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Developmental Psychology

Developmental psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on how people change from infancy through old age. Read on to learn more about developmental psychology.

Inside Developmental Psychology

Many advanced careers in psychology heavily involve developmental psychology, including child, cognitive, clinical and school psychologists. An individual with a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology can be qualified to perform research and teach, and may work for research institutes, laboratories, public research firms and governmental agencies. Some are involved in research and development of ways for the elderly to maintain independence. A graduate with a bachelor's or master's degree in this field may find opportunities in applied programs, such as parent education or youth programs. Others work for museums, toy companies or educational television.

According to the American Psychological Association, emphasis in developmental psychology had traditionally been placed on the formative years, but the growth of the aging population has generated new interest in the latter part of life ( Educational and career options may focus on a specific developmental age. Explore to learn more about related degree programs and professions.

Education Information

Developmental psychology is offered as a major at some schools, and it's an integral part of many undergraduate programs in general psychology. Students can pursue advanced degree programs in developmental psychology through the doctoral level, which may be offered through schools of psychology or education. Graduate studies in this field typically include courses in research methods and areas of human psychological development, including morals, perception and emotions. Developmental psychology research can be related to language acquisition, academic achievement, identity formation, gender roles and the effects of poverty on social development.

The following articles provide some overviews of different types of programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, like cognitive and school psychology. In addition, more specific developmental psychology course information is available.

Distance Learning

There are also some distance learning options in the field of psychology. These options may include both online and in-person requirements. The pages below detail some distance learning programs in general psychology at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as more specialized, though rare, options in child and school psychology.

Career Information

Sensitivity and maturity are among the traits required to provide psychological treatment in a therapeutic setting. To practice independently, a psychologist is required to have a doctoral degree. Furthermore, those who wish to work in clinical practice must meet the certification and licensing requirements mandated by their states.

The following articles examine some common career paths related to developmental psychology. Explore these articles to learn more about these careers, including educational and licensure requirements.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted a 12% increase in employment for psychologists as a whole from 2012-2022 ( In May 2013, the BLS estimated that clinical, counseling and school psychologists earned a mean annual salary of $72,710, while other psychologists, such as research psychologists in developmental psychology, earned a mean annual salary of $88,400.

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