What is child psychology? It is a field of psychology that studies the behavior and characteristics of children from birth through adolescence. Child psychologists also study how children interact with their parents, other children, and society in general to better understand their psychological development. There are many areas of psychology that are concerned with the development of children. They include developmental medicine, developmental schooling, developmental psychology, and pre-school literature analysis.
There are many successful child psychologists throughout history that have given us some wonderful ideas on how to raise children. Many of these child psychologists focus in particular on specific aspects of child psychology including: intelligence, temperament, and learning styles. These areas of study often include how parents can facilitate intelligent and well-rounded children. Some of the ways successful child psychologists have applied their research include:
Intelligence. Intelligence is an important part of child psychology. This refers to a person’s level of ability to learn and achieve. A child psychologist will look at your child and determine their IQ by conducting testing such as the Wechsler intelligence scale test and/or IQ tests designed for children. This will help the child psychologist determine what areas of cognitive development your child has and what areas they need more time or attention.
Temperament. Child psychology experts look at each personality type in relation to their strengths and weaknesses and come up with a general temperament score. This is then combined with the child psychologist’s knowledge of the different behaviors and developmental levels to produce a college student’s level of aptitude for college-level courses such as the GRE.
Social Development. The social and emotional aspects of child development are also studied. A good example of this is how the parents and family interact with the child, including interaction with friends, peers and extended family. In addition, these psychologists look at how the child develops relationships with extended families during and after the early years of childhood through adolescence.
Adolescent psychology. Adolescent psychology is more concerned with questions about human growth and development from childhood through adulthood. This is also the stage when most people begin to choose careers and pursue schooling. Unlike preadolescent psychology, which is more concerned with developing social skills and coping with peer groups, adolescent psychology deals more with introspection and self-discovery. One of the main goals of adolescent psychology is to provide children and their families with strategies for self-discovery and self-identification. Many of the most successful child psychologists throughout history have been adolescents.
Clinical Child Psychology. Child psychologists are not limited to just clinical psychology. Some are actually licensed to work with patients who have a range of other conditions, such as ADHD, depression and anxiety disorders. Some specialize in working with children who have Asperger’s syndrome or similar conditions. In addition to working with children, some pediatricians choose to add these specific areas of expertise to their medical practice. Pediatricians and other practitioners of clinical child psychology may work with infants and toddlers through teens and adults.
These are just three areas of specialization within the field of child psychology. There are many more, all based on a different aspect of psychology. The goal is to help parents understand how their child works, why they behave the way they do, and how to help them become happier and healthier. All parents deserve to know the truth, and to have the best chance at raising a happy and emotionally healthy child. If you suspect your child may be struggling with any of these areas, you should see a professional as soon as possible.
This is an important branch of psychology. Child psychologists study the biological basis of human behavior from the very earliest stages of life. By understanding what happens at this very early age, they can better understand the processes that shape the adult human mind. Understanding the process of human evolution is another important aspect of this exciting field, since the human mind itself has changed throughout history.
Child psychologists earn a doctorate, but some choose to continue their education by becoming professors or teaching at a university. Many psychologists also find employment as counselors in schools or hospitals. Some choose to travel the world to interview and treat patients abroad.
As you can see, the field of child psychology has a wide variety of options for those interested in it. If you’re interested in becoming involved in helping young patients with mental development issues, you could turn to clinical or private practice, or even work for a laboratory. Alternately, if you’re interested in studying the causes of crime and helping to prevent crime, you might consider studying forensic child psychology. No matter which path you take, you can be certain that child psychologists will be an integral part of the psychological community for years to come.