Developmental Psychology

In Which Fields Does a Developmental Psychologist Work?

What is Developmental Psychology?

Developmental psychology is a branch of science that examines the development of individuals from the prenatal period to the grave and deals with the developmental processes of individuals socially, physically, emotionally and cognitively. It examines the effects of culture, environment and character on the behavior of the individual, together with the developmental periods (infancy, pre-school period, pre-adolescence (primary school) period, adolescence period, emerging adulthood, adulthood and old age) that change depending on age. He tries to understand and make sense of the change processes that continue throughout his life.

How to Become a Developmental Psychologist?

In order to specialize as a developmental psychologist, a master’s degree in Developmental Psychology is required after 4 years of undergraduate education. Developmental psychologists mainly work in the education sector, which includes pre-school, primary school and adolescence, which is defined as the period in which development takes place rapidly. However, in the working life of developmental psychologists, there are also work areas such as rehabilitation centers and nursing homes for the elderly.

In Which Fields Do Developmental Psychologists Work?

Although developmental psychologists deal with all lifelong developmental periods, they work more on pre-school and adolescence periods, which are the fastest periods of development. These periods are of great importance as the individual begins to discover and realize himself, to question, to seek, to take the first steps towards adulthood, and to lay the groundwork for all processes that will have an impact on the life of the individual throughout his life. Developmental psychologists also follow these periods carefully and intervene in necessary situations by making observations and analysis. In this way, it is pioneered to create the necessary environment for healthy development for children and adolescents, if they proceed together with their parents.

Areas where developmental psychologists often work;

-Anxiety Disorders

-Despair and Depression

Low Motivation and Laziness

-Periodic Development Problems

-Attention Deficit Problems

-Learning Styles and Learning Disorders

-Sleeping and Eating Problems

-Emotion Editing

-Time Management Problems

-Anger Problems

-Domestic Problems

-Technology dependencies (internet, game, phone, etc.)works effectively on such problems.

Anxiety Disorders: Anxiety is a field that psychologists often work with, which can exist in individuals of all ages, from childhood to old age. However, with the effect of school period, anxiety disorders are among the most common disorders in childhood and adolescence. While separation anxiety and school anxiety are in question especially in preschool children, it is possible to see anxiety types such as test anxiety, job anxiety, future anxiety, social anxiety in adolescence. Individuals with anxiety disorders express complaints such as sweating, abdominal pain, stomach rumbling, palm sweating, hot flashes, and feeling like they are going to faint.

Hopelessness and Depression: Another most common issue in childhood and adolescence is hopelessness and depression. Hopelessness includes negative expectations for the future and appears as academic hopelessness in the education process. The individual, who has a feeling of hopelessness, is not willing to do something, to take action, and cannot find the necessary motivation in himself. Depression is an emotional state that prevents us from doing many things. The individual feels unhappy, sad and restless. No action is enjoyed, he does not want to do it because he does not enjoy it, and unless he does something, he enters a vicious circle that makes him feel worse. It is possible to see situations such as reluctance to go to school, lack of pleasure, sleep and eating problems, and lack of enjoyment in social relations in children and adolescents who experience depression during the school period.

Low Motivation and Laziness: The problem that we often encounter with hopelessness is that individuals cannot find enough motivation to take action and face the problem of laziness. It basically includes hopelessness for the future, insecurity, loss of internal and external motivation. Since the loss of academic motivation for students brings with it school and exam anxiety, an expert should be consulted at the beginning of these problems.

Periodic Development Problems: It is necessary to seek help from a specialist for the problems that individuals experience during their developmental period. Speech and language problems, moral development, social development, sexual development, cognitive development, emotional development and personality development are the sub-areas that are dealt with within the scope of developmental periods. An individual living through adolescence, which includes the period in which he begins to discover himself, begins to discover his own sexual identity, interpersonal relationships, social values ​​and laws, rules that must be followed, requirements, and emotional intelligence, and a problem that may occur in these areas will affect the whole life of the person.

Attention Deficit Problems: It is the condition that the attention span and intensity are less than the duration appropriate for the age of the individual. Attention span should be considered separately for each age. A distinction should be made between the attention capacity of a 5-year-old child and a 15-year-old child. In the face of this problem, the child should not be blamed or forced.

Learning Styles and Learning Disorders: Each individual’s learning style is different. Other children should not be expected to learn the way one child learns. While a student learns by listening in class, a student may need to write with colored pencils, create tables, draw pictures in order to learn. While a student may state that he/she can remember better when he/she reads aloud, another student may state that he/she learns best when he/she works as if he/she is explaining to someone else. One may prefer to work on hard ground and the other may prefer to work with music. For this, necessary analyzes should be made on which learning styles children belong to, and if they have learning difficulties (reading disorder (dyslexia), writing disorder (dysgraphia), arithmetic disorder (dyscalculia) and non-verbal learning disorder) should be taken into account. In this process, teachers, parents and psychologists must act as a team.

Technology addictions (internet, games, phones, etc.) : The uncontrolled use of technology devices and the internet at a level that disrupts a person’s daily life is briefly explained as technology addiction. Problematic use of a smart phone by a young person for more than the intended time brings the risk of addiction, and young people who are open to these risks should be taken into the scope of prevention before they become addicted. The main factors that make the time they spend with their phones attractive should be found and their places should be replaced with more efficient ones. During this period, prohibitions and restrictions should not be placed, and first of all, an answer to the question “why” prefers this should be sought.

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