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There is no formal prerequisite for this class. However, if you have not taken some lower-level SFL classes and research methods, you may find the course more challenging.

Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Content and Theory
    1. Critically examine and discuss selected topics in adolescent development, as well as being able to apply the information and skills learned in this class to your own life.
    2. Identify and discuss the major theories of adolescent development, as well as the various research methods used in the study of adolescent development.
    3. Understand the important developmental changes that young people experience during this period and during their transition to adulthood.
    4. Discuss why at-risk issues are so pronounced during this period, and understand prevention and intervention measures that can be taken by families to help them cope with this transition.
  2. Effective Writing and Analysis 
    1. Synthesize (both in thought and writing) information on adolescent development, and apply this information to real adolescents with whom you come into contact.
  3. Theories
    1. Discuss the major transitions and milestones that occur during adolescence.
    2. Describe the major theories and associated research that are used to describe adolescent development.
    3. Critically examine theory and research in the field and apply course material to your own experiences.
    4. Discuss problem behavior in adolescence and why this becomes somewhat prominent during adolescence.
  4. Research
    1. Show research skills by researching a topic area relevant to adolescent development.
    2. Conduct and interpret a correlation using real-world data.

Course Materials

You will need to purchase this textbook: Steinberg, Laurence. (2014). Adolescence. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. (10th ed.).

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Your book report and research project assignments should be typed, double spaced, 12-point font, and formatted using APA publication standards (6th edition) when applicable (with the exception of abstracts). You must turn in a project proposal and have it approved before you can turn in the research project.

Although I will usually provide approximate word counts that written assignments should not exceed, written assignments should be as long as they need to be in order to effectively complete the assignment, which generally falls into the guidelines provided for each assignment. Please see the individual assignments for more details.

Note: The assignments are grouped into eight portfolios. Do not submit the assignment until you have completed all of the relevant questions!

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You will take two exams for this course. Each is worth 200 points and is closed book and notes, but there is no time limit.

Exams consist of multiple-choice questions and short-answer questions concerning reading assignments, class lectures, seminars, videos, and class discussions.

You may bring one 3 x 5 card of handwritten notes to the exam. Rarely in life are you called upon to regurgitate vast amounts of information without any resources, so I don’t think it is fair to require it in this case. You can write whatever you want on the card but can only use one side.

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Here are the assignments and exams that make up your course grade:

Assignments Points
Research Project Proposal (you must turn this in before you begin the research project)  1
Portfolio 1
Five-question Interview 10
Menarche/Spermarche Questionnaire Completion 5
Puberty Timing Questions 25
Looking Up an Online Article 25
Portfolio 2
Game Assignment 10
Teenage Brain Questions 25
Dan in Real Life Question 5
Portfolio 3
Parenting in Adolescence (1-minute Essay) 5
Parenting Styles Worksheet 10
Friday Night Lights Question 5
Portfolio 4
Peers and Ostracism Questions 10
Adolescent Identity Letter 10
Star Wars Question 5
Portfolio 5
Religion Article Questions 25
John Q Question 5
Moral Development Topics 10
Portfolio 6
Courtship Interview 25
Intimacy Video-clip Questions 5
Sex Education Questions 30
Sex Education Video Questions 5
Portfolio 7
School Shootings Assignment 25
Adolescent Media Questions 30
Portfolio 8
Looking toward Adulthood Assignment 20
Emerging Adult Assignment 15
Final Assignments (Submitted Singly)
Statistics Worksheet 50
Book Report 100
Research Project 200
Midcourse Exam 200
Final Exam 200

Grading Scale

Your course grade will be calculated using these percentages:

A 95–100
A− 90–94
B+ 87–89
B 83–86
B− 80–82
C+ 77–79
C 73–76
C− 70–72
D+ 67–69
D 63–66
D− 60–62
E (fail) 0–59

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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