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Career Profile of a Child Psychologist

Job Descriptions December 4, 2012

People rely on children psychologists to help treat them with behavioral and mental disorders, apart from those who have witness traumatic events such as a death in the family or an automobile accident. Child psychologists observe behavior patterns of children as well as their interactions with a view to interpreting and assessing the justification for a child’s actions.

Job Profile of a Child Psychologist

A child psychologist applies their knowledge of feelings, emotions and behavior with the purpose of helping kids tackle problems they face. Such problems could be personal in nature, as for instance, ones that have resulted from tumultuous events in the past. Alternatively, the problems could be psychological in nature, such as depression.

Children’s personal problems could originate in family circumstances such as problems faced in personal development including confidence and self-esteem issues, or loss of a parent owing to death or divorce. Child psychologists occupy themselves with research — to this end, they study children’s actions aiming to identify distinct patterns that might throw up the answers sought.

These psychologists help by supporting or supervising social workers performing in a clinical setting. Child psychologists tackle specific problems pertaining to children such as substance abuse and emotional development issues. To that end, these psychologists try to teach children about the consequences of their actions and attempt to steer the kids away from bad habits.

Educational Prerequisites of a Child Psychologist

Students who aspire for a career in child psychology, they must have a doctoral degree. Coursework includes basic psychology topics relating to learning processes, families, and development of children. Some children psychology courses include pharmacology with particular emphasis on its academic study.

The majority of programs make it mandatory for students to conduct research on a pertinent issue relating to the field of study, such as biological or economic factors that influence the development of a child.

Apart from their studies, students usually need to complete one year of internship. During such internship, students have to evaluate, observe and monitor kids with respect to disorders whether pertaining to behavioral or other aspects. They may be required to administer personality tests and examine the impact of treatments using medical drugs.

Career Potential of a Child Psychologist

Job opportunities for child psychologists are projected to grow at the rate of twelve percent during the period of 2008 to 2018 (source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov). The growth in child psychology is expected to be driven by rising demand from schools, social service agencies and governments owing to greater mental health awareness. Further, demand for child psychologists is likely to benefit from greater focus on the impacts of social phenomena, such as drugs effects and family life, among others, on childhood development.

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