Curriculum Guideline

Lifespan Human Development

Effective Date:
Course Code
PSYC 1130
Lifespan Human Development
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture 4 hours per week/semester
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

The course will involve a number of instructional methods, such as the following:

  • lectures
  • small group discussions
  • demonstrations
  • presentations
  • audio visual materials
  • guest lectures
Course Description
This course provides an introduction to human development through an exploration of lifelong changes that occur from conception to death. Each stage of the life-cycle will be examined to assess biological, cognitive, and social influences on human development. The influence of social and cultural context on development will be studied.
Course Content

Developmental  Issues in Lifespan Development

  • Heredity and Environment.
  • Continuity or Discontinuity.
  • Deficit or Difference.

 Research Methods

  • The Scientific Method.
  • Developmental Research Designs.
  • Research Problems in Lifespan Development.

Ethical Issues in Lifespan Development Research.

  • Perspectives on Lifespan Development
  • Psychological Theories.
  • Sociological Theories.
  • Biological Theories.

Physical Development

  • Prenatal Development.
  • Infancy and Toddlerhood.
  • Early and Middle Childhood.
  • Adolescence.
  • Young, Middle, and Late Adulthood.

Cognitive Development

  • Infancy and Toddlerhood.
  • Early and Middle Childhood.
  • Adolescence.
  • Young, Middle, and Late Adulthood.

Personality and Social Development

  • Infancy and Toddlerhood.
  • Early and Middle Childhood.
  • Adolescence.

Lifestyle Choices and Options

  • Marriage/Cohabitation.
  • Gay and Lesbian Relationships.
  • Divorce and Separation.
  • Singlehood.
  • Parenthood.
  • Grandparenthood.

The Family

  • Parent-Adolescent Interaction.
  • Post-parental Adjustments.
  • Caring for Aging Parents.

Vocational Development

  • Careers at Midlife.
  • Women in the Labour Force.


  • Retirement Dimensions.
  • Adjustments to Retirement.

Psychopathology and Treatment

  • Dementia.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety, Schizophrenia.
  • Family Therapy.
  • Institutionalization.

Death and Bereavement

  • Psychological Theories of Dying Processes.
  • Dying with Dignity.
  • Definitions and Components of Dying.
  • Bereavement and Grief.
Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:

  1. Explain the major theoretical perspectives on lifespan development.
  2. Explain the influence of heredity on behaviour and physical characteristics.
  3. Describe processes of cognitive and language development throughout the lifespan.
  4. Describe physical developmental changes occurring throughout the lifespan.
  5. Analyze theories of personality development.
  6. Examine the impact of social influence on personality through the lifespan.
  7. Explain family interactions and relationships and describe how they change over the lifespan.
  8. Describe the impact of life style choices, career involvement, and retirement on social, cognitive, and physical development.
  9. Explain psychological theories of the dying process.
  10. Describe the processes of bereavement and grief.
Means of Assessment

The course evaluation will be in accordance with Douglas College and Psychology Department policies. Evaluations will be based on the course objectives. The specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester.


An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:


2 midterm exams     50%
Final exam  20%
Presentation  15%
Written essay  15%
Total 100%
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:


Textbook(s) such as the following, the list to be updated periodically:


Santrock, J., MacKenzie-Rivers, A., Leung, K. H., & Malcomson, T. (2011). Life-span development (4th

        Canadian ed.). Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.