Developmental psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on how people change from infancy through old age. Research in this field may involve developmental disorders or specific age groups in terms of social, physiological or cognitive development. Read on to learn more about developmental psychology and possible career paths.
Inside Developmental Psychology
Developmental psychology is offered as a major at some schools, and it's an integral part of many undergraduate programs in general psychology. Students can pursue advanced degree programs in developmental psychology through the doctoral level, which may be offered through schools of psychology or education. Graduate studies in this field typically include courses in research methods and areas of human psychological development, including morals, perception and emotions. Developmental psychology research can be related to language acquisition, academic achievement, identity formation, gender roles and the effects of poverty on social development.
Many advanced careers in psychology heavily involve this sub-discipline, including child, cognitive, clinical and school psychologists. An individual with a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology can be qualified to perform research and teach, and may work for research institutes, laboratories, public research firms and governmental agencies. Some are involved in research and development of ways for the elderly to maintain independence. A graduate with a bachelor's or master's degree in this field may find opportunities in applied programs, such as parent education or youth programs. Others work for museums, toy companies or educational television.
Sensitivity and maturity are among the traits required to provide psychological treatment in a therapeutic setting. To practice independently, a psychologist is required to have a doctoral degree. Furthermore, those who wish to work in clinical practice must meet the certification and licensing requirements mandated by their states. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted an average increase in job growth of 12% for psychologists as a whole from 2008-2018 (www.bls.gov). In May 2010, the BLS estimated that clinical, counseling and school psychologists earned a mean annual salary of $72,540, and other psychologists, such as research psychologists in developmental psychology, earned a mean annual salary of $86,510.
Learn More About Developmental Psychology
According to the American Psychological Association, emphasis in developmental psychology had traditionally been placed on the formative years, but the growth of the aging population has generated new interest in the latter part of life (www.apa.org). Educational and career options may focus on a specific developmental age. Explore the following Educational-Portal.com articles to learn more about related degree programs and professions.
The following articles provide some overviews of different types of programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, like cognitive and school psychology. In addition, more specific developmental psychology course information is available.
- Developmental Psychology Education Program Options
- Top Schools for School Psychology
- Developmental Psychology Degree Programs
The following articles examine some common career paths related to developmental psychology. Explore these articles to learn more about these careers, including educational and licensure requirements.
- Infant Developmental Psychologist
- Developmental Psychologist
- Licensed Psychologist
- Careers in Psychology and Human Behavior
Distance Learning Options
These articles describe some online general psychology programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as more specialized, though rare, options in child and school psychology.
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