Difference Between Child Psychology and Child Development

Child Psychology vs Child Development
 

The difference between child psychology and child development is in the focus area of each subject. Child psychology and child development in relation to development psychology can be understood as two overlapping sub-disciplines in psychology. This, however, does not denote that these two spheres are identical in terms of the subject matter. On the contrary, child psychology and child development are different from one another. First, let us comprehend the subject matter of each discipline. In child psychology, the psychologist studies the physical, mental, social and emotional development of a child from the prenatal stage to the end of the teenage. In child development too, the physical, mental and emotional growth of the child is studied. The key difference between the two fields is that while child development is only a single area of development psychology, child psychology is an entire sub-discipline.

What is Child Psychology?

Child psychology can be considered as a sub-discipline of psychology which focuses on the child from the prenatal stage to the end of teenage. In child psychology, the psychologists pay attention to the development of the child and his abilities in terms of learning, language acquisition, making sense of the world, behavior, awareness, personality, sexuality, cognition and also external factors such as the surrounding environment. Through this sub-discipline, psychologists point out that child development surpasses mere physical development. It highlights that the child is influenced by the surrounding context. For instance, the influence of parents, friends, siblings, and the relationships that the child forms with these individuals affect his development. Not only relationships, but also the entity of the culture of the in which the child is a part of creates a great impact on his development.

The study of child psychology becomes extremely significant when conducting counseling sessions with children, and also for various programs that are aimed at benefiting children academically, socially and even psychologically. In such context, psychologists and counselors who are specialized in child psychology are of vital importance. They can even assist children who are facing various problems in daily life, such as traumatic experiences, depression, anxiety, etc.

Difference Between Child Psychology and Child Development

What is Child Development?

Child development refers to the psychical, mental, and emotional development that a child undergoes from the prenatal stage until the end of teenage. In development psychology, psychologists pay specific attention to the development of the child. They believe that the development of the child into an adult occurs not merely through psychical development, but also through the combined efforts of learning and maturation. As the child grows up, he experiences new situations, and this allows the child to develop not only mentally but also socially.

When speaking of child development, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, Mary Ainsworth, Sigmund Freud, and Eric Erikson are some of the prominent figures in development psychology. For instance, Piaget through his theory of cognitive development pointed out that the child develops intellectually through different stages. They are the sensorimotor stage, the pre-operational stage, concrete stage, and formal operational stage. Through each stage, Piaget highlights the various skills the child acquires as he develops. Different psychologists bring in different perspectives in explaining the development of the child through various schools of thought.

 Child Psychology vs Child Development

What is the difference between Child Psychology and Child Development?

• Definitions of Child Psychology and Child Development:

• In child psychology, the psychologist studies the physical, mental, social, and emotional development of a child from the prenatal stage to the end of the teenage.

• In child development too, the physical, mental, and emotional growth of the child is studied.

• Main Difference:

• Child development is only a single area of development psychology, but child psychology is an entire sub-discipline.

• Usage:

• Using child psychology as a basis, psychologists use the theoretical knowledge in the discipline for practical usage.

• This function is not applicable to development psychology.

• Approach:

• In development psychology, the approach of the psychologists in the study of child development is much broader than in child psychology.

 

Images Courtesy: Sharing reading experience and Playing a morning game with children via Wikicommons (Public Domain)