PSY 104: Child and Adolescent Development

Week 2 - Instructor Guidance



Here is a neat video describing prenatal development.

Click HERE to view this video directly on YouTube

Learning Outcomes

This week students will:

  • Identify specific concerns regarding pregnancy and prenatal development.
  • Describe the causes for and influences of Postpartum Depression on mothers, fathers, and the development of infants.
  • Inspect resources which can aid individuals and families in finding proper care for Postpartum Depression.


In this section you will find my own thoughts and teaching on the subject matter. This does not substitute for the assigned and suggested course readings and other materials.

Genetic Testing

Technological advances and increases in our understanding of the genetic basis of certain diseases and conditions has allowed us to forewarn parents and provide early interventions like no other point in history. Advances in medicine, however, are not without ethical concerns.

Can knowing too much about your unborn child lead you to make rash decisions?

Is it fair to have a child how may suffer for years with a condition?

These are the questions that face us today as we journey into a new world of understanding of our genetic make up.

Click HERE to visit the Disciplined website sponsored by the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health. On this page you will find links to descriptions of various genetic tests.

We often hear of genetic testing in isolation of the complete services that are provided. There are experts in genetic testing who function as "Genetic Counselors" to assist parents with choosing to do testing and in understanding the risks, benefits, and results of testing.

According to Disciplined:

Genetic counseling provides information and support to people who have, or may be at risk for, genetic disorders. A genetic counselor meets with you to discuss genetic risks. The counseling may be for yourself or a family member. Or you may get it when you are planning or expecting a baby. You may follow up with genetic testing.

There are many reasons to seek genetic counseling. You may consider it if you

  • Have a personal or family history of a genetic condition or birth defect
  • Are pregnant or planning to be pregnant after age 35
  • Already have a child with a genetic disorder or birth defect
  • Have had two or more pregnancy losses or a baby who died
  • Have had ultrasound or screening tests that suggest a possible problem

Postpartum Depression

This is a video on Postpartum Depression published by the March of Dimes
Click HERE to view this video on the original website  

Click HERE to view the definition of Postpartum Depression from the Mayo Clinic.

Click HERE to read the following article:

Field, T. (2010). Postpartum depression effects on early interactions, parenting, and safety practices: A review. Infant Behavior and Development. 33(1). 1.

Abstract - In this paper studies are reviewed from the last decade on postpartum depression effects on early interactions, parenting, safety practices and on early interventions. The interaction disturbances of depressed mothers and their infants appear to be universal, across different cultures and socioeconomic status groups and, include less sensitivity of the mothers and responsibility of the infants. Several caregiving activities also appear to be compromised by postpartum depression including feeding practices, most especially breastfeeding, sleep routines and well-child visits, vaccinations and safety practices. These data highlight the need for universal screening of maternal and paternal depression during the postpartum period. Early interventions reviewed here include psychotherapy and interaction coaching for the mothers, and infant massage for their infants.


In this section you will find any specific instructions or ideas I may have for you to support your graded work. Please read the instructions for each task in the course as well as the information I have here.

Discussion - Genetic Testing

In this discussion you are asked to address an ethical/moral decision. These are challenging in the context of an academic course. For the sake of this discussion you need to focus on identified risks and benefits of specific procedures (and in the case of the theoretical dilemmas, speculated risks and benefits).

Be sure that you speak to the documented risks and benefits FIRST. Support your conclusions with your sources (peer reviewed journals or reliable websites). You can THEN speak to the debate based on other grounds (ethical and moral).

This is a class that honors diversity of viewpoints, this is not a place to challenge individual stands, but to share those in a spirit of mutual understanding. I say this because I know that the debate about genetic interventions is a hot topic.

Discussion - Postpartum Letter

In this discussion you are asked to respond to a letter from a person who is concerned about her friend who may have postpartum depression. It is very important that you keep in mind your "audience" in this letter, but you need to back up your statements with references from factual information.

The BEST source of information on Postpartum is found in the Peer Reviewed literature. You can use the Ashford Library or you can link to Google Scholar and do a search there.

I did a search in Google Scholar using the phrase "postpartum and family" and limiting my search to articles published since 2014 I got a LOT of hits of good can approach this in a similar way to research each of the areas. Make sure you cite all your articles in APA format.

The Ashford Writing Center guide is available in Constellation (the same place you got your textbook) and it has all kinds of great information about APA citations!