Adolescent Psychology

I.     Course Prefix/Number: PSY 204

       Course Name: Adolescent Psychology

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

PSY 101

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course presents biological, cognitive, and social development of adolescents in contemporary society. Focus is on healthy adjustment to social environments of home and school, self-identity study, adjustment, intimacy, sexuality and research methodology.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. The student will understand the cognitive development that occurs in adolescence.
  2. The student will define and list the developmental tasks of adolescence.
  3. The student will describe and explain the interplay of psychological and physical aspects of adolescent development.
  4. The student will describe social development of the adolescent, including family and peer relationships and the school experience.
  5. The student will understand the major aspects of adolescent personality development.
  6. The student will know how to conduct simple behavioral and social research and be able to interpret research findings related to the study of adolescence.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
www.oakton.edu/studentlife/student-handbook.pdf

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Research Methodology
  2. Coming of Age In A Diverse Society
  3. Perspectives On Adolescence
  4. Physical Development
  5. Cognitive Development
  6. Adolescents and Their Families
  7. Family Relationships and Adolescent Individuation
  8. Adolescents and Their Peers
  9. Adolescents and School
  10. Work and Career Choice
  11. Self and Personal Identity
  12. Sexuality
  13. Moral Development and Religion
  14. Adolescent Health Issues
  15. Adolescent Problems
  16. Psychological Disorders
  17. Transition To Adulthood

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods include lecture, discussion, collaborative assignments, and case studies that foster critical thinking about the subject.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

This course relies on the student's ability to read and understand college-level text material.  Students will be required to write for the class the equivalent of 12-15 typed pages of material that will be graded.  This writing may take the form of a research or term paper, summaries of journal articles, and/or a series of shorter, analytical papers.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Representative texts include:

Arnett, Jeffrey (2001).  Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood.  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Prentice Hall.

Atwater, Eastwood (1996).  Adolescence (4th ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Prentice Hall.

Dacey, John S. and Kenny, Maureen E. (1996).  Adolescent Development (2nd ed.).  Madison, WI:  Brown & Benchmark.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Quizzes, midterm and final exam possibly a research paper or in-class presentation.

XI.   Other Course Information

  1. Attendance
  2. Class policy on make-up exams, late assignments, etc.
  3. Important dates


If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.