Online Class: Introduction to Child Psychology

An online course introducing the methods, theories and main concepts used by psychologists to develop a real insight into the world of children.

no certificate
- OR -
with CEU Certificate*
Start Right Now!
$120.00 (with CEU Certificate)
Taking multiple courses? Save with our platinum program.
  • 11
  • 12
    Exams &
  • 4,738
    have taken this course
  • 7
    average time
  • 0.7

Course Description

In an era where the nuances of child development are gaining increasing attention, understanding child psychology becomes paramount. This course offers a deep dive into the methodologies, theories, and pivotal concepts leveraged by experts to gain comprehensive insights into a child's universe.

The significance of child psychology extends beyond academic interest. It's foundational in discerning and establishing developmental norms, which play a pivotal role in influencing effective parenting strategies, pedagogical methods, and communication techniques.

One of the fascinating revelations of child psychology is the inherent difference in how children perceive, process, and react to situations compared to adults. Their cognitive, emotional, and reasoning faculties are in stages of growth, making their interactions with the world unique. For instance, consider a traumatic event like the loss of a pet. While an adult might process grief with a certain acceptance of life's realities, a child might manifest prolonged sadness, repeated questions about death, or even guilt, thinking they could have done something to prevent it.

The profound knowledge acquired from studying child psychology allows us to tailor our interactions to resonate with children's developmental stages, thereby fostering healthier, more constructive relationships. It aids in mitigating crises, enriching daily interactions, and positioning children for a well-rounded adulthood. Moreover, understanding child psychology is indispensable when advocating for children from challenging backgrounds or traumatic experiences.

This course, while academically rigorous, is designed to cater to a diverse audience. Whether you're a budding psychologist, a professional aiming to work with children, or someone simply intrigued by the intricacies of child development, this curriculum offers valuable insights.

Dive into Lesson 1: The Concept of Childhood, which sets the stage by delving into the historical and contemporary perspectives of childhood, juxtaposing how societal views have shifted over time.

Lesson 2: Early Biological Factors in Child Psychology offers an exploration of the genetic, hormonal, and neurological factors that influence a child's psyche from the earliest stages.

Venture into the Major Schools of Child Psychology in Lesson 3. Here, you'll trace the evolution of thought, understanding the foundational theories that have shaped our current knowledge.

Lessons 4 to 6 dissect seminal theories of cognitive and social development, from Piaget's groundbreaking insights into how children think and learn, to Vygotsky's emphasis on socio-cultural influences, and Erikson's illuminative stages of psychosocial growth.

Delving deeper, Lesson 7 centers on the mesmerizing journey of language acquisition, while Lesson 8's Nature versus Nurture debate offers a balanced view of this age-old discussion, fortified with modern research findings.

Lesson 9 emphasizes the pivotal role of family dynamics, illustrating how familial relationships mold a child's psychological framework. Moving into practical realms, Lesson 10: Applied Child Psychology showcases real-world applications of theoretical knowledge.

Concluding with Lesson 11, the course demystifies psychological testing tailored for children, emphasizing its significance in detecting developmental deviations and ensuring holistic growth.

You needn't be a seasoned scholar to engage with this course, but a curiosity about the intricate tapestry of child psychology will certainly enrich your experience. With no prerequisites, this course offers all resources, including lessons and netlinks, ensuring a seamless learning journey. Dive in, and unlock a world where you can make transformative differences in young lives.

Course Motivation

Childhood Through the Ages: From Miniature Adults to Distinct Individuals

Childhood, often seen as an innocent phase of life with minimal responsibilities, is a relatively recent societal construct. Historically, children were perceived quite differently.

During the early Middle Ages, children were treated as miniature adults. The infant stage was marked by practical care rather than deep affection. Unlike today's often intense parent-child bond, past relationships were diluted by large family sizes and an emphasis on shared responsibilities. The proverb "It takes a village to raise a child" rings true as children were largely left to fend for themselves. Upon surpassing infancy, which could extend up to six years, the expectation was for children to swiftly transition into adulthood.

Class and Childhood

Historically, children's experiences varied dramatically across classes. For example:

  • Nobility: Children were initiated early into adult roles. At age seven, they could be pledged to arranged marriages. Boys could serve as squires, possibly even witnessing battlefields firsthand.

  • Farmers and Serfs: Children were workforce assets. From a tender age, they toiled in fields, not out of neglect but necessity. Play and fantasy were luxuries, replaced by the hard truths of survival.

  • Merchants: This class perhaps enjoyed the longest "childhood". Absent from societal pressures faced by the nobility or the labor requirements of farming families, many merchant children received extended schooling. This allowed for peer interactions, play, and a paced maturation.

