What is Child Psychology? Meaning, Nature, Scope, Importance & More

October 2023

Child psychology is a crucial field and branch of psychology focused on dealing with the cognitive, emotional, and behavioural development of children. It revolves around identifying and addressing the diverse needs of children and helping them deal with various mental health issues and disorders to ensure their overall well-being and health.

Child Psychology as a discipline of study and profession is slowly becoming more popular day by day. But what exactly is child psychology? And what is its importance and scope? In this post, we’re going to talk about the Meaning, Nature, Scope, and Importance of Child Psychology. Let’s Dive in!

What is Child Psychology?

Child Psychology is the study of the psychological processes of children and focuses on the minds and behaviours of kids. It is a form of developmental psychology that studies children from childhood to adolescence on factors such as how they perceive the world, the inner working of their minds, their personalities, their reaction to things and situations, and their interactions with the world. It majorly focused on the Physical Development, Cognitive Development, and Social-Emotional Development of children.

Since child psychology revolves around the subconscious and conscious development of children and their mental development, Its study is important to help them with issues that may cause emotional or behavioural problems. An expert in child psychology is called a “Child Psychologist” and uses psychological evaluations and therapy to help children and adolescents with various mental, emotional, social, and behavioural health conditions. They focus on a variety of factors such as self-esteem, school, parenting, social pressures, and other subjects to help kids develop and grow in healthy ways.

History & Nature of Child Psychology

In the 20th century, with advancements in technology and medical sciences, more and more people started paying attention to mental health and psychology being important indicators of a person’s health. As the idea flourished, various branches of psychology and its study also emerged. Earlier, children were often viewed as smaller versions of adults, so there weren’t different fields of study for adult and child psychology.

However, with time, medical professionals and therapists realised the fact that children and adults cannot be treated the same way as children actually think, perceive, and do things very differently than adults. Their reactions to things and situations, social and mental skills, and behavioural patterns are not the same as those of adults. This gave rise to a new branch of psychology- which we now know as child psychology and various child psychology theories also emerged.

Today, psychologists and medical professionals realize and recognize that child psychology is unique and complex. Over the last few decades, there has been a significant rise in various studies related to the mind and behaviour of children and adolescents, and the number of child psychologists and psychiatrists has also increased.

Scope of Child Psychology

Childhood and adolescence are two important periods of any person’s life. Our experiences and lives throughout these years shape who and what we become and determine our adult behaviour and attitude. Since the importance of these years cannot be overstated, we can’t ignore the importance of child psychology for the betterment of a sound society. Therefore, child psychology has a profound scope in the development of societies, communities, and nations as a whole.

As more and more people become sensitive towards the concept of mental health and the increase in the number of parents seeking mental support for their children, the scope of child psychology increases further. As a career, the scope for a child psychologist is showing no signs of diminishing and is proving to be a rewarding career. Moreover, to address the ongoing mental health crisis globally, especially among children, we need more attention to the study of child psychology and more professionals trained to address such issues and help them lead a happy and healthy life.

Scope of Child Psychology in India

India is a huge and diverse country- be it its size, population, and age groups. It is also home to a major portion of young people. Given its vast population, every 5th person in India is an adolescent between 10 and 19 years and every 3rd person is aged between 10 and 24 years. The country is also home to over 444 million children, making it one of the largest child and adolescent populations in the world.

These statistics clearly show that India has a huge child and adolescent population. Reports show that there has been a significant rise in mental health and disorder-related cases in India among children such as learning disorders, ADHD, mood disorders, study-related ­anxiety and depression. This calls for an urgent need to address their mental health concerns as well. 


However, the number of child psychologists in India isn’t enough to address all these concerns. The country has limited training institutes in India offering specialisation in child psychology. However, some good options are emerging. However, there is a sincere need for uniformity in course structure, quality of training programmes, and the number of educational institutions offering specialisation in child psychology to meet these demands and address the mental health concerns among children. Therefore the concept of child psychology, concerned research, and its study has a huge scope in India.

Importance of Child Psychology

Child psychology is a very important discipline because it helps you understand how children and their minds develop and grow. Since these children are going to become the next adult population, early intervention through child psychology can help the general population. Moreover, many specialists agree that counselling children is easier than adults because they are more open to change and learning.

Child Psychology helps us in understanding the development of children and gaining insight into the growth and progress of children. This gives us a better understanding of how children grow physically, emotionally, and mentally and perceive the world which further helps us address their concerns. By knowing the issues and challenges they encounter from infancy to adolescence, we can help them with appropriate support and guidance.


Child psychology also helps us address serious issues at an early age through early intervention and avoid long-term negative effects. By intervening early, we can provide valuable support to children and their mental well-being through therapies, educational programs, and specialised interventions and promote optimal growth and development in children. Lastly, child psychology helps us foster a nurturing environment for children in which they can grow and learn and can help us contribute to a child’s long-term success and happiness.


  1. Is Child Psychology similar to adult psychology?

No, child psychology is very different from adult psychology as their minds differ greatly from each other. Both of these age groups sometimes face similar, but mostly different mental issues and the approach to deal with these issues is also different.

  1. Is Child Psychology a good career choice?

Yes, it is definitely a great career choice. There is a growing demand for child psychologists in India and the lower number of child psychologists also translates to less competition in the market. Plus, it is a fulfilling career choice as you get a chance to help children and adolescents with their concerns.

  1. Can a child psychologist help specially-abled children?

Yes, a child psychologist can help specially-abled children with various mental health issues and disorders. Child psychologists are trained to assess and understand children’s cognitive, emotional, and behavioural development, including those with special needs. They can provide support, interventions, and therapies tailored to the specific needs of each child.