Developmental Psychology I : Child and Adolescent

Academic year
Subject Area
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

English  skills are advisable.

Teaching Methods

Presentation and discussion of the main contents; case studies; group presentations; discussion of texts and other materials.

Learning Outcomes

1. To understand the general purposes of developmental psychology - integrating the perspective of the life cycle (life span) – so as to identify the type of problems, methodologies and theoretical resources.

2. To know the "path of development " of developmental psychology.

3. To analyze the fundamental characteristics of the physical, cognitive and psychosocial development, throughout childhood and adolescence, and to be able understand its implications on the individual behavior. To know how to integrate the different fields of development and, simultaneously, how to relate the development of the individual with her/his family, school and the socio-cultural context.

4. To know in each "stage" of development how to establish the connection between the "epistemic individual" & the "psychological individual" (or personal).

Work Placement(s)



1. Developmental Psychology: object, research methods and fundamental theoretical perspectives.

- From “stages theories” to contemporary life-span approaches and contextual approaches (P. Baltes; Bronfenbrenner);

2. Development in childhood 

- Sensory-motor thought – key-achievements & contemporary controversies (e.g. "object permanence");

- Preoperational thought & concrete operations – behavioral implications, evaluation and intercultural studies.

- Vygotsky model.

- Attachment theory: introduction

- Psychosocial development: Classic models (Freud, Erikson).

- Integration approach of development (NICHD project as an example).

- Moral judgment ( Piaget, Kohlberg, Gilligan).

3. Development in adolescence

- Cognitive development (formal thought and information process theory)

- Psychosocial development (identity- Erikson, Marcia, Berzonsky; attachment; moral thought)

Head Lecturer(s)

Rui Alexandre Paquete Paixão

Assessment Methods

Continuous assessment
Theoretical component : 50.0%
Practical component : 50.0%

Final assessment
Exam: 100.0%


Keenan, T., Evans, S. (2009). An introduction to child development. 2th ed., London: Sage.

Lamb, M. E., & Bornstein, M. H. (EDS.), (2011). Social and Personality Development. An advanced textbook. N.Y.: Psychological Press.

Lerner, R. M., Lewin-Bizan, S., & Warren (2011). Concepts and theories of human development. In M. E. Lamb, & M. H. Bornstein (Eds.), Social and Personality Development. N.Y.: Psychology Press.

Lourenço, O. (2005). Psicologia de desenvolvimento cognitivo. Teoria, dados e implicações. Coimbra: Almedina.

Morgado, L. M. (1997). Construtivismo, aprendizagem operatória e diversificação curricular: Pistas para um debate. Revista Portuguesa de Psicologia, 32, 21- 33.

Papalia, D.E., Olds, S.W., Feldman, R.D. (2008). A child’s world. 11th Ed. N.Y. McGraw-Hill.[trad. port. à venda]

Piaget, J.(1992). Le jugement moral chez l'enfant. Paris: PUF (1ªed.,1932).

Sprinthall, N. A., & Collins, W. A. (2011).Psicologia do Adolescente. Uma abordagem desenvolvimentista. 5ª ed., Lisboa: FCG.