The objectives of the course are: a) to provide the basic knowledge of developmental psychology, with particular attention to theoretical and methodological aspects and to the application of this knowledge in the educational, clinical-health and social fields; b) represent typical psychological development, the inter-individual variability that characterizes it; c) give an account of the weight of the genetic-biological and environmental-cultural factors underlying psychological development.

At the end of the course the student learned:
- changes related to the concepts of "child" and psychological development;
- the basic concepts relating to cognitive, communicative-linguistic and emotional-social development in the period from childhood to adolescence;
- the ability to recognize typical and risky psychological behaviors during the developmental age.
teacher profile | teaching materials


The course will describe the human development – from pregnancy to senility – through the lens of theoretical models of developmental psychology and ecology and the most recent empirical evidence. In particular, the lessons will focus on physical and motor, perceptual and cognitive, linguistic and communicative, social and emotional development. Transitions from one phase to another will also be addressed, describing the challenges, processes and resources in order to understand the impact that individual, social and cultural variables have on the development of different trajectories throughout life span.
The presentation of the contents described above will be structured in the following sections:
1) the objectives and questions of developmental and educational psychology; traditional theories of life cycle development and ecological theories of human development; the role of individual differences in development; methods of investigation in developmental psychology;
2) physical, motor, perceptual, cognitive, linguistic and communicative, social and emotional development;
3) the transitions, challenges and resources that characterize each developmental phase throughout life span.

Core Documentation

Camaioni, L., Di Blasio, P. (2007). Psicologia dello sviluppo. Bologna: il Mulino.
Kloep, M., Hendry, L. B., Sica, S. S., Aleni Sestito, L. (2021). Lo sviluppo nel ciclo di vita. Cambiamenti, sfide e transizioni. Bologna: il Mulino.

Type of delivery of the course

In addition to traditional lectures conducted with visual aids (slides), the course will also include practical exercises, working in group and video viewing that will allow the students’ active involvement.


Class attendance is not mandatory but highly suggested.

Type of evaluation

The exam is written and includes 30 multiple choice (4 answer options with only one correct; no penalty for incorrect answers) and 1 open-ended questions for ascertaining the knowledge about the course contents. The final evaluation will take into account the student's knowledge regarding the main theoretical approaches to the study of development over the life span and research methods. Furthermore, the ability to identify the development processes in the different domains, the characteristics, resources and challenges that characterize each life stage will be considered.The exam is passed with a score of at least 18, whereas the highest score is 30/30. Lode may be added if the student demonstrates to master an excellent knowledge about all the course topics. In case of a high number of students, they will be divided into groups. This information will be communicated in advance on the teacher's notice board at the end of the exam booking period.