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What is Child Psychology?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Child psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on children from infancy through adolescence. A wide variety of topics within psychology are encompassed by this discipline, including abnormal psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, and so forth. A specialist who focuses on children is known as a child psychologist, and he or she may work as a counselor, a researcher in studies designed to help people understand children better, or as an adviser to academic and social programs which deal with children.

A huge scope of issues is addressed in child psychology. Psychologists study how children learn, how various behaviors develop, the impact of environment on developing children, and many other topics. Children make difficult and sometimes controversial study subjects, because they cannot grant consent in the same way adults do, and studies must be carefully constructed as a result.

There are many forms of applied child psychology, in which a psychologist actively works with children. The professional might provide services to special needs children, helping kids with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, and other issues, for example. Child psychologists also assist children who are psychologically troubled with counseling, therapy, and recommendations to psychiatrists who may be able to prescribe medications and other treatments. Others may develop instruction plans designed to help children learn effectively, or work with those who are experiencing psychological trauma like the loss of a parent, a sudden move, a war, or a natural disaster.

Topics in psychiatric research are equally diverse. Many people are interested in how humans mature, from infancy through old age, and many of these researchers study child psychology. Looking at when children acquire language, how children learn about the world, and how they develop personal morals can provide interesting clues into human nature. The emotional development of children is as interesting as their physical development, and many people are intrigued by the breakthrough moments in child development, like the moment when children become self-aware, or the time at which they start to distinguish between right and wrong.

Someone who wishes to study this field usually starts at the undergraduate level, taking basic introductory psychology classes and moving into the field of child psychology specifically. Depending on whether the student wants to pursue applied psychology or research, he or she may take graduate courses and pursue certification that allows the student to work with patients. Employment in this field is very diverse, and compensation tends to be quite favorable.

Most people in this field also pick a specific age range to focus on, such as adolescent psychology or infant development. Because children grow and change so rapidly, selecting a specific range to study allows for a greater depth of knowledge. People can also choose to delve into specific topics, like abnormal psychology, psychopharmacology, educational psychology, and psychopathology, among others.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon272336 — On May 31, 2012

I have completed my intermediate. I had done M.E.C in my my intermediate and now I want get a BA in psychology, as I have a lot of interest in the subject. Please help me know more about the subject.

By rajbir — On Jun 15, 2011

I am pursuing m.sc child development. for further education, i want to do any course from abroad (australia) related to this field so can you please suggest to me any diploma course of guidance and counseling?

By anon163129 — On Mar 26, 2011

I had hoped this would be common sense, but if you want expert and reliable advice, get off of the internet and make some phone calls. That's what psychology departments at universities are for. If you couldn't figure that out on your own, you should probably find a different field.

By mbcounsellor — On Mar 20, 2011

@Dees: I am a child counselor and child psychologist, myself.

I deal with psychological and every type of problem with children. I counsel parents and teachers, also.

By anon158421 — On Mar 07, 2011

i am post graduate (public administration). i have interest in psychology, especially child psychology. i wish to further my course in this field and need expert advice.

By anon154861 — On Feb 22, 2011

i want to follow a degree in child psychology. please be kind enough to give me some details about it.

By anon138677 — On Jan 02, 2011

i want to study child pyschology. where do i start from?

By anon138310 — On Dec 31, 2010

how to describe child psychology to a preschool teacher? I need this information to write an assignment.

By anon109985 — On Sep 10, 2010

I have been thinking about for a long time and am determined to help children with their problems in becoming a child psychologist. How do I go about getting started and what is the best way? your advice will be a great help. Thanks.

By anon107307 — On Aug 29, 2010

I am determined to be a child psychologist. I'm in my first year of college right now for psychology. I'm wondering if there are certain classes that i should be taking to further my career.

By anon98782 — On Jul 24, 2010

I wanted to present an article about "What is Child psychology". Please help me to do so and i also have to make a speech to the parents of my school in this regard. Anticipating a favorable response. Thank you.

By anon90488 — On Jun 16, 2010

i want to make a presentation in child psychology. please tell me the whole thing about it soon.

By anon83316 — On May 10, 2010

This site is pretty cool. I'm a junior in high school and want to help abused children.

By anon83057 — On May 09, 2010

thanks a lot. I am in my first year of college and am trying to pursue a career in psychology. This website was very helpful.

By anon77802 — On Apr 15, 2010

thank you for the help. i got a lot of help from your website

By anon77799 — On Apr 15, 2010

I thank you for the help. I'm doing a project for my seniors and need a little help.

By anon67757 — On Feb 26, 2010

i love little kids. I'm a senior this year and go to college to work with abused children. Thanks for the info. Now i can do my senior paper.

By anon62657 — On Jan 27, 2010

I'm doing a science fair project on this and i need a easybib for the website!

By anon56861 — On Dec 17, 2009

I am retired law enforcement. I would like to become a child advocate in the criminal justice system. Can you direct me to some reading to aid me in my decision?

By anon54359 — On Nov 29, 2009

Im doing a science fair project on this. I need help.

By anon52357 — On Nov 13, 2009

can you please tell me the methods studying child psychology. for an assignment.

By anon44853 — On Sep 11, 2009

I am a graduate with a Bachelors degree in Early Years Education, and am interested in studying child psychology or educational psychology at the masters level.

How do I go about this and where can I study this course in London?

By anon38863 — On Jul 28, 2009

Can you please tell me the methods used in studying child psychology. I want this information to write an assignment.

By anon34087 — On Jun 17, 2009

*Thank u*, I got a lot of information on child psychology. i'm very much interested in psychology. i'm now doing my graduation with the specialisation of literature and psychology. i'm a little bit confused what to take to become a professional. please help me out.

By anon33775 — On Jun 11, 2009

i am a graduate with a bachelor of education degree in arts with specialisation in english and history. i have interest in psychology, especially child psychology. i wish to further my course in this field and need expert advice.

By anon20448 — On Oct 31, 2008

Can you please tell me the methods studying Child Psychology. I want this information to write an assignment.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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