What Is Child Psychology?

Child psychology is that branch of psychology that delves on the behavior of children, from infancy to adolescence. It studies the physical, mental, emotional and social development of children. It acknowledges the fact that children have their own minds and that they are not simply little versions of adults. This field of psychology is concerned with the different areas of child development. It looks at their growth and development, how upbringing in the home and the school play a role in the development of behaviors and other relevant topics.

Each stage of maturity in humans is a very fascinating process and child psychologists are the professionals who strive to understand and study the different stages of children as they grow and mature. They look at how children are able to learn about the world in general and understand situations like how they are able to learn a language in particular. They also study about awareness in children and seek to understand when and how they are able to develop concepts of right and wrong.

Child psychology also looks at the behavior of children from different contexts. For example, it puts children against the backdrop of the people they socialize with. The members of the family, their primary caregivers and their friends are all part of the social context that children grow up in. Child psychologists understand that these relationships all play a role in the growth and development of children. They also look at the values and customs that children are reared with. The cultural context in which a child comes to understand the world will have a bearing on their relationship with their parents or even how they are cared for and given the basic necessities. Child psychology also looks at the social class in which children grew up in. The context of children’s socioeconomic status will play a very important role in the shaping of their behaviors since those who belong to the upper economic class in society do have more access to better healthcare, education and nutrition than those who are classed in the lower tier of society. This inevitably results to more opportunities to children in the upper rungs of the socioeconomic ladder than those who aren’t as fortunate in their social and economic backgrounds.

Clinical child psychology is a subfield of child psychology that provides psychological services to children in their social context. The professional clinical psychologists who specialize in this field understand that the young have psychological needs that must be fulfilled. They also know that the socio-emotional development and adjustment of children and the family have a bearing on a child’s overall development.

Clinical child psychologists study, evaluate and treat children suffering from biological, psychological and social issue. They help children who are biologically vulnerable or are dealing with developmental problems. They also help those who are diagnosed with cognitive problems and mental disorders. They may also work with kids who are having a difficult time coping with the loss of a parent or have witnessed a violent crime. They also work with children who are dealing with stress in their new environments.

To help children suffering from various psychological and social problems, child psychologists use different kinds of assessment methods like testing and psychological evaluation. After ascertaining what the problem is, they employ intervention programs like behavior management or psychotherapy, among others, to help the child cope. At the institutional level, child psychologists working in schools and government agencies may also design programs that prevent bullying, teenage pregnancies and other problems that lead to psychological, behavioral and emotional issues in children.

Career Spotlight: Child Psychologist

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