How to Become a Developmental Psychologist. The education required for a PhD in Developmental Psychology is extensive, as is the educational process from being an undergraduate to holding a master’s degree. The application process for a doctorate is also competitive, as it usually takes about two years to complete. While not required for employment, doctoral certification makes applicants more competitive for the same job.
There are several areas of specialization in clinical psychology. Because of the diversity in developmental psychology, doctoral programs in particular often incorporate areas like child and adolescent psychology, developmental neuropsychology, developmental counseling, or social and behavioral psychotherapy. In some instances, doctoral programs in a specific subfield combine theoretical knowledge with hands-on application to real cases. For example, child psychologists may require fieldwork, in-depth research, or case studies in order to be able to recommend intervention methods that will be most effective for a given client.
Some of the areas of specialization that are frequently sought are in the areas of cognitive and social development, childhood, early adolescence, and developmental psychology. These careers require an overall understanding of human development and mental health. A cognitive-developmental psychologist attempts to understand how various cognitive and emotional processes occur from early childhood through adolescence. Early childhood psychologists attempt to identify and describe the cognitive and emotional processes that occur before humans attain adulthood and enter the world outside of their homes. Early adolescence psychologists examine adolescence and explore the biological and environmental factors that may promote this developmental phase.
Many of the postgraduate studies required to attain a doctorate degree in Developmental Psychology also include extensive research in correctional facilities, school settings, and other institutions. Many developmentally disabled individuals end up in correctional facilities, which require a unique set of skills and knowledge to address the needs of these inmates. Secondary schools often integrate psychology into lesson plans and student activities to enhance social and emotional development. In some instances, developmentally disabled students are placed in remedial schooling, which is a non-credit program that addresses academic and social issues affecting developmentally disabled students.
A Much Ado
There are a number of ways to earn a PhD in Developmental Psychology. For those who are interested in completing an on-campus graduate program, a major is likely to be awarded upon graduation. The bachelor’s degree and several master’s degrees can be obtained through online learning programs. It is important to be aware that all programs may require that students have completed a year of post-baccalaureate study in addition to being awarded a master’s degree.
The primary way that graduates earn a PhD in Psychology is by enrolling in a master’s program. The bachelor’s degree requires a year of study as well and can be earned through on-campus or online learning. For those already employed in the field, the earning power can be great. A doctorate is earned by dissertation candidates who complete a minimum of three years of study. Some PhD holders become affiliated with a university or other professional organization.
There are many subdisciplines within developmental psychology that allow psychologists to examine children, couples, families, the aging population, and individuals of both sexes. A developmental psychologist can specialize in one of these or opt to explore various aspects of developmentally disabled persons and their environments. Within the past decade, there has been a large increase in the focus on working with those with developmental disabilities. There are numerous reasons for this focus. From studying autism, cerebral palsy, and mental retardation to studying bereavement and stress management, psychologists are exploring the various stages of human growth and development.
Psychology is an exciting career that allows individuals to help others when their lives are affected. A doctorate degree is a necessity to obtain employment in this field. Many secondary schools have doctorate programs to support students’ educations in this program. The Internet is a great source for locating information about doctorate degrees in psychology. There are numerous websites that offer information and guidance for students, parents, and teachers interested in this field. Online degrees can take less time to earn than the traditional ones.