The Details of a Child Psychology Career
Child psychology is one of the most popular, as well as most frequently studied specialties in the field of psychology. It is both unique and complex, since it deals with such a range of ages and developmental milestones. If you have an interest in the physical, emotional, social, and mental development of infants through adolescents, this may be a specialized area of study for you to explore as a career possibility.
What Does the Study of Child Psychology Include?
Children are affected by numerous influences that must be considered when thinking of child psychology. Here is a list of some of the major contexts that child psychologists assess on a regular basis.
- Cultural Environment: Especially here in the melting pot of America, children grow up in a variety of cultures. Cultural influences contribute to a child’s core values, customs, expectations and assumptions of life, parent / child relationships, education, religious practices, and even the way the child is viewed and cared for.
- Social Environment: The way children relate to each other and are viewed by their peers has a direct effect on the way a child will learn, think, and develop. There are many social areas to consider, including family groups, peer groups, and instructor influences.
- Socioeconomic Status: Child development can also be effected by social classes or a child’s socioeconomic status. Socioeconomic status or context is determined by education, family earnings, and area of residence. Family earnings often affects a child’s ability to receive quality nutrition and proper health care, which in turn, can have a marked effect on a child’s development.
A study of these issues, along with the way they interconnect and relate to each other is all a part of the work of a trained child psychologist.
Career Duties of a Child Psychologist
Child psychologists are responsible for conducting developmental, physical, emotional, social, and cognitive research in order to gather information for the benefit of the children he or she serves.
A child psychologist may gather this information through observed behavior, performing aptitude and personality tests, direct therapy sessions and interviews, clinical studies, and questionnaires.
Child psychologists can work in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, mental health centers, and private practice.
Educational Requirements of a Child Psychologist
Child psychologists will need to complete the following steps in order to practice in the field.
- Earn a Doctoral Degree in Psychology. After earning a bachelor’s degree in a related field, the student will move on to earn a doctoral degree approved by either the National Register of Health Service Providers or the American Psychology Association. This will take 5-7 years to complete.
- Supervised Internship. Two years of internship is the average requirement. This is generally completed near the end of a student’s doctoral work.
- Successfully Take the State Examination. The Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology is used by all states, although some states may add an additional section to this test that may consist of a written or oral exam.
- State Licensure. The licensing process includes determining an individual’s specialty of study, which details the scope of practice allowed by the psychologist. Receiving state licensure is the final step in the process.
We hope this information has been helpful to you as you pursue your education and new career as a child psychologist.