Child Psychology Certificate Program Details

Penn Foster’s Online Child Psychology Program consists of courses that will cover the basics of early human development. Gain a greater understanding of psychology basics and discover the difference between normal and abnormal child psychology.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

The Child Psychology Career Certificate program provides students with a basic understanding of the principles of psychology and a more specific understanding of the psychological makeup of children and adolescents.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...

  • Develop more effective personal communication skills in the use and selection of words, gestures, tone of voice, facial expressions, listening skills, and physical appearance
  • Recognize the psychological aspects of oneself and others
  • Identify patterns of growth, change, and stability that occur in a person’s life from conception through adolescence, including those of genetics, psychology, the physical environment, and social and cultural influences
  • Describe the widespread and often deeply troubling world of childhood and adolescent disorders

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

Understanding the principal concepts of child development is essential to providing effective and appropriate care and guidance for young children.


  • Describe theories about child growth and development.
  • Identify stages of growth and development for children up to the age of 12.
  • Understand how children grow intellectually, physically, and emotionally.

This course covers the psychology of biology and behavior, consciousness, memory, thought and language, intelligence, personality and gender, stress, and community influences.


  • Describe the science of psychology, basic structure and function of the human nervous system, and basic structure and function of the sensory system
  • Explain various states of consciousness, learning theories, and thought processes and development
  • Summarize the nature of human motivation and development, the human development cycle, and approaches to understanding and assessing personality
  • Prepare an essay on the topic of conditioning, memory, or motivation and emotion
  • Recognize psychological disorders and available treatments
  • Explain social psychology as it relates to attitudes, influences, behaviors, and stress
  • Use critical thinking skills to determine the likely causes of behaviors of individuals and groups discussed in case studies
Additional Course Material

Textbook: Psychology and Your Life

This course examines patterns of growth, change, and stability that occur in a person’s life from conception through adolescence.


  • Understand the basics of child psychology.
  • Recognize the interplay of both genetics and the environment on child growth and development.
Additional Course Material

Textbook: Child Development

This lesson will help you better understand the widespread and often deeply troubling world of childhood and adolescent disorders.


  • Discuss the historical roots of clinical child psychology and the barriers that prevented recognition that child psychology was a unique field of study
  • Describe the anxiety and mood disorders that affect children in adolescence, in particular obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social phobias, panic disorders, depression, and stress disorders
  • Explain externalized problems that affect children in adolescence, including behavioral problems, disruptive disorders, ADHD, and specific learning disabilities
  • Explain the symptoms and treatment of AN, BN, and SA and the impact each has on adolescent development
  • Recognize the commonly diagnosed intellectual and developmental disabilities
Additional Course Material

Textbook: Abnormal Child & Adolescent Psychology

Additional Details

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered in the Penn Foster Program. Prospective students should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where they plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in this Program. Click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.
Please review your state board requirements that are applicable to your field of study. State boards may impose a variety of different requirements.

Penn Foster Career School Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster has been accredited for over 50 years. Penn Foster Career School has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations, certifications, and licensing. Most importantly, Penn Foster Career School is both regionally and nationally accredited.

Short Lessons
Easy-to-Access Lessons
Each lesson is broken into short chapters that allow you to fit learning into whatever time you have available. Don’t have time to finish a lesson? Not a problem - pick up where you left off next time!
Digital Flashcards
Digital Flashcards
A fun and interactive way to test your knowledge before your exams. Find out what information you've mastered, and what material needs additional review.
Sample Child Psychology Lesson

Sample Child Psychology Lesson

Penn Foster courses are written in a way that is easy to understand, and materials are broken down into manageable lessons. Take a look at what a Child Psychology course would look like.
Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, and an email account to complete this program.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and macOS are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
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