PSYC 3151
Developmental Psychology of Children

3.0 Credits


This course explores 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 Method

Print-based or Web-based.


PSYC 1111 and PSYC 1211, or PSCY 106 and 107, or equivalent skills and knowledge. PSYC 2111 (or equivalent) is recommended to facilitate understanding of research methodology.


Students with credit for UBC PSYC 301, or 315 or SFU PSYC 351 may not take this course for further credit. This course was formerly numbered PSYC 440. Students with credit for PSYC 440 may not repeat this course for further credit. Students with credit for PSYC 3151 may not take SOCW 3551 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, 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

Maximum Completion

30 weeks.

Required Text and Materials

Berk, L.E. Infants and Children: Prenatal through Middle Childhood + MyDevelopmentLab value pack access code card. 7th ed. Pearson Education Canada, 2012.
Type: Custom publication ISBN: 9781256829096

This text is a custom reprint of the original 7e publication ISBN: 978-0-205-83191-3.

MyDevelopmentLab is a required resource, therefore all students require internet access.

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty member is available to assist students. Primary communication is by phone if you are taking the print version of the course and through Blackboard's "Mail" tool if you are taking the web version. You will receive the necessary contact information when you start your 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%