Courses in the Child Studies Specialization at AULA are integrated with the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology program, and are part of our Comprehensive Professional Development Approach. Each required course provides students with a set of skills necessary to work effectively with children and adolescents in a wide variety of post-degree settings. In addition, students complete their required clinical training hours at a site designated as appropriate for child studies, so that a minimum of 50% of the clinical training hours are spent directly with children and adolescents, either individually or in the context of family therapy.
Core courses include:
- Cross-Cultural Infant Observation: In this class, students learn about the sociocultural matrix of infant development through sensitive, structured observation of a primary caretaker-infant pair over time. Cultural universals and variability are considered in terms of observations of societal/parental expectations.
- Developmental Psychopathology II; Intervention: Building on developmentally and culturally-sensitive diagnoses, this class explores a broad spectrum of treatment interventions for children, adolescents, and their families. Students will be exposed to state-of-the-art, evidence-based treatments for the full spectrum of childhood disorders. Careful consideration is given to issues of social context in treatment decisions.
- Brain and Behavior; The Child: This course provides an orientation to genetic, environmental, and biological bases of child and adolescent disorders, with particular emphasis on understanding brain mechanisms that may underlie psychological problems. Emphasis is also placed on approaches to drug therapies for children and adolescents.
- Child Advocacy and Social Policy: This course explores fundamental tenets of child advocacy and social policy. As a professional discipline, child advocacy fosters children’s access to resources, power, and education within society. Topics include ethnic violence, drugs, poverty, the juvenile justice system, health and mental health care, and child abuse. The class is designed to assist students in building an ongoing professional commitment to advocating for the welfare and rights of children in society.