Child Psychology Course

Child Psychology Course

Child psychology deals with the study of the social, mental and emotional development of children right from birth through to adolescence. It covers changes that occur in cognitive development, motor skills, identity formation and language acquisition. This course is important as it provides you with an integral insight into child behavior and also provides you with basic knowledge of the different development cycles that children undergo.


Options available after completing the course:


The course on Child Psychology will empower you as a parent or a childcare professional with skills and knowledge that can be used so that the child can reach his or her potential. As it has been designed for persons without any prior knowledge of the subject, it is easy to understand you can take it at your own pace.

This course is useful to teachers, lecturers, teaching assistants and parents. You can continue your education and training if you wish for a career in child psychology, else it will be a very useful resource in your teaching line. Child psychologists have to work with a different range of clients’ right from toddlers and infants and even teens. Some child psychologists prefer to focus on a particular age group and specialise in them. They help in understanding, diagnosing, preventing and treatment of social, emotional and development issues.




The course is divided into two modules with ten units in each module. The first module looks at the major developmental issues while the second concentrates on the child as an individual.

Module 1

Major Developmental issues:

This module is sub-divided into ten units and concentrates on major developmental issues faced by children.

Unit 1: This will deal with the first year and look at the development of reflexes in infants. It will also look into the social development in the first year including the onset of fear of strangers and the social smile.


Unit 2: This unit deals with the formation of attachments and imprints. It looks at the Bowlby theory and other cross-cultural studies and touches upon Harlow and surrogacy. It will also explore the relevance of animal studies in child development.


Unit 3: Unit three dwells upon the consequences of the breakdown in attachments. It looks at maternal deprivation and also looks at the several implication of theories of attachment and maternal deprivation and the issues faced when a child is placed with surrogates.


Unit 4: This unit deals with the home, school and family and its effect on a child. It looks at differences between group and family care. It will also look into various studies that explore the effects of father absent and maternal employment families and also the importance of siblings and peers in child development.


Unit 5: Unit 5 looks at the basic principles of research methods in child psychology. It will explore the nature and purpose of research, definition of an experiment, refuting and supporting the hypothesis, dependent and independent variables and their controls and standardising procedures and instructions. This unit will also look into the various methods of sampling and the design of investigations.

Unit 6:  Concentrating on visual perception, this unit will introduce you to the nature/nurture debate on visual perception. It will walk through Fantz’s work on form perception and Gibson and Walk’s work on depth perception. It will also explore how the physiology of the visual system in humans helps us in judging both depth and distance. It will also cover Bower’s work in the field of size constancy and animal experiments on early sensory deprivation.


Unit 7: This unit will focus on the development of communication and role of languages. It will look into the development and importance of non-verbal communication in humans like gestures and compare it with other non-human primates. It will look into the development of language in humans and explore naturalistic observations in humans by looking into various naturalistic studies and their criticisms and explore reinforcement and innate theories.


Unit 8: Unit 8 deals with concepts of intelligence and intelligence testing. It looks at the various definitions of intelligence and the relation between mental age and IQ. It will look at various intelligence tests and also explore the advantages and disadvantages of IQ testing.


Unit 9: We will explore the nature/ nurture debate in the study of intelligence, the twin studies as well as the stability of IQ. This unit also raises the fundamental question as to whether early experiences are decisive for later stage development.


Unit 10: We look at different methods of data collection and their interpretation. It will explore tables and histograms and correlation and scattergrams. We will look into mean and range and learn how to draw relevant conclusions from data.

Module 2

This module looks at the child as an individual. The module is divided into ten units.

Unit 11: We will learn how children think. We will look at Piaget’s theory of cognitive development and also his studies of egocentrism and the various criticisms of his work.


Unit 12: This unit will explore the learning theory about how behavior is acquired. We will look into learning and conditioning and also into distinct differences between classical conditioning and operant conditioning. The unit includes explanations of extinction like generalisation and discrimination; the role of positive and negative reinforcement, the social learning theory and its criticisms.


Unit 13: This unit is devoted to the study of Freud’s Psychodynamic theory as an alternative approach. It studies the personality structure, the 5-stage theory and its criticisms.


Unit 14: We concentrate on moral development and its definition in psychological terms. It will look into the investigation of moral behavior, moral feelings and moral judgement.


Unit 15: Unit 15 will explore the development of Gender roles, sex-typing, the gender identity and also look into the biological, cultural and social theories that explore this aspect.


Unit 16: We will learn about aggression in children, the biological basis of aggression as well as the psychological theory and aggression. We will explore how aggression can be a learned response, about imitation of aggression and how viewing of violence can affect aggression levels. We will also study differences in aggression on gender basis and also see the effects of punishment on aggression.


Unit 17: We will explore the different methods used in child development research like observational, survey, experimental and correlational and look at their relative advantages and disadvantages.


Unit 18: We will look into the importance of play to learning and explore Piaget’s theory of play. We will look into the different forms of play and their effect on learning. You will also get to explore the relevance of psychological theories to pre-school education; learning and play in nursery schools as well as play therapy.


Unit 19: We will look at learning in school and explore programmed learning and also its relationship to the learning theory. We will look at the various advantages and disadvantages of this approach. We also get to look at discovery learning and also its effectiveness.


Unit 20: This deals with behavior modification along with explanation and examples. We will explore the relationship to the learning theory and also learn about the points system and its advantages and disadvantages.