BEHV 3009 Developmental Psychology

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101682

Coordinator Karen Mattock Opens in new window

Description Structured around an overview of lifespan development including diversity, this unit explores the holistic nature of growth and development through developmental theory and research. This unit highlights the interactive nature of three main areas of development: biological, cognitive, and psychosocial changes that affect the individual from conception to end of life. The unit encourages observation as a means for understanding development and promoting individual wellbeing. Indigenous Australian knowledges and perspectives are integrated into the unit alongside an appreciation of the richness of diverse cultural contexts.

School Psychology

Discipline Behavioural Science

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Pre-requisite(s) BEHV 1018


Note that only students enrolled at WSU Online may register in the WSU Online subjects offered at that location.

Assumed Knowledge

Basic understanding of core concepts of personality, social and developmental psychology.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Display an understanding of contemporary theories, principles, studies and methodologies used in the study of developmental psychology from conception to end of life.
  2. Apply knowledge of the various developmental domains (cognitive, physical and social-emotional) and their interrelationships.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of conception to end of life in all its diversity, to the social, learning environment and apply this to psychological practice.
  4. Employ, analyse and interpret various research methodologies in regard to the holistic development of the child, adolescent and adult considering relevant developmental theories and principles.
  5. Evaluate matters related to child protection, including interprofessional perspectives, and impacts on development.
  6. Evaluate developmental theories and practice approaches from cross-cultural and Indigenous Australian knowledges and perspectives.
  7. Demonstrate creativity and reflexivity to critically analyse personally held values, feelings and attitudes.

Subject Content

Historical context and research methodologies in lifespan development
Biological basis of development
Physical and motor development through the life span
Physical development and ageing
Perceptual and language development across the lifespan
Cognitive development through the life span
Moral development
Early childhood and social emotional development: attachment and it?fs significance in human development
The self, personality and individual differences in development
Social and emotional development across the lifespan
Impact of child abuse and neglect ? the effects on physical, psychological and emotional development; promoting resilience; developing knowledge of child protection matters and mandatory reporting and interprofessional perspectives.
Cross cultural and indigenous perspectives in lifespan development
End of life issues-death dying and bereavement


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Critical Review 450-500 words 20 N Individual
Report 2000-2500 words 40 N Individual
Final Exam 1 hour 40 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Hoffnung, M., Hoffnung, R.J., Seifert, K. L., Hine, A., Ward, L., Pause, C., Swabey, K., Yates, K., Burton-Smith, R. (2016). Lifespan development - A Chronological Approach (3rd Australasian ed.). Milton, Qld: John Wiley Sons.
  • Hoffnung, M., et al. (2019). Lifespan development (4th Australiasian ed.). Milton, QLD : John Wiley and Sons Australia, Ltd.

Teaching Periods




Subject Contact Karen Mattock Opens in new window

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Penrith (Kingswood)


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Parramatta - Victoria Rd


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WSU Online TRI-2

Wsu Online


Subject Contact Alexia Cameron Opens in new window

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