An Introduction to Child Psychology
Psychology is a rather large subject, which encompasses the behaviour of people in different age groups and under different circumstances. It is the study of the mind and human behaviour. It is an applied science that seeks to understand individuals and groups through research and establishing different principles. Children's psychology, often known as developmental psychology, is a major branch of psychology. It is the scientific study of how humans change throughout their lives, mainly concerned with infants and children. However, the subject has also grown to encompass adolescence, adult development, ageing and even the entire life span! Some of the chief areas that child psychology deals with are abnormal, social and developmental psychology.
However, child psychology focuses on children's emotional and behavioural problems as they develop from infancy through puberty.
Childhood is a long phase of one's life, which constantly involves change and learning. It involves both mental and physical learning. Many problems, such as behavioural or emotional disorders, are addressed in childhood. So, to study their behaviour, child psychology practitioners may place the child in a clinical setting (suitable environment) to observe their behaviour. It is thus easier to identify problem areas and suggest constructive ways to modify or divert behavioural problems.
Main Role of Child Psychologists
Child psychologists are professionals or specialists in their subject who operate in a variety of settings. Some of these areas include being a child counsellor, an academic and social programs advisor or even a researcher in the study of the branch.
They have already studied many different possible issues such as how a child learns, the impact of the environment on a child’s behaviour and how behavioural problems manifest. However, children are unpredictable and difficult to research.
A child will encounter plenty of behavioural and emotional issues while growing up, during their childhood, preteen years, teenage years, and even into adolescence. A child psychologist's job and duty are to advise these youngsters whenever difficulties arise, and they may be obliged to counsel the kid's family members as well.
However, the principal or rather primary focus of counselling would be more on the emotional issues that the child faces. These child psychologists may even hold a doctorate that they may have earned in either counselling or clinical child psychology.
Functions of child psychology
One may wonder what the actual purpose of child psychology is and how it can help. Child psychology is essential. It focuses on providing emotional support and coping skills for children with behavioural problems.
Duration: Depending on the severity and nature of the issue, a child psychologist may decide to work with a child for a specified number of weeks or even months. However, this is subjective. During the assessment time, the child psychologist would try to collect and gather all the possible information they can to understand and identify the behavioural and emotional problems faced by the child.
They may then develop a constructive pattern to cope with the issue by setting objectives. Some of the goals that a child may work on may involve many constructive goals, such as replacing destructive emotional behaviour with healthier and far more constructive.
However, many a time, children may also have psychological disorders during their early adolescent years. They would be recommended to a child psychiatrist or physician to be evaluated and for medical treatment in such cases. The number of children requiring professional psychiatric help has risen dramatically. There is also a separate area of child psychology for those children who have physical or learning disabilities or have special needs.
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