What A Semester of Developmental Psychology Can Do For You

When I started my second year of college this year, I knew I’d be studying developmental psychology but what I didn’t know was how a whole semester with the subject would be like a lifetime. Just imagine…learning about an entire life span in four or so months!

Though it isn’t my favourite, developmental psychology was certainly interesting in the beginning. Learning about prenatal development was more biological than psychological but the most interesting part of the subject. It also lends to a a great appreciation and wonder about pregnancy and our mothers who spend nine months taking better care of themselves than they ever will in their entire lives.

Caring for a child certainly sounds like a task even if you are reading about it in a psychology textbook, especially when it comes to teaching language skills and reading. If you thought it was all about reading a book aloud, it’s not that simple. Children who develop better language skills, be it in reading, writing or conversation compared to other children has been attributed to how parents can meet the child’s level of understanding and present appropriate challenges to engage them with. Also, children who have developed pre-reading skills before entering kindergarten become better readers. So I really appreciate my mom and dad in this case for having taught me phonetics at an early age and thus encouraging me to read early as well. To this day, that passion for reading and anything linguistic has carried through. Just imagine how parental influences in these crucial years can mold you into the person you become ten or twenty years down the line. It’s fascinating.

The picture below shows twelve pictures of the same baby with his favourite stuffed animal, each one month apart. You can literally see the growth of a newborn across the span of a year. It’s remarkable just how quickly a child develops, the fastest growth in terms of physical and psycho-motor development throughout the life span, in fact.


While the first half of the subject is extremely interesting, I find that it wanes in that aspect when it reaches middle to late adulthood, finally discussing death itself, coming full circle in a matter of 700 or so pages. A sort of dread for getting old mars the study of retirement, old age accommodations and concepts like empty nest and bereavement. So I would have to say it starts off with a bang but ultimately fizzles out towards the end, just as humans do in life.