The course aims to promote theoretical knowledge related to the main study models of adolescence and the understanding of evolutionary issues concerning adolescents. The course also proposes to show how this knowledge can be applied to a professional reality through the use of survey instruments and development assessment. Finally, the course aims to foster students’ independent judgment with respect to the theoretical issues studied and improve their ability to communicate about the aspects they have investigated and learned.
Advanced developmental psychology
Course contents summary
The first set of preparatory lessons will cover the introductory aspects related to adolescence: patterns of interpretation, developmental challenges and developmental tasks.
Then issues such as peer relationships, friendship, the use of the internet and social networks among peers, and risky behavior will be taken into consideration.
Finally, the last lessons will cover topics such as the needs of separation and attachment during adolescence, the second process of separation/individuation, the construction of identity, emotional autonomy, solitude and self-determination.
The course will provide in-depth knowledge about adolescence, starting from the presentation of the more classical models and then focusing in particular on the latest and recently updated theories. In the first part of the course, a socio-constructivist approach will be illustrated and discussed. The results of several studies concerning different topics of adolescents’ development will be presented. In particular, lessons will be centered on identity formation, family, friendship and peer relationships, substance use and dependencies, and risky behavior. In the second part of the course, these same topics will be analyzed starting from a psychodynamic perspective. Specific attention will be devoted to the adolescents’ multiple changes, such as physical, cognitive, emotional and affective changes. The third part of the course will concern in particular two aspects which are nowadays particularly salient for adolescent development. One is the oscillation between autonomy and dependence, while the other is related to visions of the future.
Albiero, P. (2012). Il benessere psicosociale in adolescenza. Roma, Carocci (tranne capitoli 1,8 e 9)
Maggiolini, A., Pietropolli Charmet G. (2004). Manuale di psicologia dell’adolescenza. Compiti e conflitti. Milano: Franco Angeli. (I e II parte)
Corsano, P., Musetti , A. (2012). Dalla solitudine all'autodeterminazione. Milano, Cortina.
Lectures and individual study will be proposed in order to facilitate the acquisition of theoretical knowledge. Group work, exercises, seminars with professional psychologists, discussions and oral presentations in the classroom will be offered to encourage the acquisition of the ability to apply this knowledge in real life, independent judgment and communication skills.
Assessment methods and criteria
Examinations will be both written and oral. The written examination consists of open-ended questions designed to assess the knowledge and skills acquired. The oral examination will assess students’ independent judgment, their ability to communicate and to apply those skills to reality. Every written answer will be given a score of thirty. Students will be admitted to the oral examination if they get at least the minimum score (18/30) in at least half plus one of the number of questions.
The final vote corresponds to the average between the written and oral vote.