Childhood Studies Minor

Children playing together

The Childhood Studies (CHST) minor involves the study of children and adolescents using a multidisciplinary approach. It is an inquiry into childhood and adolescence from the perspectives of the behavioral sciences, the health sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences.

For example, in the behavioral and health sciences, childhood studies can concern the physical, cognitive, and social development of human beings from conception to adolescence. In the humanities, childhood studies can be a focused investigation of children’s literature, of religion and childrearing, and of the philosophical debate on the nature of childhood. In the social sciences, childhood studies can investigate the influence of culture, economics, social policies, and history on childhood experiences.

Program Overview

A Childhood Studies minor will enable undergraduate students who are interested in children and adolescents to conduct an in-depth exploration of the field from multiple perspectives. This way, horizons are broadened, critical thinking is encouraged, and collaboration becomes possible. Consequently, students will be better prepared for graduate level work and for careers in social services, youth programming, education, and public policy.

Students will be required to complete 20 credit hours, divided into three levels of study. There will be a foundations course, three core courses and one capstone course. The foundations course explores the concept of childhood addressing historical, contemporary, and global issues. Students will have the opportunity to research and explore these issues from a personal perspective as well as from the perspectives of cultural, social, economic, environmental, political, or educational issue affecting children.


Program Coordinator:

Kaite Yang

Kaite Yang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology


Five courses (20 credits) are required for the minor. All students must take the Foundations course, Perspectives on Childhood, and a Capstone course which includes extensive hands-on experience working with children and/or adolescents. The three remaining courses are drawn from two categories: Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Issues. Students must select one course from each category and the third course may be chosen from either category. Alternate course selections may be approved by the minor coordinator on a case by case basis.

Curriculum Worksheet

Foundations Course (4 credits):

GEN 1138 Perspectives on Childhood

Core Courses (12 credits):

One course from each of the following two categories, and a third course from either category

Category One: Historical Perspectives (4 credits)

GAH 3617 Meanings of Motherhood
GEN 2238 The Holocaust in Children’s Literature
GEN 2308 Children of the Holocaust
GEN 3245 Multicultural Children’s Literature
GIS 3667 Families and Genocide
GIS 4638 Adolescent Culture
GSS 2181 The History of Childbirth in America
GSS 2324 The History of Play in America
HLTH 2115 Language Development
HLTH 3115 Speech and Language Development
LANG 3253 Children’s Literature in Spanish
LITT 2108 Children’s Literature
PSYC 2201 Adolescence
PSYC 3323 Childhood and Adolescence
PSYC 3618 The Psychology of Child Witness
Alternate courses with approval by Minor Coordinator

Category Two: Contemporary Issues (4 credits)

CRIM 2111 Juvenile Justice
EDUC 1515 Diversity in Families, Schools, and Communities
EDUC 2231 Development of the Learner
EDUC 2241 Inclusive Learning in Education
GIS 3205 Battered Children: Social Construction
GSS 2207 The Amazing Baby
GSS 2337 Gender and Aggressive Behavior
GSS 3102 Effects of Media on Children
GSS 3176 Youth in The Wire and Beyond
GSS 3244 Children and Crime
GSS 3360 Schools of the Future
PSYC 3391 Educational Psychology
PSYC 3605 Psychology of Eating Disorders
PSYC 3705 Research on Childhood and Adolescence
SOCY 2290 Schools and Society
SOWK 3650 Topics in Child Welfare
SOWK 3670 Child Welfare Services and Practice
Alternate courses with approval by Minor Coordinator

Third course from either Category One or Category Two (4 credits)

Capstone Course (4 credits):

The capstone course must include extensive hands-on experience working with children and/or adolescents. Alternate course selections may be approved by the Minor Coordinator on a case by case basis.

