Introduction to Child Psychology
This lecture addresses historical views on the child. There is an exploration of the ideas surrounding the definition of children by culture, society and the law. Following this discussion, there is an examination of the methods, language and practice of child psychology. The lecture also addresses how psychology studies children and the sensitivities of assessing and studying this age group.
Physical Development & Attachment
This lecture charts the physical development of the child from conception to birth and the development of the infant to 2 years of age. The lecture also introduces the concept of ‘attachment’ and describes the different attachment styles that develop between an infant and the primary caregiver.
The Emergence of Mind: Consciousness, Cognition and Language
Cognitive psychology refers to the study of how humans access information in the world, how that information is stored and finally how it is used. The linking of cognitive psychology to the study of children is one of the most important steps in child psychology. The lecture develops to examine language as one of the most important abilities for human beings, facilitating a wide range of activities including thinking and communication.
This lecture addresses the world of the child in relation to the family and the peer group. The child’s social development is heavily influenced by parental ideas, attitudes and beliefs. The lecture will examine practical aspects of the social world linking to issues of attachment. Practical matters such as children’s experiences of separate are examined.
Aggressive Behaviour and Bullying
An important aspect of the social world of the child is aggressive behaviour and the phenomenon of bullying. This lecture examines current psychological theories and research on aggression and bullying as well as anti-bullying interventions. It considers these behaviours from the perspectives of both the bully and the victim.
Intelligence & Attainment
The concept of intelligence is a controversial issue in child psychology in terms child and adult performance. The issue of whether intelligence is the product of nature or nurture is contentious. This section examines these debates and then charts the link between intelligence and attainment. One of the practical areas for child psychologists is in the area of schooling and education. The lecture also introduces the role of educational psychologists and how they are involved in best practice.
Educational Psychology and Children with Special Needs
One of the practical areas for child psychology is education. Educational Psychology is concerned with schooling, the curriculum and the school environment and identifying children with special needs or talents with reference to best practice for their education. This lecture addresses roles and functions of an educational psychologist and extends into practical issues concerning developmental delay and special needs. This section examines how special needs are defined and evaluated and outlines psychological programmes and interventions in the field.
Child Psychology and Psychopathology
Studying child psychology contributes greatly to our understanding of problematic or maladaptive behaviour. Clinical Child Psychology is concerned with diagnosis and intervention in relation to problematic and destructive behaviour. The lecture will examine classification, diagnosis and intervention on psychopathology. It will also draw on previous learning to examine the risk and causation factors of childhood psychopathology.
Ecology of Development: Context and Ireland
This lecture looks at psychological theories emphasising the importance of ‘context’ on development. It deconstructs the different environments and the influences of these various environments on the developing child. The place of children in Irish society is a core aspect of this lecture.