Infant and Parent Relationship

Subject PSYT90027 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 contact hours
Total Time Commitment:

Approx. 170 hours

  • Degree in psychiatry, medicine, psychology, nursing, social work, occupational therapy or other similar disciplines relevant in a child health or mental health setting;
  • Two year's clinical experience; and
  • Preferably working with, or anticipating working with expectant parents, babies, toddlers and their families and parent-infant dyads.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Clinical experience in a perinatal or child health or mental health or child welfare setting.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the 3 Disability Liaison Unit website : 4


Academic Contact
A/Prof Brigid Jordan

Administrative Contact
Victoria Kingsley


Subject Overview:

This subject will focus on the theoretical foundations of all aspects of infant development and the development of infant-parent relationships.

Students should note that attending and undertaking activities in this subject will not be possible without at current Working with Children Check.

Learning Outcomes:
  • To provide students with knowledge of the historical and contemporary theories of infant development
  • To provide students with knowledge about contemporary infant care practices
  • To inform students of key developmental infant psychology literature and research on infant's capacities
  • To introduce students to the empirical methodologies and research paradigms used to observe and study infant development and interactions.
  • To inform students of key psychodynamic and psychoanalytic concepts/models for understanding the infant's and family's experience.
  • To provide students with a knowledge of attachment theory and contemporary attachment research measures

  • Essay of 4,000 words due end of semester (worth 80%)
  • Written short answer questions as a take-home task, due end of semester (worth 20%)
  • Participation during class due end of semester (hurdle requirement)

Prescribed Texts:

Zeanah, C.H. Handbook of Infant Mental Health, 3rd edition
Thomson Salo F.S. & Paul,C., The Baby as Subject Volume 2, Stonnington Press.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Students will be able to recognise and describe infant developmental progress in all domains including cognition, perception, language, psychosomatic functioning, and emotional regulation
  • Students will be able to recognise and describe infant emotional and social development
  • Students will be able to recognize and generate plausible and evidence informed hypotheses about the subjective emotional experience of infants and toddlers
  • Students will be able to critically evaluate different theoretical models for understanding infant behaviour and infant parent interactions
  • Students will be able to discuss infant behaviour from both developmental and relational theoretical perspectives
  • Students will be able to recognize and generate plausible and evidence informed hypotheses about the dynamics of infant-parent relationships


It is required that applicants have a Working With Children Check before commencing this subject.

Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Science
Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Science
Master of Mental Health Science

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