What is Child Psychology?

Child psychologists may work with a range of clients including infants, toddlers, children and teens, or they may specialize in working with a particular age group. No matter what population a child psychologist chooses, his or her focus will be on helping understand, prevent, diagnose and treat developmental, cognitive, social and emotional issues. (The mental characteristics or attitude of a person or group.)


The educational psychologist may decide to do some of the following:

  • Observe your child in familiar situations.
  • Work or play with your child, using a range of tasks and materials. The psychologist may also try out methods of teaching your child certain skills.
  • Find out, wherever possible, your child’s views about his or her educational progress and any things that are causing concern.
  • Use a range of tests. These can help to get an objective picture of some of your child’s skills and allow comparison with others of the same age.


What are the Requirements?

While there are some opportunities in the field of child psychology with a masters degree, most people will find that job options are more plentiful at the doctoral-level. There are some programs that offer a degree in child psychology, but many choose to earn a Ph.D. or Psy.D. degree in either clinical or counseling psychology.

After earning a degree, child psychologists must complete a supervised clinical internship that usually lasts two years and then pass state and national tests in order to become licensed in the state they wish to work. For this reason, it is important to check with your state to determine the licensing requirements.

The Clinical Psychology of Children and Young People

The course will cover the basic guiding principles of the Clinical Psychology of Children and Young People and illustrate how theories of psychological development can be applied in understanding children and young people's mental health and well being within a wider societal and cultural context. We will also discuss current psychological models of prevention and treatment for Children and Young People.