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Prepare to advance your career and help improve the lives of children and adolescents. In the Child and Adolescent Development specialization, you’ll learn to apply the latest theories and research on child development, abnormal psychology, behavior analysis, and health issues to promote the well-being of children and adolescents in schools, communities, and families. With its focus on practical approaches to real-world challenges facing children and adolescents, such as bullying and obesity, this specialization provides the tools you need to make an impact on their lives—as well as your career.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.
Students in this course are introduced to Walden University and to the requirements for successful participation in an online curriculum. Students work toward building a foundation for academic and professional success as scholar-practitioners and social change agents. They assess the relationship of mission and vision to professional goals, and they develop a program of study, a professional development plan, and strategies for online success. Students also explore resources used throughout the program, such as the online Walden University Library. They engage in course assignments focused on the practical application of professional writing, critical-thinking skills, and the promotion of professional and academic excellence.
In this course, students explore formal psychopathology, including emotional and behavioral disorders and classification systems of infants, children, and adolescents. Students examine contrasting models of psychopathology, classification and epidemiology of childhood psychopathology, co-morbidity rates, differential issues from the current diagnostic manual’s outcome of childhood disorders, therapeutic approaches and their efficacy, and developmental resilience. They examine and discuss literature and topics related to assessment, diagnosis, and treatment; a wide range of disorders and disruptive behaviors; and abuse and neglect. Applying course concepts, students assess case studies of diagnostic issues for a contemporary and practical understanding of psychopathology. (Prerequisite(s): PSYC 6220.)
Health psychologists work toward positive change in healthcare and health behavior through the study of relationships between patients and providers, how individuals and groups adapt to illness, damaging health behaviors, health cognitions, and many other related issues. In this course students explore the field of health psychology with a focus on the biopsychosocial model. They discuss behavioral and biomedical theories as well as the effect of psychological (personality), behavioral (health behaviors and coping), and social factors (stress and physician-patient relationships) on physical health and wellness. Through the examination of current literature and peer discussions, students explore and address issues related to cardiovascular and immune health, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. They demonstrate their understanding of course material and consider how topics apply to their personal and professional life through the development of taskforce papers, a health brochure, and a final essay.
Students in this course are provided with an advanced overview of human development through the lifespan, including prenatal, childhood, adolescent, adult, and late-adult phases. Students examine and apply basic processes and theories to developmental milestones that occur within these phases of development. They explore factors of heredity and environmental elements on human development, and they consider ethical issues, research considerations, and global perspectives as they assess strategies to promote optimal development. Students also engage in coursework and discussions that highlight themes of diversity and social change.
This research course provides students with core knowledge and skills for understanding, analyzing, and designing research at the doctoral level. Students explore the philosophy of science, the importance of theory in research, and research processes. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method research designs and methods are introduced. Ethical and social change implications of conducting research, producing knowledge, and engaging in scholarship are emphasized. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing elements of simple research plans.This research course provides students with core knowledge and skills for understanding, analyzing, and designing research at the doctoral level. Students explore the philosophy of science, the importance of theory in research, and research processes. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method research designs and methods are introduced. Ethical and social change implications of conducting research, producing knowledge, and engaging in scholarship are emphasized. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing elements of simple research plans.
This course covers diseases and disorders in children and adolescents. Topics include diabetes, anorexia, headaches, epilepsy, burn injuries, cystic fibrosis, asthma, addiction, and adolescent obesity. Health promotion for children and adolescents is discussed, including cardiovascular health, nutrition, and exercise. Also covered are insights into special issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, daily stress, sexually transmitted diseases, sleep disorders, and ethical and legal issues in pediatric and adolescent health psychology.
This research course provides students with core knowledge and skills for designing quantitative research at the doctoral level, including understanding data analysis and applying statistical concepts. Students explore classical quantitative research designs and common statistical tests, the importance of quality assurance, and ethical and social change implications of conducting quantitative research and producing knowledge. This course approaches statistics from a problem-solving perspective with emphasis on selecting appropriate statistical tests for a research design. Students use statistical software to calculate statistics and interpret and present results. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing a quantitative research plan.
Diversity can have a profound influence on children’s and adolescents’ development and learning. Students in this course explore areas of diversity, such as gender, culture, language, disability, and sexual orientation and how they influence developmental and learning needs of this particular population. Applying core concepts and theories of development and learning, psychology students engage in practical approaches through which they reflect on their own perspectives and preconceptions and learn the complex ways diversity influences development and learning of the children and teenagers. Moreover, using the latest research and resources, students work toward gaining knowledge and skills for improving developmental and learning outcomes for children and adolescents.
Applied behavior analysis is a set of skills used in the assessment and treatment of individuals with a variety of behavioral problems and developmental delays, including autism spectrum disorders. Students in this course explore the concepts and principles of applied behavior analysis and gain an understanding and treatment of behavior problems of children and adolescents in applied settings. Students apply these concepts and principles in the development and implementation of data-based decision making using functional behavioral assessments and the creation of intervention procedures. Techniques in observation, use of reinforcement, and repeated measures are explored. These techniques are applied to develop intervention plans and to assess treatment effectiveness.
Students are provided with the opportunity to synthesize knowledge and skills acquired throughout their program into a practical project designed to promote positive social change in a capstone project. During this course, students work on a capstone project in which they complete a major integrative paper on a topic related to their specialization, incorporating theoretical and practical knowledge as well as social scientific research skills acquired throughout the program. The instructor may approve other capstone projects presented by students.
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