Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being Sustainable cities

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student: - has learned information on the characteristics of adolescent development in its different phases; - has gained knowledge on risk prevention and well being promotion with a specific reference to the phase of adolescence and young adulthood; - can distinguish the specificities of the psychosocial and community approach to need analysis and preventive interventions for adolescents and young adults.

Course contents

The course, addressed to III year bachelor students, will take place in Cesena branch of the Department of Psychology, during the first cycle (starting from 23 September, 2019).

The purpose of the course is to explore some key dimensions of adolescent development and their implications for young people health and well being. Moreover, it will discuss main prevention approaches, from a psychosocial and community psychology perspective, to address risk factors for young people health.

The teaching methods aim to help students develop knowledge and skills to analyze the health issues of adolescence by developing conceptual explanations and evidence based interventions.

Topics addressed include:

-epidemiology of adolescent health issues; leading causes of poor health and health risk behaviors;

-developmental changes (biological, cognitive, emotional, social, etc.) occurring during adolescence and factors (psychological, psychosocial, macrosocial, etc.) that have an impact on adolescent health and risk behaviors;

-prevention approaches and interventions to address health issues


1)O'Donohue W.T., Benuto L.T., Woodward Tolle L. (eds) Handbook of Adolescent health psychology. Springer

•Chapter 2. A Biopsychosocial Perspective of Adolescent Health and Disease

•Chapter 3. Issues of Diversity in Adolescent Health Psychology: Exploring Sociocultural Influences on Adolescent Health

•Chapter 4. Socioeconomic Influences on Health and Health Behavior in Adolescents

•Chapter 5. Public Health Approaches to Adolescent Health Beyond Disease and Illness

•Chapter 6. The Epidemiology of Adolescent Health •Chapter 7. Prevention in Adolescence

•Chapter 8. Determinants of Health-Related Behaviors in Adolescence

•Chapter 12. The Effects of Physical Activity on the Physical and Psychological Health of Adolescents

2)Articles for the group work


NOTE: readings for the exam can be downloaded from IOL Platform

Teaching methods

The course includes lectures, paper readings, group discussions, group presentations in English in class.

Readings include journal articles and book chapters that will be provided at the beginning of the course and will be made available to the students on the IOL platform, together with ppt of the lectures.

Assessment methods

***For students attending the course, assessment will be based on the following outputs:

1) Group work on the analysis of research papers, followed by presentation and discussion in class using PowerPoint or similar (e.g., prezi) (45% of final grade). The papers will be provided by the professor, as well as detailed instructions on the work to be completed. Two group work/presentations are expected to be completed by each student in group: (1) the first one will focus on the analysis of factors involved in adolescent health/health behaviors, and (2) the second will address an intervention approach /method.

2) A final test with max 20 multiple choice questions (10% of the final grade) on the topics of all the projects produced by groups (last day of class; check information on IOL platform).

3) Individual essay of max 4000 words, APA style (45% of the final grade). Students will choose a topic among those addressed in the course (e.g. a specific health issue or health risk behavior), and they are expected to focus both on the analysis of theoretical explanations of such issue the and suitable prevention approaches. Essays are expected to be handed over by the end of the first week of December.

NOTE. For students who regularly attend the course but cannot be present in the date of the final test. It is possible to register to for the exam, and deliver the individual essay, in one of the official dates of the exam (Winter session: January & February 2020).

The final grade (max 30) will consider: completeness and depth of analysis of the readings, capacity to identify relevant information and organise it in a coherent way in the presentations, formal aspects of presentations (written and oral), clarity and effectiveness of oral presentation and discussion. Honors will be allowed: a) if all criteria are satisfied and b) based on the degree of active engagement and participation to the group work and the discussion of the presentations in class, using the English Language.

***For students not attending regularly classes.

The exam will consiste of the production of an essay/review in English (7000-8000 words / 20 pages) structured as a research paper.

The student will choose a domain of health or risk behavior in adolescence among those addressed in the course. The essayshould address the issue by reporting the following information:

•a)Introduction on the issue, its relevance and epidemiological data

•b)Analysis of the most likely theoretical explanations of the issue, by referring also to supporting empirical evidence.

•c)Analysis of at least one type of intervention approach that has been used to address the issue, possibly reporting on its effectiveness.

•d)Discussion of the findings and possible future directions of research and intervention


In order to prepare the essay, students should search for and use atleast 6 papers that coherently address the issue allowing to respond to all the questions above. In addition, it is possible to use the readings of the course and the slides.

The essayshould be sent by email at least one week before the date of the exam. The examwill include a discussion on the essay, and on the chapters provided for the course. The grade will be based on the essay and the quality of its discussion.


Teaching tools

Papers, PowerPoint.

Students with certified disabilities can benefit from support instruments for the exam as established by L. n°170/2010.

Office hours

See the website of Elvira Cicognani