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 Methods

Online, Self-paced.


Provincial Grade 12 Diploma or equivalent.

Exclusion Requisites

PSYC 3151, PSYC 3451, or PSYC 2130


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

Course Duration

30 weeks.

Required Text and Materials

Boyd, Johnson & Bee. (2018) Lifespan Development, Sixth Canadian Edition. Toronto: Pearson Canada. Bundled with Revel and MyVirtualLife
ISBN: 9780134840680 (MyVirtualLife is required for course completion/Revel is optional)

Additional Requirements

Internet access is required to access the online resources for the successful completion of this course.

Open Learning Faculty Member

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, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.

Assignment 1 - Foundations 12.5%
Assignment 2 - Infancy 12.5%
Assignment 3 - Early and Middle Childhood 12.5%
Assignment 4 - Adolesence 12.5%
Final Exam * 50%
TOTAL 100%

* Mandatory