Developmental Psychology: Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
PSYC 3321
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course is a psychological study of the adolescent and emerging adult stages of life-span development. The major theories and research findings about adolescent development are examined with a view to helping students to better understand themselves and others. Emphasis is placed on the social-cultural and historical context of this developmental period.
Course Content
  1. Historical and cultural perspectives
  2. Puberty, health and biological foundations
  3. The brain and cognitive development
  4. The self, identity, emotion and personality
  5. Gender
  6. Sexuality
  7. Moral development, values and religion
  8. Families
  9. Peers, romantic relationships and lifestyles
  10. Schools
  11. Achievement, work, and careers
  12. Culture
  13. Problems and resiliency
Learning Activities

This course will employ a number of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, such as:

  • lecture
  • seminar presentations
  • research papers
  • audio visual presentations
  • examination and feedback
  • small group discussions and activities
Means of Assessment

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

Students may conduct research with human participants as part of their coursework in this class.  Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving human subjects.

An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

Exams - 60%

Research paper - 30%

Paper topic and annotated bibliography - 10%

Total - 100%

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Explain the problems faced by adolescents and emerging adults.
  2. Describe the goals for healthy development in the adolescent and emerging adult period.
  3. Demonstrate an ability to utilize readings, experiences and research to pursue knowledge in some relevant area.   
  4. Describe the main theories of adolescent and emerging adult development.
  5. Identify the main developmental issues facing adolescents and emerging adults.
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:

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

McMahan, I., & Thompson, S. (2015). Adolescence (Canadian Edition). Toronto, Pearson.

Santrock, J. (2016). Adolescence (16th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Arnett, J. J. (2018). Adolescence and emerging adulthood: A cultural approach (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.     


Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for PSYC 3321
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU PSYC 306 (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG PSYC 2424 (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU PSYC 355 (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU PSYC 3XXX (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU PSYC 342 (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO PSYO 2nd (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV PSYC 2nd (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV PSYC 355 (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC PSYC 2XX (1.5)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU PSYC 336 (3)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023