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Developmental Psychology: Adulthood & Aging

Course Code: PSYC 3322
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

In this course, students will examine theory and research on age-related changes in adult physiology, sensory and perceptual abilities, cognition, memory, social relationships, social cognition, personality, and mental and physical health. Current changing age-related demographics and their implications will be presented. The course will explore methods and findings within the psychology of aging. Stereotypes and attitudes toward older individuals, as well as their effects, will be discussed. This course will include the growths, declines, benefits, challenges, and strengths of aging.

Course Content

  1. Introduction to aging
    • Definitions of aging.
    • Changing age trends in Canada and globally.
    • Implications of demographic changes.
    • Issues and debates in developmental psychology.
    • Aging as biopsychosocial.
  2. Theoretical shifts from decline models to lifespan models of aging.
  3. Ageism, ableism, and discrimination.
  4. Research methods in developmental psychology and aging.
  5. The role of neuroscience in understanding aging.
  6. Psychological outcomes of biological changes.
  7. Theorizing the causes of age-related change.
  8. Cognitive changes in aging.
  9. Social relationships, attachment, families, and aging.
  10. Self, identity, and personality in aging.
  11. Work, volunteerism, and retirement.
  12. Living arrangements and care.
  13. Elder abuse.
  14. Neurocognitive disorders and mental health in adulthood and aging.
  15. End of life: 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

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%

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the research methods used by developmental psychologists, particularly in psychology of aging.
  2. Describe and explain physiological and health changes in adulthood and aging.
  3. Describe and explain how sensory and perceptual abilities change over adulthood.
  4. Describe and explain age-related changes in adult memory and cognition.
  5. Describe and explain how social relationships change and endure in adulthood and aging.
  6. Describe and explain age-related changes in adult social cognition.
  7. Describe and explain age-related changes and consistencies in adult personalities.
  8. Describe and explain mental health issues pertinent to aging.  
  9. Analyze the implications of aging and attitudes toward aging and older individuals.
  10. Analyze how aging intersects with gender, culture, race, class, and sexuality.

course prerequisites

PSYC 1100 AND PSYC 1200


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.