Psychology Department

From Smart Aging: Taking Charge of Your
Physical  and Emotional Health

By Harriet Hodgson, 1999,  John Wiley & Sons

PSYC 343 Adult Development & Aging

Prerequisites: PSYC 111, PSYC 240
Or Consent from the Instructor


This course is offered in every other Spring semester.

Instructor: Ling-Yi Zhou, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology

Office: S435, Tower Hall
Office Hours: MWRF 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Phone: (815) 740-3594


Course Description Course Requirements Grading Tentative Schedule Assignments

Required Textbook

       Whitbourne, S. K. (2005). Adult development and aging: Biopsychosocial perspectives
             (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley.

 Course Description and Goals

  This course covers the developmental period from adulthood to old age. Adult development and aging processes will be examined from biological, psychological and social/sociological perspectives. Changes in the domains of physical health, cognitive functioning, emotional needs, work and leisure, social relationships, finances and life styles, caregiving, and death and dying will be discussed.

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course the student will be able to:

    1. demonstrate a basic understanding of general research methods as well as developmental designs used by researchers specialized in developmental psychology and gerontology;
    2. learn the major research findings of important studies on adult development and aging in the biophysiological, cognitive, social, work, family, and emotional aspects;
    3. use an biopsychosocial approach to appreciate various factors affecting adult development and aging;
    4. promote successful aging and the well-being of the elderly people;
    5. do literature research on a chosen topic, integrate the information, and present the materials to the whole class in a coherent and interactive way; and
    6. do proper text citations and prepare references in APA style.

Methods of Instruction

Lectures assisted with PowerPoint slides and active learning

Course Requirements

Students will be expected to:

    1. read the textbook chapters and other required sources in a timely manner;
    2. attend all classes and actively participate in all in-class learning activities;
    3. take three tests and the final exam; and
    4. complete all the assignments independently and submit each electronically before or on its due date.

Attendance Policy

Fifty points are assigned to in-class learning activities. Attendance will be formally taken at each class meeting. If you miss the class, you miss the points assigned to the activities in that class.

Methods of Evaluation

Student learning outcomes will be assessed based upon class attendance, participation, assignments, and tests.


All of the assignments must be submitted electronically. If all of your assignments are turned in on time, you will receive five extra points to reward your commitment, good time management, and respect for the others' needs. One week extension is allowed for each assignment; after one week, I will not accept late submission due to my feedback to the assignment has to be released to the rest of the class.


Make-up tests are possible if you have valid reasons AND contact the instructor prior to the test date. If the student fails to obtain my permission for test date rearrangement, the student's test score will be less ten percent (the reason of this penalty being that he or she is having more time for test preparation than those who stick to the time table).


Point Range
Letter Grade
356 and lower

Academic Integrity

All students are expected to strictly follow the guidelines of academic integrity, which are outlined in the current University Catalog. All assignments turned in by an individual are assumed to be the original work of that individual and proper citations and references must be included where necessary. Student study groups are encouraged, but each individual must digest the information and do his or her own work. Any violation of academic integrity will not be tolerated and it will be dealt with according to the procedures outlined in the current University Catalog. Examples of ethics violations include but are not limited to: fabrication, plagiarism, cheating, and bribing or threatening in order to obtain an intellectual product. See the current USF Catalog for further clarification and information regarding to academic integrity and grievance procedures.

Students with Disabilities

The University strives to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. Students with disabilities who require reasonable accommodations to fully participate in course activities or meet course requirements are encouraged to register with the Office of Disability Services to discuss access issues. Reasonable accommodations, as arranged through the disabilities coordinator, Pat Vivio, will be provided for students with documented disabilities. Contact Pat Vivio at (815) 740-3204 or to coordinate accommodations.

Academic Resource Center

Tutoring and other academic assistance can be found in the Academic Resource Center (ARC) in the Library (L214). Please contact Ms. Christine Zielinski, Director of the Academic Resource Center (L214) at (815) 740-5067 or (815) 740-5067 or

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Tentative Schedule

Week 1
Chapter 1
Themes and Issues in Adult Development & Aging
Week 2
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Themes and Issues in Adult Development & Aging
Models of Development: Nature and Nurture in Adulthood
Week 3
Chapter 2

Chapter 3
Models of Development: Nature and Nurture in Adulthood
The Study of Adult Development & Aging: Research Methods
Week 4
Chapter 3
The Study of Adult Development & Aging: Research Methods
Week 5
Chapter 4
Physical and Sensory Changes in Adulthood and Old Age
Week 6
Chapter 5
Health and Prevention
Week 7
Chapter 6
Basic Cognitive Functions: Information Processing, Attention and Memory
Week 8
Chapter 7
Language, Problem Solving and Intelligence
Week 9
Week 10 
Chapter 8
Personality and Patterns of Coping
Week 11
Chapter 9
Week 12
Chapter 9
Living Arrangement
Week 13
Chapter 10
Work, Retirement, and Leisure Patterns
Weeks 14

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Mental Health Issues and Treatment
Treatment Sites for Chronic Disorders in Adulthood
Weeks 15
Chapter 13
Death and Dying
Weeks 16
Chapter 14
Successful Aging and Creativity

The instructor reserves the right to adjust the syllabus and
class schedule as circumstances may warrant during the semester.

Students are expected to follow all policies in the current
USF Catalog & Student Handbook.

As a Catholic university rooted in the liberal arts, we are a welcoming community of learners challenged by Franciscan values and charism, engaged in a continuous pursuit of knowledge, faith, wisdom, and justice, and ever mindful of a tradition that emphasizes reverence for creation, compassion, and peacemaking. We strive for academic excellence in all programs, preparing women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership.

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(Last updated January, 2007)