What Does a Child Psychologist Do?


Quick Answer

Child psychologists perform the duties of a clinical psychologist, but with an emphasis on children. They perform duties that overlap with a number of subfields of psychology, such as developmental and clinical psychology. Child psychologists commonly interview patients to gather information, conduct various tests and suggest techniques to alter harmful behavior patterns.

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What Does a Child Psychologist Do?
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Full Answer

Child psychologists are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of behavioral and emotional disorders. Clinical psychologists do not usually prescribe medication and are only allowed to do so in two states, Louisiana and New Mexico. If the psychologist feels that medication may be an appropriate treatment, she generally consults with a medical doctor or psychiatrist.

Child psychologists may also specialize in developmental psychology or school psychology. Developmental psychology studies and works with the physiological changes of growing children and adolescents. School psychology focuses on educational issues, learning problems and behavioral problems specific to school environments. School psychologists also frequently interact with teachers and administrators to suggest courses of action in handling student problems.

Child psychologists usually interview children, listening to what they say and making observations about their behavior to better understand what is going on with them. They may also administer psychological tests and conduct scientific studies.

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