Charles University, Faculty of Arts, Dept. of Psychology
Children'scentre, Thomayer Hospital, Czech Republic
Working group members:
Developmental psychology includes general topics that concern theoretical conceptualisations and methodology as well as connect the developmental approach to other areas of human psychology (developmental psychopathology, developmental social psychology, developmental psychology of identity etc.). Current theories of life-long formation of the psyche (life span development) emphasise that it is necessary to look at mental development as a plastic, complex and whole-life process that adapts to the changing internal and external conditions of an individual’s life. This concept responds also to the systematic approach to research mental development and the effort to view an individual’s development in all of its connections and contexts (biological, neurophysiological, social, cultural). The traditional topics of developmental psychology focus on the description of psychological characteristics and their changes in each developmental period on the fields of cognitive, free will, emotional and social development in the course of life. Besides that, the application of developmental psychology branches out to a whole line of specific topics that are directly connected to psychological practice (counselling psychology, school psychology, learning disorders and possible interventions, psychology of early development, therapy addressing the early relationship between mother and child, substance abuse by children and adolescents, critical intervention for children, family therapy).
One of the key terms both in research and in social practice related to developmental psychology is the quality of life across all age periods. The mission of developmental psychologists is to study and protect an individual’s healthy mental development; to identify and strengthen an individual’s resources and options.