About Developmental Psychology

Development refers to the systematic changes that individuals undergo starting before birth and continuing throughout their lifespan. Developmental psychologists study these changes and try to find the best way to describe and explain what occurs.

Developmental psychology emphasizes the important interrelationships among the physical, mental, social, and emotional aspects of human development. Development is viewed as a complex interplay between what the individual brings to the process and the context in which development occurs.

Topics of interest include:

  • How infants, children, adolescents and adults change over time
  • Why such developments take place
  • The factors that influence particular developmental processes
  • How and why individuals may differ from one another

Questions being addressed by Carleton Faculty include:

  • What factors influence the development of shyness, social withdrawal and social anxiety in childhood?
  • How does participating in extracurricular activities affect youth development?
  • How do students experience the move from high school to university and other important life transitions?
  • How do children acquire and develop language and math skills?