Psychology 354 - Child Psychology (4 credits)
Winter Term, 2008
Tues / Thurs: 10:10 – 12:10 CRN 10360
Professor:Michael C. Anziano, Ph.D.email:
Office:276 Educ/Bus. BuildingPhone: 247-7646 [same for voicemail]
Office Hrs:Mon, Wed, Fri: 11 – 12: 2:30-3:30; Tues 9-10
(other times by appointment)
Course Textbooks: Gauvain, M. & Cole, M. (2004). Readings on the development of Children (4th Ed.)
New York: W.H. Freeman.
Kearney, C.A. (2006). Casebook in child behavior disorders (3rd Ed.). Belmont, CA:
Wadsworth Publishing Co.
(A series of supplementary readings provided by the instructor are also required for the course).
Course Purpose and Content
This course examines contemporary perspectives and advances in the field of child psychology, providing a more concentrated focus than Psyc 254 (Life-Span Human Development). The course includes dimensions of biology and experience, child psychopathology, personality, psychological testing and case studies on children. An important part of the course is the relatively new study of the concept of Resilience in children. We will study theoretical, clinical and practical views on the effects of stress and vulnerability as well as the impressive success of some children despite their experience of chronic poverty or other situations that put individuals at great risk. Both "risk factors" and "protective factors" will be considered in studying children's adaptation to stress.
Theoretical and clinical material on children's anxiety, defenses, aggressivity and shyness will provide the background for several Case Studies that students will read and analyze during the second half of the term. The use of play therapy and psychological tests with children will also be introduced.
Format and Class Participation
The general format for the course will consist of lectures and discussion, supporting video materials and student presentations of case study material. Although not technically a Seminar, I expect considerable student participation in the form of large and small group discussions, case study analysis, critical reading and critical thinking, reflection and presentation of your own original ideas. Students will work in small groups to analyze and present case studies from the KearneyText, as well as cases provided by the professor. This in-class participation represents a portion of your grade in the course. I always welcome your thoughtful intellectual contributions and I expect you to listen to others' views with respect and to comment, question and contribute your ideas to this class. I want you to attend every class unless you are too ill to be in school. It is your responsibility to be sure that you are properly enrolled in the course – students are not allowed to add classes after Census date.
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Course Requirements and Grading
All students are responsible for their own original work on the following assignments:
In-class Essay Exam.Covers material from the readings, lectures, films and discussions.
Reaction Papers.Students are required to submit one Reaction Paper that critically evaluates one of the course reading assignments. I will assign one paper to each student. Papers are due on the date the reading is assigned for class (see the attached Handout for guidelines).
Child Study Project. Each student will investigate a topic of interest to them which relates to some aspect of child psychology covered in the course. This Literature Review provides the background information for an in-depth Child Study. The child study is essentially a Case Study of one individual child that you observe at the campus ChildDevelopmentCenter. For the Literature Review, students should carefully select a topic which allows them to focus on some aspect of psychological development that is taking place in children between the ages of three and six years. A set of Handouts with guidelines will be provided by the instructor as well as guidelines for APA writing style. Given the age range of your subjects, topics dealing with preoperational thought, language development, use of symbols, children's drawings, creativity, emotional development, socialization, aggression or aspects of physical development would be good choices. Read This: The project requires approximately 2 hours/week observation time at the CDC. About 20 hours total is necessary to successfully complete the project. If you cannot manage this, the course is not for you.
 Case study Report. Students will select one of the Case Studies from the Kearney Textbook to write a 4-5 page discussion and analysis of the case. The use of an additional source (such as a reputable psychology journal or the NIMH web site) is required for the assignment. See the Guidelines on page 5 of the syllabus for the complete assignment description.
Final Case Study Analysis. Students will read and respond in Essay Form to a series of questions based on a Case Study. Format and length of written response will be discussed in class. This is the Take-home final exam for the course.
Participation & Reaction Papers. Students will be evaluated on a combination of class attendance, participation in small group activities, and the intellectual contribution they make to class discussions. Participation requires more than attendance in class.
Due Dates and Grade Weights Appear Below
In class Essay ExamFeb 2150 points
Child Study ProjectApr 850 points
Final Exam Case StudyApr 2130 points Total = 220
Reaction PapersOngoing20 points
Case Study ReportAs scheduled30 points
Class ParticipationOngoing20 points
Psyc 354 - Child Psychology T, R: 10:10-12:10 CRN # 10360
Winter Term, 2008 Dr. Michael Anziano
Aug28Course overview and introduction ...... None
30Review of developmental psychology theories . . . . .None
The case of “Freddy”
Sep4Models of childhood psychopathology / classification systemsCasebook, Ch 1
6Child Development Center visit ...... Handouts
11The brain and early experience: neurons to neighborhoodsArticle 6
13Child Study – Observation workshop / Case of “Scott” . .Handouts
18ADHD: The “common cold” of childhood disorder . . .Casebook, Ch 6*
20Ecological contexts for development ...... Article 1
25Gender and group processes in childhood / Case of “C” . .Article 23
27ChildDevelopmentCenter – Lab ...... Handouts
Oct2Obsessive compulsive disorder ...... Case of “Sam” *
4Eating disorders and compulsive behavior . . . . .Casebook, Ch 4*
Emotion, fear and anxiety ...... Earl H. audiotape
19Resilience, risk factors and protective factors . . . . . Article 3
12> In class Essay Exam <All reading to date
16Relational aggression and anti-social behavior . . . . .Article 27
Early indicators of aggression ...... Article 21
18Delinquency and conduct disorder ...... Casebook, Ch 8*
23Causes and consequences of schizophrenia / [Film] . .Case of “Cathy”
25Childhood autism and communication problems . . . .Casebook, Ch 11*
30The work of Child Psychiatrist Robert Coles [Film] . . .None
Nov.1Childhood anxiety and defense mechanisms / “Katie” . .Handout
6Social anxiety disorder and shyness / “Hurried child” .Casebook, Ch 2*
8Psychology advising day – no class /CDC Lab Day
13Adolescents and depression ...... Casebook, Ch 3*
15Issues in family development [Film]
~~~~~ Thanksgiving Holiday ~~~~~
27Children’s drawings and the field of Play Therapy . . . .None
29The use of Projective Tests
** Child study paper due!!
Dec4Adolescence and the Teenage Brain research . . . . .Article 32
Case of “Rachel”
7The new research on depression and “Learned Optimism”None
Take-home Final Exam Due Tuesday, December 11