Applied Developmental Psychology Program
Ph.D. in Applied Psychology with specialization in Applied Developmental Psychology
Applied Developmental Psychology is an emerging discipline which focuses on the use of developmental theory and research to promote positive developmental outcomes in individuals, families, and communities. Students in the program are trained to contribute to all aspects of this endeavor. They are taught to conduct theory-driven research to advance our knowledge of developmental processes through a wide array of didactic courses and research practica. They are also trained on how to use this science-based knowledge for many practical applications to promote healthy behavioral, social, cognitive, emotional, and biological development in persons of all ages. These applications include developing and administering assessment procedures that measure important developmental processes or important contextual influences on these processes (e.g., family environment, teaching strategies, cultural standards), designing and implementing interventions that promote optimal development with a particular emphasis on the prevention of developmental disorders, and disseminating information that promotes healthy development to the public, to professionals, and to policy makers.
Within this training in applied developmental psychology, the UNO program has chosen a specialty focus in the area of developmental psychopathology. This framework recognizes the importance of applying our understanding of normal developmental processes to the study, the prevention, and the treatment of psychopathological conditions. By being firmly rooted in the developmental tradition, it acknowledges that any adequate understanding of normal and abnormal development must capture a complex interplay of biological, cognitive, social, and cultural factors. As such, faculty in this program, while all committed to a developmental perspective, bring varying expertise to the study and treatment of psychopathological disorders. Furthermore, the recognition of the importance of biological processes in both normal and abnormal development provides a collaborative atmosphere with students and faculty in the applied biopsychology program. Students in the program are trained to be uniquely suited to carry out research that cuts across traditional boundaries in psychology (e.g., clinical, developmental, biological, social, community) and to development and implement interventions based on this integrated approach to understanding psychopathological disorders.