39092 - Psychology of the Life Cycle

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 Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Students will have the knowledge and the ability to understand the main psychological modifications in life span of women, in particular about sexuality, gender identity, pregnancy and motherhood.

Course contents

EMOTION: Functions of emotion. Subcomponents of emotional responses. Primary emotions (basic) and secondary. Characteristics of basic emotions. Expression and emotion recognition: individual differences and culture effect.
GENDER IDENTITY AND AFFECTIVE DEVELOPMENT IN INFANCY: theory of affective and sexual development.
PUBERTY, ADOLESCENCE, COUPLE AND FAMILY: stages of psycho-affective development: gender, identity and romantic relationships.
REPRODUCTIVE MOTIVATION: motherhood and identity; psychological modifications in pregnancy.
CULTURE INFLUENCE IN CHILDBIRTH: individual differences and culture effect in pregnancy and childbirth.
POST-PARTUM AND PUERPERIUM: baby blues and post-partum depression; early mother-child interactions; the attachment styles; obstetrician as the new family caregiver.


In addition to handouts of lectures slides, the following references are recommended in preparing for the examination:
1. Feldman RS (2017, III ed), Psicologia Generale. McGraw-Hill. chapter 11 (le emozioni).
2. Simonelli C (2008), Psicologia dello sviluppo sessuale ed affettivo. Carocci chapters 2, 3, 6, 7, 8.
3. Scopesi AM-Viterbori P (2003), Psicologia della Maternità. Carocci. chapters 1-4.

Teaching methods

Lectures. Critical discussion of additional scientific paper.
At the end of each lesson and topic, the specific references of recommended reading will be recall.

Assessment methods

The final assessment of Psychology of the Life Cycle will help to define the overall evaluation of Communication Integrated Course.
Relative to Psychology of the Life Cycle, the following outcomes will be assessed: 1. knowledge of gender identity consolidation and psycho-affective development in life span; 2. knowledge of emotional and relational modifications during pregnancy; 3. knowledge of early mother-child interaction characteristics and functions; 4. knowledge of psychological aspects in obstetric assistance, from pregnancy to puerperium.

The exam will take place through an online interview, on the Teams platform.

Teaching tools

simulation of classical experiments in psychology and video presentation of early mother-child interactions.
The handouts of lectures slides will be provided by the teacher.

Office hours

See the website of Michela Mazzetti