Psychology 232 Course Offerings

Course Information

  • Department: Psychology
  • Prepared By: Psychology Department
  • Date: Fall 2017
  • Course Title: Child Development
  • Course Code: PSY 232
  • Credits: 3
  • Contact Hours: 45

Catalog Description

In this course the student will explore human development from preconception through the end of childhood. Course material will include historical and modern concepts of attitudes towards children, theories and models of child development, research methods in the study of children, genetics, prenatal development and influence, pregnancy, and birth. Within each age range the emphasis will be on factors influencing the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of the child. Developmental disorders, both physical and psychological, will also be explored. Prerequisite(s): PSY 101. Credits: 3 (3,0)

  • Prerequisites: PSY 101, PSY 130, or PSY 131 or permission from Department Chairperson.
  • Required For: NUR
  • Elective For: All curricula with a social science elective
  • General Education: This course satisfies 3 credits of the Social and Behavioral Science competency area of the General Education requirements at Farmingdale State College.
  • Texts Currently in Use: Infants and Children: Prenatal through Middle Childhood, 8 Edition,
  • Pearson Child Development, 6th Edition, by Bukatko/Daehler, Houghton Mifflin Publishing.
  • Development: A cujltural Approach, 2 edition by Arnett and Marynard

Course Outline

  1. Introduction The first section of the course will define Developmental Psychology relate it to Psychology in general, and deal with the concept of development. Topics include: quantitative vs. qualitative changes, nature vs. nurture, stages and sequences, similarities or differences, development as a holistic process, and how social contexts affect development.
  2. Theory This section of the course will present the major theoretical perspectives on child development: biological, learning, psychoanalytic, cognitive, ecological and ethological.
  3. Research Methods in Developmental Psychology This section covers the acquisition of new knowledge about child development by Psychologists. Topics include: observational methods, interviews and questionnaires, experimental studies, correlational studies, cross sectional studies, longitudinal studies and sequential designs.
  4. Prenatal Development This section of the course deals with the processes that shape and influence child development. Topics include: conception, genetics, stages of prenatal development, genetically based problems and environmental influences.
  5. Birth and Neonate Birth and related issues as well as the characteristics of the newborn infant are presented in this chapter. Topics include: the influence of attitudes and culture on birthing methods, labor and birth, capacities of the neonate (reflexes, perceptual abilities, motor skills, learning and social skills), daily routine, and individual differences. From this point on the instructor may choose either a topical or a chronological approach. The following ages and topics will be covered: Age ranges-infancy (0-2), preschool (2-6), middle childhood (6-12). Topics: physical development, perceptual development, cognitive development, language development, personality development, self concept, social relationships, social cognition, influence of the family, influences beyond the family (for example, ethnicity, race, gender, income, education, and historical context) and atypical development. An example of a topical approach follows. The influence of attitudes and culture on birthing methods, labor and birth.
  6. Physical Development Physical growth and development from birth to puberty are presented. Topics include: impact of physical growth on other aspects of development, sequences and patterns of development, development of sexual maturity, individual differences in development (including sex differences), health problems, determinants of physical development, and racial and ethnic differences in developmental norms.
  7. Perceptual Development This section of the course focuses on changes in sensory and perceptual skills from birth through puberty. Topics include: methods for studying infants, basic sensory skills, complex perceptual skills, individual differences in perception, theoretical perspectives on perceptual development.
  8. Cognitive Development Intellectual development from birth through puberty is presented. Topics include: approaches to the study of intellectual development, a psychometric approach, IQ testing, use and misuse of IQ tests, cultural bias of IQ tests, alternative IQ tests, heredity vs. environment and IQ, Piaget's theory, stages of cognitive development, modern research on Piaget's Theory, an information processing approach.
  9. Language Development This section of the course deals with describing and explaining language development in children. Topics include: defining language, milestones of language development, the development of grammar, the development of word meaning, and theories of language development.
  10. Personality Development The major theoretical perspectives on the development of personality are presented. Topics include: the biological approach, learning approaches psychoanalytic approaches, and the effects of culture.
  11. Self Concept This section of the course focuses on how children develop a sense of self and on the factors which influence the child's self-esteem. Topics include: developmental patterns in the concept of self, individual differences in self concept and gender role development.
  12. The Development of Social Relationships Interactions with others and how they develop will be presented in this section. Topics include: the attachment process, attachment theories, individual differences in attachment, peer relationships and friendships. Research methods used to assess attachments will be discussed and critiqued in light of cross-cultural evidence.
  13. The Development of Social Cognition This section of the course deals with the development of thinking about other people, relationships and moral issues. Topics include: General principles and issues, thinking about other people, thinking about relationships, thinking about moral issues, social cognition and behaviors.
  14. The Influences of the Family and Larger Social and Cultural Forces The impact of the family and social forces beyond the family are presented in this section. Topics include: Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Approach, the family, day care, ethnic groups, social class, television, and parenting styles.
  15. Atypical Development This section of the course deals with development that does not follow a normal course. Topics include: psychopathology in children, mental retardation, learning disorders, giftedness, other pervasive developmental disorders, the impact upon the family.

PSY 232 Course Behavioral Objectives

After successful completion of the course, students will be able to

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the major theories in child development.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to apply the major theories in child development to hypothetical cases.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of the different research methodologies used in the study of child development.
  4. Critically evaluate research reports.
  5. Demonstrate understanding of the major principles of genetics.
  6. Demonstrate understanding of the stages of prenatal development and birth, including environmental and cultural influences.
  7. Demonstrate understanding of the factors influencing the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development from birth through the end of childhood.
  8. Demonstrate understanding of the importance of cultural factors in human development.

PSY 232 Justification

PSY 232 clearly meets the goals and objectives of a General Education core course in the area of Social and Behavioral Sciences. This course provides a broad overview of the field of child development. It introduces students to the theories, research, and applications that constitute the discipline. Specifically, it examines both the commonalities and the differences in the development of individuals. At each age level and for each domain, the course explores those influences and experiences that are common to all, as well as those influences and experiences that are unique to specific cultures, societies, and environments. It allows the student to recognize how development is shaped by each individual’s social context and how developmental diversity exists across social contexts.

A second theme of the course is the application of the scientific method to the study of individual development. Throughout the course the research methodologies used to obtain the “facts” as we currently know them are presented. In addition, the course explores the impact of societal values, laws, and governmental programs on the welfare of children. It will enable students to understand the ways that developmental research is being used to answer the problems that society faces. For instance, policy issues such as the effects of day care on child development are considered.