ANTH 3904 Community Partnership: Language and Identity
EDUC 4600 Intermediate Fieldwork in Education
GSS 3184 Community Schools: Urban Change Agents
NURS 3903 Care of the Childbearing/Childrearing Family
SOCY 3745 Urban Education Issues
PSYC 3904 Field Placement in Childhood Studies

A combined "C" average grade (GPA of 2.0 or higher) for all minor courses is expected. The program will accept 18 credits from transfer students to confer the minor if they have met all other requirements.

Childhood Studies Minor Faculty

Guia Calicdan-Apostle

Guia Calicdan-Apostle, DSW (University of Pennsylvania), Associate Professor of Social Work: clinical social work practice, cultural competence, spirituality in mental health, public health intervention and advocacy (tobacco control)

Merydawilda Colón

Merydawilda Colón, Ph.D. (The City University of New York), Executive Director of the Stockton Center for Community Engagement and Professor of Social Work: social work practice, hospice (grief, death and dying), acculturation and attitudes of Latinos towards hospice, Latinos and community outreach, social work with oppressed groups

Susan Cydis

Susan Cydis, Ed.D. (Widener University), Associate Professor of Education: literacy education, elementary education, authentic instruction and assessment, competency-based education practices

Lauren DelRossi

Lauren DelRossi, DPT (Stockton University), Associate Professor of Physical Therapy: Gross Motor Development in rare genetic disorders, technology and pedagogy, interprofessional education and collaborative practice

Shawn R. Donaldson

Shawn R. Donaldson, Ph.D. (Rutgers, The State University), Associate Professor of Sociology: race/class/gender, sociology of law, medical sociology, demography, South African studies

Kelly A. Dougherty

Kelly A. Dougherty, Ph.D. (The Pennsylvania State University), Associate Professor of Exercise Science: physical activity- and nutrition-related issues in healthy and chronically ill children and young adults, including those with cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, and obesity.

Marcia Fiedler

Marcia Fiedler, Ed.D. (University of Phoenix), Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies: biblical studies, Hebrew, Jewish education, Jewish women, women and Jewish law

Christine A. Gayda-Chelder

Christine A. Gayda-Chelder, Ph.D. (Drexel University), Assistant Professor of Psychology: health psychology, clinical neuropsychology, traumatic brain injury, dementia, caregiver burden 

Helana Girgis

Helana Girgis, Ph.D. (University of Arkansas), Assistant Professor of Psychology: Developmental and lifespan psychology, cognitive development, personality, conceptual development of foods and idea ownership, cross-cultural research.

John Gray

John Gray, Ed.D. (Walden University), Visiting Instructor of Organizational Leadership

Marion Hussong

Marion Hussong, Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania), Professor of Literature and Holocaust and Genocide Studies: holocaust literature, 19th and 20th century German and Austrian literature, comparative literature, children's literature

Janice O. Joseph

Janice O. Joseph, Ph.D. (York University), Distinguished Professor of Criminal Justice: juvenile justice, criminology and deviance, minorities and crime, corrections

Gorica Majstorovic

Gorica Majstorovic, Ph.D. (New York University), Professor of Spanish: Iberian, Latin American and U.S. Latino literature, film, visual arts and theater, postcolonial studies

Sara Martino

Sara Martino, Ph.D. (Temple University), Professor of Counseling: counseling psychology, illness-related stress disorders, female aggression, self-mutilation, superwoman ideal, gender group identity, psychology of women, marriage and family therapy

Shelly Meyers

Shelly Meyers, Ed.D. (Nova Southern University), Associate Professor of Education: special education, pedagogy, inclusion, supervision and leadership, education to workplace transition, behavior management

Mary Padden-Denmead

Mary Padden-Denmead, Ph.D. (Widener University), Associate Professor of Nursing: pediatrics, maternal and child health, research

Gail H. Rosenthal

Gail H. Rosenthal, M.A. (Stockton University), Director of the Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center: education, Holocaust Resource Center Internships 

