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Child Behaviour and Development

Course Code: PSYC 3320
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Psychology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course provides an introduction to the process of development from conception to puberty. The major focuses are on developmental theory, descriptive changes in physical growth, cognition, language, social and emotional behaviour of children and applications of the research and theory.

Course Content

  1. Child Development: Theories and Themes.
  2. Research in Child Development.
  3. Genetic Basis of Child Development.
  4. Prenatal Development and Birth.
  5. Physical Development in Infants and Toddlers.
  6. Cognition in Infants and Toddlers.
  7. Social Behaviour and Personality in Infants and Toddlers.
  8. Physical Growth in Preschool Children.
  9. Cognitive Development in Preschool Children.
  10. Social Behaviour and Personality in Preschool Children.
  11. Physical Development in Middle Childhood.
  12. Cognitive Development in Middle Childhood.
  13. Social Behaviour and Personality in Middle Childhood.

Methods of Instruction

The course will employ a number of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives and will include some of the following:

  • lectures
  • seminar presentations
  • audio visual materials including video
  • small group discussions and activities
  • research projects
  • student completion of the virtual child program

Means of Assessment

The course evaluation will be in accordance with Douglas College and Psychology Department policies. Evaluations will be based on the course objectives. The specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester.

An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

3 exams -  60%

3 papers - 30%

Oral presentation - 10%

Total - 100%

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the student will be able to:

  1. Describe the research methods associated with child development.
  2. Explain the significance of heredity and environment on the developing child.
  3. Describe the factors associated with physical development, prenatally through to puberty.
  4. Describe the processes of cognitive development throughout childhood.
  5. Describe the socio-emotional changes experienced by the infant through to puberty.
  6. Explain how child developmental research can be applied to real life situations.
  7. Explain contemporary issues in child development such as, child abuse, attention-deficit disorder, special needs, role of television and video games.

course prerequisites

PSYC 1100 and PSYC 1200.


Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.