Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE The Psychology of Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit explores adolescence and early adulthood as unique periods in social, emotional, spiritual, and cognitive development. Youth must first incorporate new ways of thinking and feeling into their emerging self concepts, and later establish an identity apart from the family of origin. Adolescence is a period of life marked by numerous physiological, psychological, and social changes - after which most youth embark on positive trajectories as adults. The concept of youth is a social construction.

A new developmental stage has been created between adolescence and young adulthood called emerging adulthood. This study-unit examines how the major developmental dynamics of adolescence and emerging adulthood are explicated in theory and research. Throughout, the study-unit pays particular attention to the role of social contexts (e.g., families, schools, peers, neighborhoods) in shaping the nature and course of adolescence and emerging adulthood. The study-unit will tackle: physical development; cognitive development; the self, identity, emotions, & personality; theories of adolescence and youth; youth transitions; the social context of adolescent development; emerging adulthood.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to explore important concepts and constructs in adolescent and youth development using theory and available empirical evidence to support analysis.

It seeks to critically analyze the concept of youth and emergent adulthood and explore the links between adolescent development and informal educational practice.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

a. understand the historical and cultural embeddedness of the concepts of adolescence, youth and emerging adulthood,

b. engage with the main theoretical perspectives on this period of the lifespan,

c. understand the various domains of young people's development and the various social contexts in which they operate.

2. Skills (including transferable [generic] skills):
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

a. critically engage with the related subject matter,

b. construct and apply theories of adolescence and youth,

c. reflect upon personal experiences in the field through the lens of psychological perspectives on adolescence,

d. distinguish between common sense and popularized notions on youth.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Santrock, J. (2003). Adolescence, 9th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill

France, A. (2007) Understanding Youth in Late Modernity

Kehily, J (2008)Understanding Youth: Perspectives, Identities & Practices: Perspectives, Identities and Practices The Open University

Roch, J. ( 2006 )Youth in Society: Contemporary Theory, Policy and Practice The Open University

Garratt, D., Roche, J. and Tucker, S (Eds) Changing Experiences of Youth The Open University

Adams, G. (2000) Adolescent Development: The Essential Readings Blackwell Publishing

Frydenberg, E. (2008) Adolescent Coping: Advances in Theory, Research and Practice Adolescence and Society Series Routledge


ADDITIONAL NOTES Please note that this Study-Unit is held in the Evening.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Jo Christine Scicluna

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Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.