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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

PSYC 3151: Developmental Psychology of Children

Students explore normal human development from conception to middle childhood. A major focus is on the various genetic, environmental, social, family, and cultural factors that influence development in complex ways. The course has been designed to highlight cross-cultural research on development. Topics include major theoretical issues and research methods, prenatal development and birth, physical development throughout childhood, development of cognition and language, socialization (moral and sex-role development), and personality.

Learning outcomes

  • Discuss the historical foundations and major theoretical perspectives of human development.
  • Discuss research strategies researchers employ in the scientific study of human development.
  • Explain the major physical, cognitive and socioemotional developments that occur across development from conception up to and including the middle years of childhood.
  • Discuss the bidirectional interplay (interaction) of genetic (nature) and environmental (nurture) factors upon children's development.
  • Discuss key developmental issues such as critical periods of development, continuity vs. discontinuity of development, and universal vs. culture specific developments.
  • Critically reflect on developmental issues and research findings as presented in published articles, scholarly presentations, and web resources devoted to child development concerns.

Course topics

  • Unit 1: Foundations of Development
  • Unit 2: Infancy and Toddlerhood
  • Unit 3: Early Childhood
  • Unit 4: Middle Childhood

Required text and materials

Students require the following e-textbook, which can be purchased directly from the TRU bookstore site at:

  1. Manis, F. R., & Pencer, A. (2020). Revel for the Dynamic Child + MyVirtualChild (1st Canadian ed.). Pearson.
    Type: E-Textbook. ISBN: 9780135306765


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.

Assignment 1: Foundations of Development 10%
Assignment 2: Infancy and Toddlerhood 10%
Assignment 3: Early Childhood 10%
Assignment 4: Middle Childhood 10%
Research Paper: Annotated Bibliography 3%
Research Paper: Proposal 12%
Reflections 5%
Final Exam (Mandatory) 40%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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