Psychology of adulthood and aging

Study level: Undergraduate study programme in psychology
Lecturers: Gordana Kuterovac Jagodić, Ph.D., Inja Erceg Jugović, Ph.D.
Language: Croatian
Semester: 5th (winter)
Status: mandatory
Form of instruction with class hours: 30 hours of lectures, 15 hours of seminars
Prerequisites: Child and adolescent psychology
Student evaluation: written and oral exam

Course description

Concepts of development and aging. Baltes's perspective of life-span development. Mechanisms of developmental changes: processes and multiple influences. Bio-psycho-social perspective of aging studies. Types of age and aging. Development stages in adulthood. Signs of maturity and old age, and developmental tasks. Biological explanation of aging. Biological changes across adulthood. Psychological development in adulthood: sensation and perception, learning and memory, intelligence, creativity and wisdom, personality and motivation. Social aspects of adult development: friends, mates and marriage, family, parenthood, relationship between generations; occupational development and retirement, leisure and community involvement. Psychological theories of adult development. Physical and mental health in adulthood. Social and health problems in adulhood and and social support. Dying, death, grief and mourning.

Course objectives

To familiarize students with developmental changes in physical, sensory, cognitive, emotional and social functioning during early and midle adulthood and old age. Students will obtain understanding of developmental determinants and mechanisms of psychological adaptation to biological changes, different social roles and life events. Complexity of aging process, particularities of adult functioning and diversity of adult population will be stressed.

Required readings

Berk, L. (2007). Psihologija cjeloživotnog razvoja (poglavlja 1, 13-19). Jastrebarsko: Naklada Slap.
Schaie, K.W. i Willis, S.L. (2001). Psihologija odrasle dobi i starenja. Jastrebarsko: Naklada Slap.

Recommended readings
Lacković-Grgin, K., Ćubela Adorić, V. (2006). Odabrane teme iz psihologije odraslih. Jastrebarsko: Naklada Slap.
Bee, H.L.& Bjorklund, B. (2004). The Journey of Adulthood. (Fifth Edition) New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Despot Lučanin, J. (2003). Iskustvo starenja: Doprinos teoriji starenja. Jastrebarsko: Naklada Slap.
Baltes, P. B. (1987). Theoretical Propositions of Life-Span Developmental Psychology: On the Dynamics Between Growth and Decline. Developmental Psychology, 23, 5, 611-6126.
Baltes, P. B., Straudinger, U. M., & Lindenberger, U. (1999). Lifespan psychology: Theory and application to intellectual functioning. Annual Review of Psychology, 50, 471-507.
Baltes, P. B., Reese, H.W. & Lipsitt, L.P. (1980). Life-span developmental psychology. Annual Review of Psychology, 31: 65-110.
Schaie, W. K. (2000). The impact of longitudinal studies on understanding development from young adulthood to old age. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 24 83), 257-266.