The Clinical Psychology Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst offers a Major Area of Study – according to the Council of Specialties taxonomy - in Clinical Child Psychology (https://www.cospp.org/clinical-child-psychology), as well as an Emphasis in Family Psychology (https://www.cospp.org/family-psychology). Students may complete only the Clinical Child Major Area of Study or they may also complete the Emphasis on Family Psychology, based on their completion of the training experiences described below.
Like the Clinical Psychology Program as a whole, the Clinical Child and Family specialties provide training to graduate students for professional work as academic clinical psychologists. Academic clinical psychologists most often contribute to the field through their work as university faculty in departments of psychology, as medical school faculty in departments of psychiatry, or within government or private social policy agencies. To this end, the Clinical Child and Family specialties provide training in clinical research, assessment, and intervention with children, adolescents, and families. These specialties address development across the life course, from infancy through adolescence to adulthood, with attention to the ways in which social contexts, such as family, race, ethnicity, and social class, affect individual well-being and development.
Several clinical faculty conduct research, teach and/or provide clinical supervision for the Clinical Child and Family specialties: Drs. Adam Grabell, Maria Galano, Harold Grotevant, Lisa Harvey, Holly Laws, Maureen Perry-Jenkins, and Rebecca Stowe. Additional faculty from the clinical, developmental, and social areas of the department contribute substantively to the Clinical Child and Family specialties through offering related courses and supervising and collaborating in research activities. The faculty associated with these specialties maintain a strong relationship with the University’s Center for Research on Families and the Rudd Adoption Research Program.
In addition to completing all coursework required in the clinical program, students completing the Clinical Child Major Area of Study take the following graduate courses: 1) Human Development and 2) Assessment, Psychopathology, and Treatment of Children, Adolescents, and Families (2-semester sequence). Students also complete at least two years on the Child, Adolescent, and Family therapy team in the department's Psychological Services Center or complete at least one year on this team plus one year at a child clinical external practicum (e.g., at a community hospital, mental health center, or school). All students in the clinical program complete one year of ADHD Assessment Team and one year of Neuropsychological Assessment Team; students completing the Clinical Child Major Area of Study conduct a minimum of 3 child assessment cases across the two years of assessment practicum. Finally, students in the Clinical Child Major Area of Study complete an empirical dissertation and/or masters and other research in child clinical science.
In addition to completing all coursework required in the clinical program and for the Clinical Child Major Area of Study, students completing the Family Psychology Emphasis take the following graduate courses: 1) Psychology of Family or Psychology of Close Relationships, and 2) a graduate course on statistical methods for analyzing family data (e.g., Hierarchical Linear Modeling). Note that students also receive training in family psychology within the two semester graduate course in Assessment, Psychopathology, and Treatment of Children, Adolescents, and Families and in Human Development. Students complete two years of internal or external clinical practica that emphasize practice with families (these same practica can also fulfill the requirement for the Clinical Child Major Area of Study). Finally, students completing the Family Psychology Emphasis conduct a master’s thesis and/or dissertation with a family focus.