Skip to main content

Child Development in a Global Context


Module description

This module covers child developmental from before birth to adolescence, with a focus on the role of environmental influences. As psychology reaches beyond the lab and beyond the WEIRD (white, educated, industrialised, rich, democratic) populations when investigating developmental trajectories, consideration of home, neighbourhood and global environmental influences becomes more and more important. This course will look at the effects of socioeconomic status (SES), resource-availability, social exclusion and poverty on development. There will be a combination of theory, research and interventions covered in this course.

Indicative module syllabus

  • Introduction and overview of the child in a global context (definitions, research history, and challenges)                 
  • The first 1001 days: language (bilingualism; word gap)
  • The first 1001 days: cognition (attention; executive functions)
  • Cognitive neuroscience of socioeconomic status
  • Culture and brain development
  • Neurodevelopment and mental health from a global perspective
  • The environment and developmental consequences (neighbourhoods; home environment)
  • Interventions: parent-mediated and large scale
  • Measurement and ethics
  • Global perspective

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • present a clear picture of the mechanisms underlying development, as it is mediated by environmental forces
  • describe the developmental consequences of differing early experiences
  • reflect critically on the link between experience and development
  • reflect on the influence of SES, and resource availability on development.