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Psychological and Developmental Issues in Adolescence

Overview

  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 5
  • Assessment: two 1500-word pieces of coursework, such as essays, case studies, reports and class presentations

Module description

This module aims to explore the potential impact of a range of developmental disorders, psychological disorders and adverse experiences on young people’s lives and on their education.

Indicative module content

  • Introduction: the course will begin with a brief recap of appropriate concepts and theories in order to contextualise the planned areas of discussion; major theories of adolescent psychosocial, biological and cognitive development will be revisited, focusing particularly on puberty, family and peer relations, identity formation, the development of autonomy and independence and sexuality. This part of the course will also consider the ethical and methodological problems of research with young people.
  • Developmental Disorders: we will use our understanding of young people’s development to explore the current key explanations and for a range of developmental conditions associated with adolescence. Although the interests of students will to some extent inform the exact content of this section of the course, it is anticipated that a range of conditions such as conduct disorders and gender identity disorders will be considered. Strategies for managing and/or treating these conditions will be discussed as appropriate.
  • Psychological Disorders: we will use our understanding of young people’s development to explore the current key explanations and for a range of psychological conditions. Although the interests of students will to some extent inform the exact content of this section of the course, it is anticipated that a range of conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders, eating disorders and self-harm will be considered. Strategies for managing and/or treating these conditions will be discussed as appropriate.
  • Adverse Experiences: we will consider the impact of a number of adverse experiences in young people’s lives. Although the specific interests of students will to some extent inform the exact content of this section of the course, it is anticipated that abuse, bullying, parental divorce or separation, substance abuse, issues of self-esteem and body image will be considered. Strategies for supporting and/or treating young people with such experiences will be discussed as appropriate.

Learning objectives

By the end of the module, you will be able to:

  • outline key ideas and major theories of adolescent development
  • outline key aspects of psychosocial, biological and cognitive development in adolescence
  • outline and critically evaluate the key explanations for the causes of a range of psychological conditions that particularly affect adolescents
  • describe and evaluate the potential impact of these conditions on young people’s lives and education
  • outline and critically evaluate the current psychological thinking on the impact of a range of adverse experiences on young people’s lives and education
  • identify ethical and methodological problems in research with children.