Course Outline: Psychology 252

Course Information

  • Department: Psychology
  • Prepared By: Psychology Department
  • Prepared Date: Fall 2017
  • Course Title: Adult Development
  • Course Code: PSY 252
  • Credits: 3
  • Contact Hours: 45

Catalog Description

This course will deal primarily with the psychological correlates of development and transitions during adulthood. Specifically, the course will focus on such topics as what it means to be an adult, the meaning of marriage, the meaning of work, being a parent, divorce, the empty nest syndrome, mid-life crisis, retirement, and facing death. Biological and social factors will be taken into consideration, as will psychological theories and individual responses to stages and passages throughout adulthood.  Prerequisite(s): PSY 101. Credits: 3 (3,0)

  • Prerequisites: PSY 101, PSY 130, or PSY 131 or permission from Department Chairperson.
  • Required For: None
  • Elective For: All curricula with a social science elective
  • Required Text: Adult Development and Aging, 7th Edition, Cavanaugh and Blanchard-Fields, Wadsworth Publishing

Course Outline

Unit 1: Introduction

The first section of the course places the study of adulthood within the context of Developmental Psychology.  Topics include:  What is an adult?, current demographic trends, and the study of adult development.

Unit 2: Models and Theories of Adult Development

This section of the course presents the major theoretical perspectives on adult development.  Topics include:  Freudian Theory, Neo-Freudians (e.g. Erikson), Piaget, and Social Learning Theory.

Unit 3: Young Adulthood

The important and significant changes which take place during young adulthood are presented.  Topics include:  physical changes, continued cognitive development, the marital transition, and the expanded context (work, family and friends).

Unit 4: Middle Adulthood

The longest phase of the life cycle is presented in this section of the course.  Topics include:  physical changes, cognition - stability and change, midlife crisis, the expanded context/work, family and leisure.

Unit 5: Later Adulthood

The impact of aging on the individual is presented. Topics include:  physical changes, cognitive changes, personality and social network (attitudes toward aging, sexuality, family, friends, loss), the expanded context (retirement, ageism), and the final transition (facing one's own mortality).