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Lifespan Human Development

Course Code: PSYC 1130
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Psychology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

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

  • Issues in Lifespan Development
    • Heredity and Environment.
    • Continuity or Discontinuity.
    • Deficit or Difference.
    • Psychological Perspectives on Lifespan Development.
    • Development as Biopsychosocial.
  •  Research Methods
    • The Scientific Method.
    • Developmental Research Designs.
    • Research Problems in Lifespan Development.
    • Ethical Issues in Lifespan Development Research.
  • Prenatal Development
  • Cognitive Development across the lifespan: Infancy to Late Adulthood
  • The Development of Language
  • Personality and Social Development across the lifespan: Infancy to Late Adulthood
  • Human Relationships Across the Lifespan: Infancy to Late Adulthood
    • Friendship, Peer, and Social Groups.
    • Marriage, Partnership, and Cohabitation.
    • Gay, Lesbian, and Non-binary Relationships.
    • Families.
    • Divorce and Separation.
    • Singlehood.
    • Parenting and Grandparenting.
  • Identity Development Across the lifespan: Infancy to Late Adulthood
    • Indigenous Cultural Identities.
    • Racialization and Racial Identities.
    • Sexualities and Gender Identities.
  • Paid and Volunteer Employment, Unpaid Labours, and Retirement
  • Death, Dying, Bereavement, and Grief

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

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:

Midterm exams - 50%

Final exam - 20%

Presentation - 15%

Written essay - 15%

Total - 100%

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. Describe 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 choices, career involvement, and retirement on social, cognitive, and physical development.
  9. Describe the influence of culture and diversity on development throughout the lifespan.
  10. Explain psychological theories of the dying process.
  11. Describe the processes of bereavement and grief.

course prerequisites

Courses listed here must be completed prior to this course:

  • No prerequisite courses


Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.