What Does A Child Psychology Degree Accomplish

child psychology and child development

The difference between child psychology and child development really is in the developmental focus of each discipline. Child psychology deals more with understanding the biological underpinnings of human development, while child development more closely focuses on nurturing techniques and skills needed for healthy child development. When we talk of child psychology and development, we are generally referring to psychological issues that affect children before they go into kindergarten and are considered normal by most educators. Child psychologists deal more with problems such as anxiety, moods swings, and emotional meltdowns than they do development issues. Developmental psychology generally focuses more on how children learn to get along in a school environment and adapt to their peers and family members.

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Both child psychology and developmental psychology deal with emotional and behavioral issues that emerge throughout the toddler years and continue well into middle childhood and adolescence. Experts have noted the interconnectivity of these three areas of study over the years. Developmental psychology focuses on understanding why children behave as they do, what makes them feel good or bad, how they learn to interact with others, how they memory and learn to learn from their environment. Child psychologists study these behaviors and their neurological processes and attempts to find explanations for them beyond basic biology. As one psychologist put it: “You can’t ask a child what they want to be when you don’t know why they’re asking or why they’re acting a certain way.”

Child psychologists attempt to answer these questions by studying behaviour, temperament, cognitive development, social skills and emotional behaviour. They use a variety of methods, including interviews with parents, structured questioning and exclusion criteria based on established behavioural criteria. Once a thorough analysis has been conducted, the child psychologist will create an intervention plan that will help the child and family to deal with behaviour and circumstances that challenge their stability and coping skills. Often the intervention plan will include an educational intervention, family therapy or a combination of these and other techniques. Some developmental psychologists are critical of all these methods, claiming that there is too much scepticism and that parents need a scientific and rational approach to child development and behavioural problems. They maintain that behaviour and emotional problems are often the result of unhelpful environmental conditions and that it is parents’ efforts to improve the conditions in which their children grow and flourish that will ultimately resolve most behaviour issues.

Debate About The Validity Of Child Psychology

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There is much debate between people about the validity of child psychology and its relationship to wider theories of causation, chance and evolution. Proponents of scientific behaviour-based theory maintain that parents have the ability and power to shape the outcomes of their children, particularly those from low-income families. This may result in a better-adjusted child who is more capable of navigating society and interacting with other people. Opponents argue that there is no direct link between income and child behaviour, pointing out that wealthy parents have also been found to be highly effective at parenting.

Many psychologists are of the opinion that child psychology and developmental psychology should not be seen as two separate subjects. While there is some overlap in their areas of interest, they work more often in different fields, with each aiming to support and promote healthy child development. For example, developmental psychologists often deal with issues such as the development of the child’s self-esteem and confidence, as well as how they interact with siblings and teachers. Some psychologists who are followers of socio-emotional theory believe that children are influenced by people around them and that poor family and community relationships lead to negative behaviour.

Child Psychology Supports Social Development

Child psychologists who subscribe to the strong view that children are affected more by their environment than by any external forces seek to use findings of child psychology to support social development. They work towards building a child’s capacity for personal, social and emotional well being. These experts strive to prevent social, emotional and psychological problems before they arise. They recommend a healthy way of life for the child, whereby they learn to face and overcome the challenges that may come their way. These experts also aim to help the child develop and grow spiritually and learn to understand his or her true self.


Developmental psychology is an exciting career that requires you to apply yourself creatively and productively. You must possess a broad range of skills, including creativity, communication, social awareness and decision-making. In addition to your academic qualifications, you will need to have a master’s degree, doctoral qualification or professional credentials. As there are many areas in which you can focus your studies, you can choose to specialise in any of these areas. A child psychology degree can be a useful stepping stone to a rewarding career.

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