Psychology of Adolescence
Reference HJSLOP00000013
Taught in Elective Courses Third Year Second Cycle Law
Elective Course List Second and Third Year Bachelor of Criminological SciencesElective Course List Second and Third Year Bachelor of Criminological SciencesElective Course List for Master of CriminologyFaculty Minor EducationMajors List Master of Biomedical SciencesSecond Master of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy (UGent - AHS) - Main Subject: Teacher Education and Training
Specific Teacher Training Programme in Pedagogical Sciences
Theory (A) 30.0
Exercises (B) 0.0
Training and projects (C) 0.0
Studytime (D) 120.0
Studypoints (E) 4
Credit contract? Access is determined after successful competences assessment
Examination contract? Access is determined after successful competences assessment
Credit contract mandatory if Exam contract? Course included in exam contract
Retake possible? Yes
Teaching Language Dutch
Lecturer Wim Beyers
Department PP07
Key Words

psychology, adolescence, development

Position of the Course

This course is not a systematic introduction to the developmental psychology or sociology of adolescence. Instead, it aims to provide preliminary insights into the psychology of young people and their life world that might be of interest to prospective teachers. Attention is directed towards the kind of youngsters that teachers with a university training will work with, i.e., adolescents properly speaking (grades 9-12; aged 14 to 18) and late adolescents or young adults (in higher education; aged 18 to 22).
In line with skills and attitudes for teachers as determined by decree, this course aims to provide supporting knowledge on adolescents that adds to several basis competencies for teachers (see also final competencies).


After first defining adolescence as a period of life, the psychological consequences of the major changes in the biological, social and cognitive realms that take place during adolescence (12-22 years) are described. As a result of these changes, young people discover new possibilities in several important domains of development. The main trends in development are described in detail for three of these domains (sexuality, identity and moral development).
In separate chapters the psychosocial development of adolescents will be examined, including changing relationships with parents and peers.
Next, problems that teachers might be confronted with are discussed, including both internalizing problems and externalizing problems (drug use and delinquency).
Finally, themes that relate to various aspects of adolescents' life world and youth cultures (e.g., norms and values, or popular music) are discussed.

Starting Competences

This course supposes the competences as obtained after having followed the bachelor and master of science.

Final Competences

The insight in and application of following basic competences are pursued, as determined by decree:

  • Being able to determine the starting position of individual and the group of learners
  • Selecting and defining learning objectives
  • Structuring learning content and learning experiences and translation into learning activities
  • Developing a powerful learning environment that considers classroom heterogeneity
  • Coping with diversity in groups of learners
  • Developing learner attitudes to prepare them for individual development and participation in society.
  • Coping in an adequate way with learners with social-emotional and/or problematic behaviour
  • Communicating with parents/care takers about their children at school
  • Communicating with parents and care takers – in collaboration with the school team – about classroom and school issues, considering the diversity in parents
  • having conversations with parents/care takers about school and education

Teaching and Learning Material

Cost: 35.0 EUR

  • de Wit, J., Slot, N. W., & van Aken, M. (2004/2006). Psychologie van de adolescentie: Basisboek (23ste geheel herziene druk) . Baarn : HB. (ISBN 978 90 55 74 2103) .
  • Syllabus through Minerva.


  • de Wit, J., Slot, N.W., & van Aken, M. (2004). Psychologie van de adolescentie: Basisboek (23ste geheel herziene druk) . Baarn: HB.
  • De Witte, H., Hooge, J., & Walgrave, L. (2000). Jongeren in Vlaanderen gemeten en geteld: 12- tot 18-jarigen over hun leefwereld en toekomst. Leuven: Universitaire Pers.
  • Seifert, K., & Hoffnung, R. J. (2000). Child and adolescent development (5th ed.) . Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
  • Steinberg, L. (2002). Adolescence (6th ed.) . New York: McGraw-Hill.

Study Coaching

  • Interactive support using Minerva.

Teaching Methods

Students following an in-service training for teachers (minimum of 250 hours) obtain these competences composing a portfolio (cf. manual for further instructions).

Evaluation Methods

Periodical evaluation.
Students following an in-service training for teachers obtain these competences composing a portfolio. Specific criteria are explained to the student and are determined by agreement.

Examination Methods

Written exam containing multiple choice questions.

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