This course has briefly introduced you to some of the main ideas that are central to child psychology, with a particular focus on early development. Child psychology tries to describe and explain all aspects of child development, including changes in children’s cognitive, social and physical development, and to understand and support children experiencing delays in their development. Some of the dominant theories about children’s development have been introduced; competing explanations focus on development within the individual as against development influenced by the wider social and cultural environment. These theories often seek to answer a number of important psychological questions, which include explaining how change occurs, the role of the socio-cultural environment and how children shape their own individual development. These can often influence the kinds of applied work that psychologists carry out, such as in clinical or educational settings.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course.