Child and Family Development: Psychological and Theological Perspectives – DBPC 600

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

This course provides essential foundational psychological and theological perspectives needed for understanding core child and family development stages and dynamics. Current trends, issues, and cultural norms are examined as well as risk and protective factors that influence resiliency and coping mechanisms in children and teens. Ethical concerns and multicultural factors are also considered.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


The principles taught in this course will provide counselors, pastors, and parenting champions the essential tools necessary for helping parents navigate and respect each child’s unique developmental stage.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify current trends and issues in child and adolescent development using the course information and past personal experience.
  2. Identify and describe characteristics and primary tasks of key developmental stages: infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, pre-adolescence, and adolescence.
  3. Identify and assess risk and protective factors for a child, including concepts of stress, resiliency, coping mechanisms, and developmental level.
  4. Describe the basic physical, emotional, and social changes that occur during childhood and adolescence, and the factors important to healthy growth.
  5. Construct a developmentally appropriate framework for child and adolescent psychotherapy.
  6. Analyze empirical research concerning issues in child development based upon a biblical worldview and employing theological principles.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of popular developmental theories and apply them to real life parenting situations.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations.

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module 1.

Discussions (4)

Discussion are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each Discussion. For each thread, students must use at least 2 scholarly citations and references in APA format. Sources cited must have been published within the last five years unless the student is citing classic or historical theoretical information or research. At least 1 source must be from course materials or scholarly, peer-reviewed articles or texts. Each Discussion will require the student to answer questions with at least 400 words based on the particular module’s reading (Dr. Dobson’s works and/or the core text), as well as video/audio content. The student will be required to post at least 2 replies of a minimum of 200 words each to other students’ threads.

Research Paper: Family Issues Assignment (2)

Twice in this class, the student will choose a topic from the Complete Marriage and Family Home Reference Guide to study more closely. In 4–6 pages, the student will compare current knowledge with facts from research (at least 4 scholarly sources) and then examine the chosen topic from both a psychological and a theological perspective. Current APA format must be used.

Text Review Assignment

After reading Building Confidence in Your Child, the student will summarize the text, analyze and reflect on the content, and apply the concepts to the field of counseling. This will be a 6–10-page paper in which the student will incorporate empirical research (at least 2 scholarly sources) into a systematic dissection of this text. Current APA format must be used.


The student will complete 4 open-book/open-notes, untimed quizzes that will consist of 20 multiple-choice questions and 2 short essays based on the course’s video, audio, and reading materials. Each short essay requires a response of at least 250 words.