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Human Development Across the Lifespan

Course Number: 
COU-635
Minimum Credits: 
3
This course examines human development throughout the lifespan with a focus on developmental psychopathology and psychoneuroimmunology. Developmental psychopathology views human development as an ongoing process and provides a framework to explore the interaction of biological, psychological, and socio-contextual aspects of both normal and abnormal development. Students will examine critical domains that serve as risk factors for psychopathology (i.e. temperament, attachment, parenting style, socioeconomic status) and explore current intervention strategies. Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is an interdisciplinary area of research that examines the interactions between the brain, behavior and the immune system and expands our understanding of how psychosocial factors can protect or damage our health. PNI is based on a systemic model of functioning which explores how individuals shape the environment in which their immune system operates through their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Students will examine the interaction of psychosocial stress, contextual change and health outcomes and the implications for mental health professionals. At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to: demonstrate knowledge of major theories of human development across the lifespan, including life transitions; demonstrate knowledge of human behavior including an understanding of psychopathology and the biological, psychological and socio-contextual factors that affect both normal and abnormal development; demonstrate knowledge of current theories of optimal development and wellness over the life span; and read and critically review foundational research in the field and demonstrate the ability to apply the process to current research. Required Core Course.