Course Description

This course presents students with theoretical frameworks to foster an understanding of the various dimensions of human development. Emphasis is placed on biological, cognitive, and psychosocial development within the context of gender, family systems, social roles, and culture. Students evaluate clinical situations and assess potential therapeutic interventions in context.

This graduate course is 6 weeks.

This course has a prerequisite. Please see details in the Prerequisite section below. Students may complete a maximum of four (4) graduate level courses from the available counseling course selection.

Students residing in Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts or New Hampshire and individuals who live outside the United States are not eligible to enroll in this course.PLEASE NOTE:
Attendance and participation are mandatory in all university courses, and specific requirements may differ by course. If attendance requirements are not met, a student may be removed from the course. Please review the Course Attendance Policy in the Catalog for more information.

Course Objectives

Week 1

  • Identify the usefulness of the different theories of lifespan development.
  • Articulate the stages of the family life cycle as they relate to lifespan stages of individuals.
  • Identify interrelations among work, family, and other life roles and factors.
  • Describe general systems theory as it relates to family development.
  • Explore contemporary theories of cognitive development and learning.

Week 2

  • Identify the stages of prenatal development.
  • Evaluate the impact of genetics, nutrition, and environment on prenatal development.
  • Identify the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social milestones of infants.
  • Describe the influence of culture and gender on infant development.
  • Analyze the impact of environmental versus genetic factors on human development.

Week 3

  • Examine the developmental milestones of children during early, middle, and late childhood.
  • Design developmentally appropriate interventions to assist children and their parents.
  • Describe major influences on social development in early and middle childhood.

Week 4

  • Describe the physical developmental changes during adolescence.
  • Describe major influences on social and emotional development in adolescence.
  • Analyze developmental challenges experienced during adolescence.

Week 5

  • Identify the cognitive and socioemotional changes that occur in adulthood.
  • Describe challenges faced during adulthood.
  • Explain the effect of adulthood challenges on the family.
  • Analyze the effect of the interrelations among work, family, and other life roles on adult development.

Week 6

  • Identify the cognitive, physical, and socioemotional changes that occur in late adulthood.
  • Describe counseling strategies to help individuals in late adulthood and their families understand death and dying.
  • Describe the challenges that families encounter with a family member approaching the end of life.


A prerequisite is required for this course. The purpose of a prerequisite is to ensure students have the knowledge and/or skills needed to be successful in the course. Students are required to provide proof of prerequisite during the enrollment/registration process. To meet to a course prerequisite requirement, a student must have successfully completed the prerequisite course at University of Phoenix, provide proof via transcript of completing a comparable course (at least 75% match) or higher level course with at least a grade of C at another institution or have a University of Phoenix approved Student Appeal on file with the University.

This graduate level course requires proof of completion of a graduate degree in counseling or related field (e.g. Psychology, school counseling, school psychology, gerontology counseling, rehabilitative counseling).

During the checkout process you will be prompted to provide proof of the requirement(s). If you completed the prerequisite at another institution be prepared to upload an official/unofficial transcript. If you have questions about meeting the prerequisite requirements for this course please contact an enrollment representative at 866-345-1800.


The University of Phoenix reserves the right to modify courses.

While widely available, not all programs are available in all locations or in both online and on-campus formats. Please check with an Enrollment Representative.

Transferability of credit is at the discretion of the receiving institution. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm whether or not credits earned at University of Phoenix will be accepted by another institution of the student’s choice.

If you have a question contact us at 866-345-1800.


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