PSYC 2131
Introduction to Childhood and Adolescence

3.0 Credits


Students are introduced to developmental psychology: the branch of psychology devoted to the study of human development and change. As change and development are an intrinsic part of the human experience, this course is designed to foster a lifetime interest in the process of human development, as students explore key issues, methods, theories and research findings in this field. The content of the course is organized chronologically-beginning at the point of conception and following the trajectory of human development through to the teen years. The interconnectedness of developmental processes is a major theme, and includes the interrelations between a child's physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. The intricate relation between children and the contexts that support their development are also emphasized, such as family life, peers, and culture.

Delivery Method

Online, Self-paced.

Recommended Requisites

Provincial Grade 12 Diploma or equivalent.


PSYC 3151: Developmental Psychology of Children


After you have successfully completed this course, you will be able to:

  • Differentiate amongst and critically compare the major theoretical perspectives and research strategies researchers employ in the scientific study of human development.
  • Explain the major physical, cognitive and socioemotional developmental changes that occur across development from conception up to and including adolescence.
  • Discuss the bidirectional interplay (Interaction) of genetic (Nature) and environmental (Nurture) factors upon children's development.
  • Discuss the impact of developmental contexts such as family life, schooling, and peer groups upon children's development.
  • Identify key content found in scholarly research in child development.
  • Apply what you have learned about human development to child-related issues found in your community, the media, and/or the broader social environment.

Course Outline

The course is divided into 12 modules as follows:

  • Module 1: Basic Concepts and Methods used in the Study of Human Development
  • Module 2: Theories of Development
  • Module 3: Prenatal Development and Birth
  • Module 4: Infancy: Physical, Sensory, and Perceptual Development
  • Module 5: Infancy: Cognitive Development
  • Module 6: Infancy: Social and Personality Development
  • Module 7: Early Childhood: Physical and Cognitive Development
  • Module 8: Early Childhood: Social and Personality Development
  • Module 9: Middle Childhood: Physical and Cognitive Development
  • Module 10: Middle Childhood: Social and Personality Development
  • Module 11: Adolescence: Physical and Cognitive Development
  • Module 12: Adolescence: Social and Personality Development

Maximum Completion

30 weeks.

Required Text and Materials

Boyd, Johnson & Bee. Lifespan Development, Fifth Canadian Edition Plus MyPsychLab with Pearson eText -- Access Card Package. Pearson Canada, 5/E.
Type: ISBN: 0205984770 / 9780205984770

Additional Requirements

Computer and internet access.

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through the "mail" tool in the Learning Environment or by phone. You will receive the necessary contact information when you start your course.


To successfully complete this course, you must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course and 50% or higher on the mandatory Final Exam. The following table illustrates how your final grade will be determined for this course.

Assignment 1 - Foundations 18%
Assignment 2 - Infancy 12%
Assignment 3 - Early and Middle Childhood 12%
Assignment 4 - Adolesence 18%
Final Exam * 50%
TOTAL 100%

* Mandatory