Adolescent Psychology [CRN 77134]

Discipline: Psychology
Instructor: Gingerich
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1340
End: 1500
Field Work: Day 2 - Monday, 14 November | Trinidad and Tobago
Prerequisites: General Psychology Download Syllabus

This course explores current theories and research in the biological, psychological, and social domains of the adolescent developmental period.  Paying special attention to the influence of cultural and socioeconomic contexts, we will review definitions of adolescence and explore transitions into adolescence and early adulthood as well as the rites of passage that mark those transitions.  Topics include individual and group identity formation, gender development, parenting and family relationships, peer influences, cognitive and personality development, religious influences and identities, and emerging vocational interests.  Predictors of optimal growth and resilience will be examined, as well as threats to healthy development and interventions for developmental, emotional, and social difficulties.  Finally, we will highlight the significant contributions of adolescents around the world in their homes, schools, and communities.

Field Work

Country: Trinidad and Tobago
Day: 2 - Monday, 14 November

At the University of the West Indies, PSY465 students will interact with local young people and faculty to learn about many aspects of life in Trinidad & Tobago, focusing on cultural factors that affect development for adolescents and young adults.  This field class will provide students with the opportunity to ask questions and learn about cultural, social, educational, and economic factors that affect the day-to-day lives of young people.  Students will create relevant questions that relate to course concepts such as school, work, family, relationships, gender roles, media, coping, and resilience. Learning objectives:

  1. To identify many social, cultural, and economic factors that affect adolescent development in Trinidad & Tobago
  2. To learn first-hand about some typical and atypical day-to-day experiences of young people in Trinidad & Tobago
  3. To compare the experiences of young people in Trinidad & Tobago with the experiences of adolescents in our home countries and in other ports of call
  4. To understand issues related to adolescence and emerging adulthood from the point of view of the young people and faculty at the University of the West Indies