Fall 2023: European, African, and Asian Adventure

HDFS 101 - Individual and Family Development

Overview of Course

“A frog in a well cannot discuss the ocean, because he is limited by the size of his well.”

—Zhuangzi. As humans, we grow and develop in ways that lead to a variety of outcomes. This course will offer you the opportunity to expand your thinking about how relationships, family, historical events, culture, biological make-up, and environmental factors influence outcomes related to thinking skills, physical health, and social-emotional well-being across the life cycle. Using an approach relevant to majors and careers in health, education, the behavioral sciences, and marketing, we will consider perspectives drawn from science and theory to understand cognitive, physical, and socioemotional changes throughout the entire lifespan. We also will examine factors that enhance life outcomes. Cross-cultural differences, as they pertain to different life stages, will be examined as students visit different ports over the semester.

What will you gain out of taking this course? Using readings, videos, and observation, we will:

identify and describe the physical, emotional, social, and cognitive changes that occur throughout each lifespan stage;
understand the significance of family, peers, and media at different lifespan stages;
apply the knowledge and principles of lifespan development to improve the lives of others (and possibly yourself); and
recognize the impact of global and cultural influence on outcomes.