PSYC 3151

Developmental Psychology of Children

3.0 Credits


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.

Delivery Methods

Print, self-paced or Online, self-paced.


PSYC 1111: Introductory Psychology I and PSYC 1211: Introductory Psychology II

Recommended Requisites

PSYC 2111: Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology (or equivalent) is also recommended to facilitate understanding of research methodology.

Exclusion Requisites

PSYC 3150: Childhood and Adolescence

SOCW 3551: Human Development in the Social Environment

Students with credit for UBC PSYC 301, UBC PSYC 315, or SFU PSYC 351 also may not take this course for further credit.


After you have successfully completed this course, you will be able to:

  • 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 Outline

The course is divided into thirteen modules as follows:

  • Module 1: History, Theory, and Research Strategies
  • Module 2: Genetic and Environmental Foundations
  • Module 3: Prenatal Development
  • Module 4: Birth and the Newborn Baby
  • Module 5: Infancy and Toddlerhood: Physical Development
  • Module 6: Infancy and Toddlerhood: Cognitive Development
  • Module 7: Infancy and Toddlerhood Emotional & Social Development
  • Module 8: Early Childhood: Physical Development
  • Module 9: Early Childhood: Cognitive Development
  • Module 10: Early Childhood: Emotional & Social Development
  • Module 11: Middle Childhood: Physical Development
  • Module 12: Middle Childhood: Cognitive Development
  • Module 13: Middle Childhood: Emotional & Social Development

Course Duration

30 weeks.

Required Text and Materials

Berk, L.E. (2016). Infants and Children: Prenatal through Middle Childhood + MyDevelopmentLab value pack access code card. (8th ed.). Pearson Education Canada.
ISBN: 9780134130125

(MyDevelopmentLab is required for initial access MyVirtualChild. MyVirtualChild is required for course completion.)

MyDevelopmentLab is an online resource provided by Pearson Education to students who purchase a new textbook. This resource includes a study guide with practice tests. It also includes a web-based simulation, MyVirtualChild, which is needed for the course; therefore all students require internet access.

Open Learning Faculty Member

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication through the Learning Environment’s “Mail” tool or by phone. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.


In order to successfully complete this course, you must obtain at least 50% on the final mandatory examination and 50% overall. The following chart shows how the final grade is determined for this course.


Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 10%
Assignment 3 10%
Assignment 4 15%
Discussions 5%
Final Exam (Mandatory) 50%


Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 10%
Assignment 3 10%
Assignment 4 15%
Reflections 5%
Final Exam (Mandatory) 50%