Irene Sanders

Irene Sanders, Ed.D. (Rowan University), Assistant Professor of Health Science: speech and language development, speech and language disorders throughout the lifespan, language literacy, language learning-based disorders, auditory perception

Rose Scaffidi

Rose Scaffidi, Dr.N.P. (Drexel University), Associate Professor of Nursing: women's health, research, assessment

Allison N. Sinanan

Allison N. Sinanan, Ph.D. (Fordham University), Professor of Social Work: sexual abuse recurrence in minority children, oppression of children and families of color

Connie M. Tang

Connie M. Tang, Ph.D. (University of Wyoming, Laramie), Professor of Psychology: child and adolescent development, child maltreatment and juvenile delinquency, psychology and the law, social cognition, culture and cognition, research methods

Judith Vogel

Judith Vogel, Ph.D. (Temple University), Professor of Mathematics: numerical linear algebra, Children of the Holocaust, Holocaust education using children's literature

Keith B. Williams

Keith B. Williams, Ph.D. (University of Minnesota), Professor of Psychology: educational psychology, social psychology, educational testing and measurement, psychology of individual differences

Kerrin C. Wolf

Kerrin C. Wolf, Ph.D. (University of Delaware), Assistant Professor of Business Studies, Public Law: school discipline, children and the law, education law and policy, health law and policy, juvenile justice

Kaite Yang

Kaite Yang, Ph.D. (Princeton University), Associate Professor of Psychology: social psychology, personality and individual differences, the emergence of gender differences, meta-analysis, thought speed and creativity.


Joseph J. Marchetti

Joseph J. Marchetti, Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania), Professor Emeritus of Education: educational research, educational leadership, organizational leadership, curriculum and instruction

Jean Mercer

Jean Mercer, Ph.D. (Brandeis University), Professor Emerita of Psychology: developmental psychology, early childhood, infancy, perception, history and systems

Linda Williamson Nelson

Linda Williamson Nelson, Ph.D. (Rutgers, The State University), Professor Emerita of Anthropology and Africana Studies: anthropological linguistics, cultural anthropology, gender and culture, field methods, contemporary African American literature, African American vernacular English, African American culture

Joseph Rubenstein

Joseph Rubenstein, Ph.D. (New School for Social Research), Professor Emeritus of Anthropology: religion and ritual, anthropological theory, ethnicity, Jewish culture, field methods, food and culture, anthropological photography, community engagement

Admission to the Minor

The Childhood Studies Minor is open to students of all majors. Interested students should inform their preceptor of their interest and be sure to complete the Declaration of Major/Minor Form, available through Academic Advising to officially declare the minor. The declaration form must be signed by the minor coordinator. Childhood Studies courses could be incorporated into the student’s overall graduation requirements, depending on the student’s major. Due to the diverse nature of the coursework, many of the courses can be applied toward program, cognate or at-some-distance requirements. For example, CHST is generally a cognate to PSYC, SOWK, SOCY/ANTH, CRIM, POLS, ECON and some programs in the School of Health Sciences. For majors in the Arts and Humanities or Natural Sciences, most CHST courses would be considered at-some-distance. Students should consult with their preceptor and the CHST Coordinator to find out exactly how courses in the minor can be applied. The decision about where CHST courses fit into a student’s academic plan is usually made by the student’s preceptor in their major. Planning early, particularly in programs with highly structured requirements, can help students complete the minor without taking additional courses beyond the basic 128 credit hours needed for graduation.

Career Opportunities

Completing a minor in Childhood Studies should increase success in applying to graduate programs in developmental psychology, clinical psychology, forensic psychology, social work, communication disorders, education, criminal justice, law, nursing, and health sciences.

Specialized training in childhood and adolescence would be an asset for students entering into the following professions to help children and youth directly, or to administer to the needs of children and adolescents indirectly through creative programming and policies: guidance counseling, family therapy, social work, speech-language pathology or audiology, teaching at all levels, school administration, public health, allied health professions (e.g., OT, PT), and nonprofit organization management.