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Child Psychology and its Influential Factors

One of the fascinating subjects we study to understand the behavior of a human being is psychology. To understand what a child thinks and to describe its behavioral nature, the subject falls in the segment of child psychology. It is a daunting task to communicate with a child and get the right answers. Hence, this domain of psychology is entirely based on the analysis of different social behaviors and relevant psychosocial development. In this article, we will focus on these points to understand this subject.


What is Child Psychology?

As mentioned earlier, child development psychology is a significant branch under the umbrella of psychology. It deals with the social behavior of the children and focuses on finding the specific reasons behind them. Hence, child psychology is a subject of behavioral science that deals with the psychosocial behavior of children ranging from the prenatal to the adolescent stage. In this subject, the physical and mental growth of a child is analyzed in terms of social and emotional aspects.


Evolution of Child Psychology

Jean Piaget, a renowned Swiss genetic epistemologist and psychologist, stated that children might be the younger versions of the adults but they think differently. Their cognitive functioning and sociological responses are different from that of adults as they are based on a different set of psychological aspects.


The difference between the adult and child mentality shows he was right. It was he who made modern psychologists consider children as a different entity according to their mentalities and mindsets. This is why child psychology is unique and more intricate than adult psychology.


One of the mind-boggling topics of debate in this domain is whether the early experiences influence the psychological development of a child more than the later ones. It is important to analyze what a child thinks as one day; he will grow up to become an adult and will become a part of society.


Experts study this subject to find out the social, economical, and educational factors that control the psychological development of children. The prime elements of a child’s psychology are self-esteem, social pressure, schooling, and parenting. These elements construct a child’s mindset and decide what he thinks and what he considers others as.

Now that we have understood what is child psychology, let us proceed to the major contexts of this important psychology domain.


Prime contexts of Child Psychology

Apart from the genetic traits and other elements, there is a whole lot of story that influences the development of a child’s mind. It takes place for years when a child is in his growing phase between the prenatal stage and the adult stage. This period of growth is called adolescence. Psychologists believe that child development psychology develops during this period and influences the development of an adult’s mindset later.


In this context, environmental factors are the biggest influencers. For instance, a child’s social relationship with other children and adults around him also decides his mental development.


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Let us check the different contexts of developmental and child psychology.


  • Cultural Context

A child is a part of the social culture that imparts a set of customs, values, shared assumptions, and lifestyles that cumulatively influence the development of a child. In fact, it starts at a young age and continues till the end. In this context, psychologists analyze how a child relates to his parents, the education he receives, and the childcare he is being provided.


  • Social Context

In this context, a child’s relationship with the peers around him is counted. The effect of the peers’ personalities and actions mold a child’s thinking, learning, and development. In this aspect, schools, family, friends, neighbors, and other peers are taken into context.


  • Socioeconomic Context

The socioeconomic concept covers the economic condition of a family, the level of education parents and peers have, the profession of adult peers, and the locality of residence. A child in an affluent family will enjoy better opportunities and access to resources that a middle-class child will not.


In this list of resources, everything ranging from food, diet, healthcare, socioeconomic decisions, status, etc will be included. These factors will have a major impact on the children. Simply defining the lifestyle of a child from a lower income level with that of a higher income level will give you the answer and difference in the nature of child psychology.


Essential Influences on Child Psychology Behavior

There are many more topics that can be considered to understand the path a child has followed for psychological development. These influences are:


  • Cognitive development of the child

  • Intelligence and emotional quotient

  • Environmental influences

  • Gender roles

  • Language

  • Prenatal development

  • Personality development

  • Sexual development

  • Social growth

  • Relationship between the parents and peers


Imagine the vastness of this subject and what it can include in the discussion. The more psychologists scout this domain the more we find new factors that influence the psychological development of a child.


In this article, we briefly discussed the different contexts of development in psychology and how they can define the psychological behavior of a child. This subject enables psychologists to help kids adapt to their environment, learn how to think properly, and how to discard things that are toxic to them. The proper analysis of these contexts and factors tells us the importance of child psychology in developing growth mindsets in children.

Last updated date: 25th Sep 2023
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FAQs on Child Psychology

1. What is the difference between mental and psychological development?

Mental development comprises the growth rate of a person’s intelligence level and other interpersonal skills. On the other hand, psychological development primarily focuses on the behavioral development of a person.

2. How does child psychology help in psychotherapy?

By studying the different aspects of child psychology, a psychologist can determine the different fields to scout to find the right answers and reasons responsible for a child’s behavior. He can conclude why a child is behaving in an abnormal or erratic way. In fact, he can help in counseling the child and bring his life back on the right track.


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