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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

DONE3003 Psycho-Social Influences on Child Development

10 creditsClass Size: 32

Module manager: Alison Rodriguez

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

Previous level 2 study in an appropriately related subject area.

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module critically explores interactions between children's social environment and their psychological development. Attachment theory, family dynamics, attitudes towards childhood including gender roles and the influence of class and culture are also considered in terms of the impact of normalization and the increased medicalization of children's health, well being and behaviour. Assessment: Written Assignment


The aim of this module is to enable students to critically assess the extent to which knowledge of current psychological and sociological theories of child development can help enhance professional practice within health and social care. Objectives to achieve this include introducing a number of current psychosocial concepts and theories and offering students the opportunity to apply these to issues within their area of practice.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will be able to:
- Evaluate factors relating to the social context in which child development takes place, including issues of culture, class and gender
- Critically assess various family structures and dynamics in relation to their positive and negative effects on child development
- Critically asses the usefulness of current psychological and sociological thinking to specialist practice

Skills outcomes
Specific skills include developing critical analytical skills specifically in relation to current theories and practice within childcare and the impact this has on both the child and their later adulthood. This module was designed particularly for students following professional qualifications within health and social care. Whilst it is particularly relevant for those who will be working directly with children it is also of use for those working with adults with mental health problems and those with chronic health conditions.


An integrated approach is adopted to enable students to critically explore child/family relationships and the social context of child development including:
- The usefulness of adopting an ecological approach in understanding psychosocial influences on children's health and well being
- Attachment theories in relation to children's health and well being
- Theories of functional/dysfunctional family dynamics including child/parent, child/sibling and parent/parent relationships
- Historical context of current child development theories and social construction of childhood
- "Health" as a social institution and the impact of "medicalization" on children and their families
- Relationship between labelling theory and moral panics and their impact on child health and well being
- Psychosocial explanations of specific childhood disorders on children and their families.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours75.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

- Reading specified articles as well as other published material and preparing notes on these to contribute to group discussions in class
- Researching specific childhood conditions, disorders and social influences in preparation for individual feedback in the form of short informal presentations within class work.
- Researching particular topic chosen for summative assessment and the appropriate psychological and sociological literature to assess its impact on child hood and / or later adulthood.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Progress is monitored during seminars through class group activities and individual contributions from students based on pre-prepared work. Students' awareness of the extent to which they are progressing well within the module is ensured by means of tutor and peer feedback to their contributions to group based and individual set tasks. Progress is evident in the extent to which, within such tasks, students are able to demonstrate critical assessment of the implications of theories considered on child development generally as well as (where relevant) within their own field of practice.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2500 word essay100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 12/10/2020 10:05:24


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