of social ethology and peer relation with a special focus on the study of social networks. Member of the Development psychology area at ISPA’s Research Unit for Cognitive Psychology, Development and Education, he was leading investigator in several FCT funded projects. He was a founding associate of the Portuguese Societies for Ethology and Primatology, and is a member of the Society for Research in Child Development amongst others. In the clinical area as training in group analysis. Publishes in several national and international scientific reviews, namely Child Development, Social Development, International Journal of Primatology, Merril Palmer Quarterly amongst others. He as presented papers at the most important international conferences, relating to his area, having also been invited for the organizing committee of symposiums in his specific field of investigation. He consulted on several international investigation projects, namely in Canada and the USA.

Research Interests

My main research interest concerns the study of peer relations in child social development. My major research objective is to complement traditional individual differences approaches to social status and competence with a broader understanding of the influence of local cohesive niches (e.g. friendship relationships, subgroup membership) emerging from the social ecology of the peer group. I would like to further study the socio-cognitive and affective underpinnings of affiliative behaviour in order to better understand its additional relevance for self and identity development. I am trying to integrate ethological, socio-structural and co-constructionist perspectives in order to achieve that goal. I am convinced that together they can improve our understanding of child social adaptation as well as help us to elaborate more effective intervention strategies for minimizing children’s risk of social isolation and maladjustment.

Current PhD Students (supervion and co-supervision)

Alexandra Pinto

Representations of Bonding, Representations of Self and friendship quality: Relations and Inter-relations for Development. (FCT Grant)

Bruno Ferreira

The relation between mother and child bonding and the expression of affection in different contexts. (FCT Grant)

Carla Fernandes

The quality of Bonding and Social Skills development in pre-school children. (FCT Grant)

Marta Antunes

Social Skills and Theory of Mind. (FCT Grant)

Miguel Freitas

Bonding, the peer group and teenage friendship. (FCT Grant)

Orlando Santos

Quality of bonding with mother and father and reciprocal friendship in pre-school period. (FCT Grant)


João Daniel studied affiliative structures and social development in preschool children. João D. finished in 2010 and is actually a Post Doc at ISPA-Instituto Universitário


Inês Peceguina thesis tested a Hierarchical Model of Social Competence and the Stability of Social Competence Indicators with longitudinal Analyses. Inês finished in 2010 and is actually a Post Doc at ISCTE-IUL


João Correia PhD theses addressed the phenomena of Social Withdrawal and the protector role of Friendship in Young Adolescents. João C. deposed in 2013 and is actually working in the corporate world.