Infancy: Family and Social Context

Subject PSYT90030 (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 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

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

Approx. 170 hours

Prerequisites: None
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


Assoc Prof Brigid Jordan


Academic Contact
A/Prof Brigid Jordan

Administrative contact

Victoria Kingsley


Subject Overview:

The subject will focus on the family and social factors which influence infant development and family relationships, and introduce some of the mental health problems which infants and families may experience.

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 familiarize students with a historical perspective on infant care practices and their relevance to contemporary parenting practice
  • to inform students about theoretical models for understanding family processes, dynamics, structure and evolution
  • to introduce students to practical and theoretical aspects of child-rearing and the influence of factors on these
  • to introduce students to theoretical models for understanding factors influencing transition to parenthood and vulnerabilities in adaptation to parenthood.
  • to inform students about some common problems encountered by infants and their parents in early infancy and toddlerhood
  • to provide an introduction to models of infant mental health assessment and treatment
  • Essay of 4,000 words due end of semester (worth 80%)
  • Written assignment of 1,000 words (worth 20%)
  • Participation during class (this will be assessed by the facilitator on active discussions during seminars and commenting on prescribed reading) throughout 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 critically appraise, apply and synthesis theories about family and social factors to identify and describe how the infant’s emotional and social development occurs in the context of family and social factors. Students will be able to recognise and describe common mental health problems and some of the infant mental health approaches to clinical intervention.


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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