Sonoma State University

Dana Schneider, MA,MFT

Department of Psychology

Fall 2004

Psychology 302

Development of the Person

Tuesdays 7-9:40pm


Course Description :

A Multi-disciplinary examination of the social, cognitive, cultural and physiological development of the human being. We examine how humans differ and their similarities. The class is a journey from conception to death. We also study how research and theories relate to and assist individuals in their own self-development. We will examine our own lifespan so that you can gain a personal understanding of the life span process. This class not only provides a better understanding of life-span development, but also increases the students awareness about practical applications to real lives.


Course Objectives:

*To gain an understanding of the major theories and systems of human development.

*To become familiar with the different theoretical perspectives of the life span process from birth to death.

*To examine the personal, social and cultural factors that influence human development.

*To explore your own accomplishments and psychological tasks mastered during each developmental stage.

*Examine the role of life tasks. For example, marriage, family, divorce, atypical development and death/dying.


Method of Instruction:

This course will be a combination of lectures, experiential role-plays, discussion, group presentations, films, clinical examples, and guest speakers. Class participation is expected. Students will be required to pick a developmental stage of focus. Students who have disabilities and require classroom accommodations should meet with me during my office hours to make these arrangements. Please bring an accommodations authorization from the Disability Resource Center with you.


Required Text:

Life Span Development by John W. Santrock

Method of Evaluation:

50pts- Attendance, class participation, completion of all homework, and reading assignments. All assignments are to be typewritten. No late assignments will be accepted. No make up exams.

40pts- Two observation papers. Pick an individual, infant or child to observe. APA format, four to five pages, with journal articles as references.

60pts- Quizzes 3 in class essay questions, Bring in three blue books the second week of class.

50pts-Final exam

Total points - 200

Web site-



Office Hours :Mondays 5:40-7pm, Tuesdays 6:30-7, Wednesdays 8:00-9, 11:40-1





Development of the Person

Psychology 302 / Fall 2004

Lecturer - Dana Schneider MA,MFT


Course Assignments

Aug. 31 Introduction/Overview of Life Span Development- Erickson/Piaget, Theories of Development. Group Process

Reading - Chapters 1&2


Sept. 14 Biological Beginnings

Reading - Chapters 3&4

Sept. 21 Infancy-Physical Development and Cognitive Development and Family Processes

Reading-Chapter 5-7


Sept. 28 Early Childhood- Cognitive Development, Families, Play, Gender and Peer Relations. Reading - Chapters 8&9 In class Quiz


Oct. 5 Middle and Late Childhood- problems in Development, Learning Disabilities

Reading - Chapters 10&11 First Observation Paper Due


Oct. 12 Adolescence- Early and Late Adolescence

Reading-Chapter 12

Oct. 19 Atypical Adolescent Development-Substance Abuse, Suicide, Conduct Disorders Reading- Chapter 13

Oct. 26 Early Adulthood Transition from adolescence to adulthood In class Quiz Reading - Chapter 14


Nov. 2 Marriage - Psychological Tasks of Marriage

Reading- Chapter 15

Nov. 9 The Family- Family Life Cycle, birth order, Family Systems Theory. Second Observation Paper Due

Nov. 16 Psychological Tasks of Divorce -


Nov. 23 Middle Adulthood- Careers, Health Changes, Children Leaving Home

In class Quiz

Reading - Chapters 16&17


Nov. 30 Late Adulthood- Physical Changes, Work and Retirement Family Changes Reading-Chapter 18-20


Dec. 7 Death and Dying - Stages of Dying, Cultural Perspectives Reading - Chapter 21

Historical Perspectives of Development


Dec. 14 Tuesday FINAL EXAM - 7pm to 8:50pm

Observation Papers and Quizzes

Development of The Person Psych. 302

Fall 2004

Observation Paper Option 1:

Steps for organizing papers:

1. Pick an area of interest within the subject matter (i.e. biological beginnings, adolescence, etc.)

2. Develop a theme of interest. (i.e. how infants learn, how divorce affects childhood development, grand parenting, etc.)

3. Observe the developmental stage of development. Investigate specific research, look up journal articles that pertain to your topic of interest.

4. Paper must be typed, APA format, have at least 6 references ( www references too), and between 4 to 5 pages in length.

You will be graded on the following

1. research/new information

2. creativity

3. utilization of observation

5. paper clarity/grammar/structure



Topic Ideas

Beginnings Infancy

Early Childhood Middle and Late Childhood

Adolescence Early Adulthood

Marriage Family

Middle Adulthood Atypical Development

Retirement Grand parenting

Older Adults Death and Dying



In class Quizzes

You will be given four essay questions to answer. They will be from the list of essay questions given for each chapter and classroom lectures. It is recommended that when you read the material write down the information pertaining to each essay question. These notes can then be used as your study material.


On the second week of class bring in three blue books with no name on them. These will then be distributed on the day of the in class quiz so that you can use them to take your quiz. They will have a special stamp on them. If you turn in an essay booklet without the stamp you will receive no credit. If you forget to turn in three blue books you will loose 10 points each week.


Optional Credit 5 points - If you would like to bring in a guest speaker for the class you can earn an additional 5 points. This is a one-time opportunity. An example might be a sister who has a newborn baby, a grandparent who would be willing to talk about their life experiences, or a newly married couple. This is an excellent way to see lifespan in action.