Specialized Domains of Nursing Practice - Healthy Infant and Child Development (3)

  • MSN
  • PhD


In this course, students will critically examine past and current theoretical perspectives and concepts in informing understanding and research in infant and child growth The course will consider infant and child development in the context of changes in health care, discourses from health care providers, and shifting work and gender roles in families. Major social and cultural, as well as bio-behavioral influences on normal growth and development will be explored. Particular topics of interest to students in the class can be explored in more detail in the seminars. Key writing in the area of infant and child development will be critically analyzed.
This seminar course offers opportunity to critically examine relationships among personal, interpersonal, and contextual features that affect infant and child development. The course will consider infant and child development in the context of the child’s family, national priorities, changes in health care and discourses from health care providers. Concepts such as infant/ child attachment, resiliency and self-regulation will be highlighted. The development of a more sophisticated understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of current understanding of interrelated factors and adequacy in informing and guiding research and health care interventions to foster children’s growth and development is part of the learning process.


  • Analyze and critique selected publications on infant and child development
  • Critically examine trends and the strength and limitations of theories of infant and child attachment and self-regulation in informing and guiding research and best practices
  • Analyze interrelated factors and environments that influence infant and child development
  • Consider sources of variability that may foster or impede growth and development trajectory across diverse populations of infants and children and sub-populations
  • Draw conclusion of the strengths, limitations and effectiveness of selected intervention studies developed to promote maternal infant interaction and optimal neurodevelopment over the infant’s first few years of life
  • Critically examine your assumptions and positions with regard to important elements of child development and their effects on your practice
  • Apply your understanding to develop critical questions about directions for nursing practice and/or education to foster infant and child growth and development

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