56128 - Psychology of Adolescence

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course the student - knows the main theoretical and methodological orientations of Adolescence Psychology; - is able to distinguish between the concepts of personal identity and social identity; - is able to master concepts such as: developmental tasks, identity crisis, coping, emerging adulthood - knows the main changes in adolescence (physical, psychological, cognitive, emotional) and their rebounds on identity construction; - knows the importance of social context (family, peers, school, social institutions, culture) in adolescental development;- is able to master the concepts of ecological context and psychosocial transition; - knows the difference between normal and non normal processes of development; - knows in detail the main theories about the deviance in adolescence and the phenomenon of substance addiction; -  knows the issues related to the migration process in adolescence; - is able to run educational projects in the field of prevention and intervention on social distress; - is able to critically evaluate educational projects in the field of prevention and intervention on social distress in adolescence; - knows the main tools for information retrieval within its area of intervention; - can carry out bibliographical researches in his/her field of study; - is able to conduct group activities; - is able to conduct individual interviews; - is able to draw up reports of research and reports on his/her activities; - is able to make autoupdating activities; - is able to carry out self-assessment and self-monitor activities periodically and in a critical way.

Course contents

The program concerns these topics:

  1. The adolescence in classical and recent theories;
  2. The main changes in adolescence and their rebounds on the identity construction;
  3. The social contexts and their influence .on adolescent's development (family, peers, school, institutions);
  4. The juvenile deviance and drug addiction;
  5. Adolescence between light and shade: autonomy and dependency, bullying, online adolescence, risk taking and possible interventions.


  • Palmonari, A. (a cura di) (2011). Psicologia dell'adolescenza. Bologna: Il Mulino (chapters 1-2-4-5-7-9-11-13-16-17)
  • Albiero, P. (a cura di) (2012). Il benessere psicosociale in adolescenza. Roma: Carocci (all except chapter 1)

Teaching methods

The course is organised on the basis of:

  •  lectures supported by PowerPoint slides;
  •  brief discussions about the proposed themes;
  •  supporting material taken from different disciplinary fields (literature, cinema, essay writing).

Assessment methods

The exam will be  a writing with three open questions. Before the end of the course a list of the possible examination questions will be provided by the teacher.

Teaching tools

Lessons will be accompanied by PowerPoint slides.

Office hours

See the website of Giuseppina Speltini