48927 - Psychology of Social Development

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Carlo Tomasetto

  • Learning modules Carlo Tomasetto (Modulo 1)
    Martina Benvenuti (Modulo 2)

  • Credits 8

  • SSD M-PSI/04

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures (Modulo 1)
    Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Cesena

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in School and community psychology (cod. 0993)


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

Good health and well-being Quality education Gender equality Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students have acquired: - knowledge on the main approaches to the development of social competence; - knowledge on the main methods of research and intervention on socialization through the life span; - skills in evaluation of effectiveness of research and interventions on socialization through the lifespan; - skills for designing and implementing interventions targeted to individuals and groups aimed at promoting socialization through the life span.

Course contents

The course will be held during the first semester (September - December 2021).

The course aims at providing an in-depth insight into the preocesses of socialization and social development and will be decided into two modules.

Module 1 (Prof. Tomasetto - lectures on Wednesday):

  • precursors of social competence: theory of mind, automatic regulation of social interaction
  • empathy and pro-sociality
  • development of social cognition: stereotyping and prejudice, prejudice reduction
  • obesity stigma
  • sexual objectification and sexism

Module 2 (Dott.ssa Benvenuti - Lectures on Monday)

  • Theories on socialization and social development
  • The development of the Self in social interactions: families, peers, and school contexts
  • Bullying and cyberbullying
  • Social Media in the life cycle
  • Emerging adulthood and the development of identity

Individual and group works will be dedicated to the discussion of assessment tools and intervention programs.


  • Gini, G. (2012). Psicologia dello sviluppo sociale. Bari: Laterza. Also available as e-book.
  • Grusec, & Hastings (2014). Handbook of socialization: Theory and research. New York; London: Guilford Press. Also available as e-book. Only chapters:
  • 1. Historical Overview of Socialization Research and Theory
  • 3. Socialization in Adolescence
  • 4. Socialization in Emerging Adulthood: From the Family to the Wider World
  • 9. Socialization in the Context of Family Diversity
  • 12. Media as Agents of Socialization
  • 23. The Socialization of Gender during Childhood and Adolescence
  • 26. Families, Schools, and Developing Achievement‑Related Motivations and Engagement

Teaching methods

The course will include both plenary lectures and small-group or individual work sessions. in particular, individual and group works will be devoted to the analysis of systematic reviews and meta-analyses concerning the main topics of the course program.

Assessment methods

Assessment will consist of two parts:

  • presentation of two research articles (one for Module 1, one for Module 2) on topics related to social development;
  • Oral assessment on topics covered over the course. Students will be asked to display thorough knowledge of the core topics of the course, and should be able to base their answers on well-grounded empirical evidence.

Evaluation criteria will be as follows:

  • 10 points: exhaustive presentation/complete answer
  • 8-9 points: exhaustive presentation/complete answer, with minor incomplete or imprecise information
  • 6-7 points: sufficient  presentation/complete answer with significant contents missing or incorrect
  • 3-5 points: incorrect or markedly incomplete presentation/answer
  • 0-2 points: missing or almost completely inconsistent presentation/answer

Students from international mobility programs may choose to have their presentations and oral assessment in Italian, English, or French language.

Teaching tools

Additional resources will be available through the Virtuale platform

Office hours

See the website of Carlo Tomasetto

See the website of Martina Benvenuti