They were treated the same — and even dressed the same — as grown-ups. The study of the psychological processes of children, and specifically, how these processes differ from those of adults, how they develop from birth to the end of adolescence, and how and why they differ from one child to the next, is a specialised branch of psychology known as child psychology. Child psychologists work with children and adolescents to diagnose and help resolve issues causing emotional or behavioural problems, such as learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, anxiety and depression.
They also evaluate children for developmental delays, signs of autism spectrum disorder and other problems that affect development. The study of child development is often divided into three broad areas: physical, cognitive, and social-emotional. Physical development, which generally occurs in a relatively stable, predictable sequence, refers to physical body changes and includes the acquisition of certain skills, such as gross-motor and fine-motor coordination. Cognitive or intellectual development , meanwhile, refers to the processes children use to gain knowledge and includes language, thought, reasoning, and imagination.
Because social and emotional development are so interrelated, these two areas are often grouped together. Development in one area can strongly influence that in another. For instance, writing words requires both fine-motor skills and cognitive language skills.
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And, just as research has made known the different areas of development, it also shows that development follows key patterns, or principles. Understanding these principles has had an enormous influence on how we care for, treat and educate children today. Knowing the milestones for different ages helps the psychologist understand normal child development and also aids in identifying potential problems with delayed development. For example, a child who is 12 months old can typically stand and support his or her weight by holding onto something.
Some children at this age can even walk. If a child reaches 18 months of age but still cannot walk, it might indicate a problem that needs further investigation. Child psychologists look at four main categories of milestones, which loosely follow the main developmental areas discussed above.
First, there are physical milestones, which pertain to the development of both the gross and fine motor skills. All children can be naughty, defiant and impulsive from time to time. These behaviours are a normal part of the growing-up process.
However, some children have extremely difficult and challenging behaviours that are outside the norm for their age. In fact, behavioural disorders are the most common reason that parents seek the help of child psychologists. In some cases, these behavioural issues are temporary problems due largely to stressful situations, such as the birth of a sibling , a divorce , or a death in the family. These three behavioural disorders share some common symptoms, and can be further exacerbated by emotional problems and mood disorders.
Child psychology involves looking at all possible roots to these behavioural issues, including brain disorders, genetics, diet, family dynamics and stress , and then treating them accordingly.
This complex process begins in infancy and continues into adulthood. Later, as children begin to develop a sense of self, more complex emotions like shyness, surprise, elation, embarrassment, shame, guilt, pride and empathy emerge. The things that provoke emotional responses also change, as do the strategies used to manage them.
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Emotionally reactive children also tend to get anxious more quickly and easily than other children. It is the work of the child psychologist, then, to identify the reasons the child is having difficulty expressing or regulating his or her emotions and to develop strategies to help him or her learn to accept feelings and understand the links between feelings and behaviour. Closely related to emotional development is social development. Stated simply, socialisation involves acquiring the values, knowledge and skills that enable children to relate to others effectively and to contribute in positive ways to family, school and the community.
Reasons to study psychology
Although the process begins shortly after birth and continues into adulthood, the age of early childhood is a crucial period for socialisation. One of the first and most important relationships children experience is with their parents or primary caregivers and the quality of this relationship has a significant effect on later social development. In peer relationships, children learn how to initiate and maintain social interactions with other children, acquiring skills for managing conflict , such as turn-taking, compromise, and bargaining.
Play also involves the mutual, sometimes complex, coordination of goals, actions, and understanding. Through these experiences, children develop friendships that provide additional sources of security and support to those provided by their parents. Factors that can contribute to an inability to develop age-appropriate social skills include everything from the amount of love and affection the child receives to the socio-economic status of the family. Children who fail to properly socialise have difficulty creating and maintaining satisfying relationships with others — a limitation many carry into adulthood.
Areas a psychologist will attempt to address when working with such children include curbing hostile or aggressive impulses and, instead, learning to self-express in socially appropriate ways; engaging in socially constructive actions such as helping, caring and sharing with others and developing a healthy sense of self. Thinking of a career in child psychology? For more information, click here. Click here to cancel reply.
What is Psychology?
Leave this field empty. Here is my friend: Socks for comfort now boys will see later. Did they come? The inner grocery had to take three sets of clips away. Speaking to him of intricate family affairs. Although the field of psychology is primarily concerned with humans, the behavior and mental processes of animals is also an important part of psychological research, either as a subject in its own right e. Personality psychology studies enduring psychological patterns of behavior, thought and emotion, commonly called an individual's personality.
Mainly focusing on the development of the human mind through the life span, developmental psychology seeks to understand how people come to perceive, understand, and act within the world and how these processes change as they age. Quantitative psychology involves the application of mathematical and statistical modeling in psychological research, and the development of statistical methods for analyzing and explaining behavioral data. Psychometrics is the field of psychology concerned with the theory and technique of psychological measurement, which includes the measurement of knowledge, abilities, attitudes, and personality traits.
Reference Terms. Psychology describes and attempts to explain consciousness, behavior, and social interaction. There are several branches of psychology. It is related to disciplines outside of psychology that study animal behavior, such as ethology. This may focus on intellectual, cognitive, neural, social, or moral development. Related Stories. Citing the extensive experience of coaches in working with many The data might help give teachers The results suggest that Parents and nonparents alike judged identical acts of a child's misbehavior and the In a recent study, researchers found a neurological relationship exists Stressed to the Max?
Neural excitation linked to shorter life, while suppression of overactivity Their research shows no gender difference in brain function or math