Child Psychology explores the development of perception, communication, learning, memory, decision-making, persuasion, emotions, and social behavior in children. It also refers to the application of psychological techniques to this age group. The topic encompasses an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complexities of child development, and the various factors that influence it.
Child Psychology studies can do more than shed light on childcare misconceptions and ineffective parenting strategies—the subject is also critically important to understanding how human development progresses into adulthood. Particularly, Child Psychology is essential when used to foster resilience in children at risk. Learners who successfully apply Child Psychology concepts will be able to help children overcome traumatic experiences, thus increasing their likelihood to thrive in life.
According to research published by Columbia University, mental health issues can start early in a child’s life. Child Psychologists are essential to giving these children the care they need, as well as a number of other careers available to Child Psychology learners. These include School Psychologist, Developmental Psychologist, Academic Researcher, Family Therapist, Juvenile Offender Counselor, Child Mental Health Liaison, and many other professions focusing on the wellbeing of children.
Child Psychology courses provided through Coursera highlight researchers from various disciplines and backgrounds, and how they study child development. Learners get a glimpse into these scientists’ fields of knowledge, illustrating how the theories learned translate into practice.
Learners can also explore how trauma affects children and the systems they depend on. Diving in further, learners will gain insight into core concepts, research methods, and lessons learned in the last 50 years of resilience research, in addition to how this research is being applied in the real world through interventions that promote resilience. Learners will also have the opportunity to engage in discussions with others who are working with children at risk around the world.
Any experience with children may help you prepare to study child psychology. Whether you're a nanny, a teacher, a counselor, or anyone else who works with children on a personal or professional level, you may have more insight into how they behave and how their minds work. Even if your experience with children is simply being a parent or older sibling, you'll have a leg up on others who study child psychology. Any type of background in psychology may be helpful too. This could include courses you've taken in the past at the high school or college levels, or it may include internships or actual clinical experience.
People who want to better understand children's learning patterns, children's behaviors, or the ways a child's environment impacts them are best suited for a role in child psychology. This could be a parent or grandparent who wants to help their own children. It could be a teacher or nanny who works with children with unique needs and wants tools to help the children within their care thrive. You may be a school counselor, therapist, or child psychologist who is interested in learning more about a specialty within your field. If you're a critical thinker and a good communicator, and you're enthusiastic about helping children with special needs, learning disabilities, or trauma, you're likely suited for a role in the field of child psychology.
Learning child psychology is right for you if you want to help children. No matter your role in a child's life, by learning child psychology, you can help them overcome or learn to live with a traumatic past, a learning disability, or a psychological disorder. You may become a better parent, teacher, or therapist. You can learn more about specific areas of childhood disorders, like autism or dealing with ADHD. You should also consider studying child psychology if you're interested in learning how today's children and the ways in which they think will impact the future of the world.