Industrial Shifts

The 19th century's industrialization drastically reshaped childhood. Initially, children filled labor needs in factories and mines. However, as industrial efficiency grew, child labor demand reduced. This led to an establishment of public schools to both educate and discipline the now "free" youth.

Moreover, labor reforms emerged, with legal age and hour limits set for working children. While upper classes embraced these changes, viewing them as opportunities for home education and deeper parent-child connections, the lower classes, facing economic strains, resisted.

The Evolution of Family Structure

Cultural norms influence family structures, which in turn impact child psychology. After the World Wars, the West witnessed the rise of the nuclear family – a compact unit of parents and children. By the 1950s, it was the prevalent family model, particularly in the U.S., with an unprecedented focus on childhood.

However, by the late 20th century, societal shifts — economic changes, increasing divorces, and diverse family structures — began eroding the nuclear family's dominance. Currently, no singular family structure dominates in the U.S., necessitating a broader understanding of childhood from psychologists.

As society began recognizing childhood as separate from adulthood, a surge in interest to study child psychology emerged. This has resulted in invaluable insights into the unique intellectual and emotional facets of childhood.

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.5 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(3,126 votes)

Lesson 1. The Concept of Childhood

This lesson discusses the differences in the perception of children from the Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution. 20 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2. Early Biological Factors in Child Psychology

This lesson focuses on the developments in the embryonic stage and genetic and drug related defects. 17 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3. Major Schools of Child Psychology

This lesson describes different child psychology theorists and the criticisms of each. 13 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4. Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

This lesson discusses Piaget's theories of cognitive development in children. Additional lesson topics: Jean Piaget 22 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5. Vygotsky's Theory of Social Cognitive Development

This lesson examines Vygotsky's theory of children's development through social interactions. 16 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6. Erikson's Eight Stages of Development

This lesson explains Erikson's, "Eight stages of man," from birth to death. 18 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Child Development Theories
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7. Development of Language

This lesson focuses on the different stages of speech and language development. 19 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Lesson discussions: First Words
  • Assessment: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8. Nature versus Nurture

This lesson discusses the genetic and environmental influences to child development. 18 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Nature or Nurture
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9. Family Dynamics and Child Psychology

This lesson discusses the importance of birth order and the affects of divorce or a loss of a parent on a child. 21 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10. Applied Child Psychology

This lesson focuses on the importance of providing an enriched and interactive environment to help a child develop positive self esteem. 16 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 10 Exam

Lesson 11. Psychological Testing and Children

This lesson describes the different types of tests to determine psychological or developmental issues in children. 11 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Lesson discussions: How would you rate this course?; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course); Course Comments
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define what child psychology is.
  • Recognize early biological factors in child psychology.
  • Describe the major schools of child psychology.
  • Summarize Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development.
  • Summarize Vygotsky's Theory of Sociocognitive Development.
  • Define Erikson's Eight Stages of Development.
  • Describe the processes of the development of language.
  • Define nurture.
  • Summarize the affect of family dynamics on child psychology.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Introduction to Child Psychology
Course Number: 33248
Lessons Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars (3,126 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas.
Last Updated: October 2023
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 0.7 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $120.00 U.S. dollars

Choose Your Subscription Plan

Course Only
One Course
No Certificate / No CEUs
for 6 months
Billed once
This course only
Includes certificate X
Includes CEUs X
Self-paced Yes
Instructor support Yes
Time to complete 6 months
No. of courses 1 course
Certificate Course
One Course
Certificate & CEUs
for 6 months
Billed once
This course only
Includes certificate Yes
Includes CEUs Yes
Self-paced Yes
Instructor support Yes
Time to complete 6 months
No. of courses 1 course
Platinum Yearly
Certificates & CEUs
per year
Billed once
Includes all 600+ courses
Includes certificate Yes
Includes CEUs Yes
Self-paced Yes
Instructor support Yes
Time to complete 12 Months
No. of courses 600+
Platinum 2 Years
Certificates & CEUs
for 2 years
You save $79.00!
Billed once
Includes all 600+ courses
Includes certificate Yes
Includes CEUs Yes
Self-paced Yes
Instructor support Yes
Time to complete 24 Months
No. of courses 600+

Student Testimonials

  • "He was very informative, full of good advice." -- Joyce S.
  • "I loved the course, and instructor is well organized, expert, and helpful. Thank you" -- Golam G.
  • "I believe that each chapter offered a great deal of information, and excellent links to get more material on the that chapter." -- Golam G.

Related Courses