Descriptor Details

  • Introduction to Lifespan Psychology
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  • 180
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  • 3.0
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  • Uploaded: 10/12/2017 04:43:55 PM PDT

This course provides an overview, from a psychological perspective, of human development from conception through death, including biological and environmental influences.  Theories and research of physical, cognitive, personality, and social development are examined, as well as attention to developmental problems.

English, one level below transfer (i.e., eligibility for English composition (C-ID ENGL 100)) and reading (a course with an exiting skill of ability to read a college level text).

  1. Introduction
    1. human development - definitions and controversies in the field (traditional Vs lifespan, continuous Vs discontinuous, nature Vs nurture)
    2. the scientific method
    3. approaches to studying change over time
  2. Developmental Theories
    1. Psychodynamic theories
    2. Behavioral and Social Cognitive Theories
    3. Contextual theories (e.g., sociocultural)
    4. Cognitive theories
  3. Genetics
    1. Genes, chromosomes and genetic transmission 
    2. Genetic and chromosomal disorders
  4. Prenatal Development and Birth
    1. Stages of prenatal development and birth (labor)
    2. Effects of the environment on prenatal development
    3. Neonatal testing and competencies
  5. Physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development during infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood
  6. Death and Dying


At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Contrast and compare developmental theories and approaches (including how different theoretical perspectives affect or determine the research and applications that arise from them)
  2. Analyze elements of a scientific approach to understanding human development in a biopsychosocial context
  3. Identify biological, psychological, and sociocultural influences on lifespan development
  4. Describe the ways in which psychological principles and research apply to real world problems and issues across the lifespan
  5. Describe the sequences of physical, social, and cognitive development across the lifespan, using the constructs and conceptual framework provided by psychological perspectives.
  6. Identify and describe the techniques and methods used by developmental psychologists to study human development.
  7. Identify and describe classic and contemporary theories and research in lifespan psychology.
  8. Describe the developing person at different periods of the lifespan.
  9. Identify possible causes or sources of developmental change and reasons for disturbances in the developmental process

May include:
Written Assignments

Santrock, Lifespan Development
Berk, Development Through the Lifespan
Boyd and Bee, Lifespan Development

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  • Most four-year institutions will treat this course as generic lower division psychology elective units, although it is a required course for many nursing programs.  It may be cross-listed with child development, Education, and/or sociology courses but must include a major focus on psychological theories, research, and perspectives.

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  • Psychology, lifespan, psych, life