Child psychology can be complex, as there are a myriad of issues that influence a child’s development and behavior. For anyone interested in better understanding how children grow, think, and behave, the Child and Adolescent Psychology concentration within the psychology master's program would be an ideal specialty. Students gain an understanding of a variety of mental health issues being faced by children and young people today. Coursework addresses the physical, social, psychological, and cognitive needs of this population, covering topics such as trauma and crisis intervention, addictive disorders, evaluation and treatment of juvenile offenders, and evidence-based programs for youth.
Students take 18 credit hours in foundational psychology (core courses), six credit hours in an applied research project, and the remaining 12 credit hours taken within their concentration.
Trauma and Crisis Intervention
Examines the comprehensive impact of trauma on individuals, support networks, and communities. Particular consideration is paid to the multiple forms of trauma and crisis commonly presented for the child and adolescent population, and a survey of the most current research, evidence-based practices, and national organizations.
Evaluation and Treatment of the Juvenile Offender
Addresses the psychological factors leading to the causes, assessment, classification, and treatment of juvenile delinquency. Includes an examination of psychodynamic and developmental approaches, emphasizing neurotic, constitutional, and psychopathological factors contributing to delinquency. In addition, it reviews the major psychological treatment approaches, with relevant case studies presented for illustrative detail, analyzes legal and institutional responses to juvenile crime from the perspective of learning theory and development psychology, and discusses the role of the forensic specialist in the juvenile justice system.
Introduction to Addictive Disorders
Explores the fundamentals of the addictions field. History and evolution of the addictions field, models of addiction, and the most current assessment/treatment approaches to addictions are the areas of competence in this course. Utilizes a bio-psychosocial model to examine the course and impact of the addiction on all areas of an individual's life. Uses specific scenarios relating to child and adolescent psychology.
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