University of Notre Dame

Adolescence

Course Number: PSY 13181-2
Instructor: Dawn Gondoli

Adolescence is a fascinating period of the lifespan to study. It has been considered “the best years of one’s life,” “a developmental disturbance,” “the transition to adulthood,” and “not quite a period” (not quite a child and not quite an adult). Unfortunately, many myths and misconceptions surround this time of life. In this course, we will examine — through discussion of theories, research methods, and empirical findings — the dramatic and meaningful changes in adolescents’ physical, cognitive, and social characteristics. We will emphasize the social contexts of adolescent development — family, peer groups, school, and culture, including media influences. Students will build their understanding normative and problematic development during adolescence and will learn about issues of special concern to adolescents, their families, and professionals who study adolescents or who encounter them in applied settings.