Adolescent Psychology

Course CodeBPS211
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Study adolescent psychology by distance learning - learn how the adolescent mind grows and develops.

  • Learn what causes teenagers to think and behave as they do.
  • Explore the psychological changes and developments that take place during the teenage years.
  • Understand the emotional challenges faced by adolescents.
  • This 100 hour courses covers a wide range of issues the occur during adolescence including: life crises, sexuality, social development, crime and delinquency, and much more.

Studying this course will benefit both parents and professionals, including:

  • Psychologists
  • Counsellors
  • Carers
  • Foster Carers
  • Social Workers
  • Care Workers
  • Children and Family Workers
  • Law Enforcement
  • Sports Coaches

This highly accessible course can be started any time. You choose your learning method (online or eLearning) and have the flexibility of studying wherever suits you.

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Theories of Human Development
    • What is adolescence?
    • Piaget’s theory of Cognitive Development
    • The stages of Piaget’s theories
    • Moral development
    • Erikson’s psychosocial development theory, stages
  2. Life Crises
    • Life crisis
    • Problems
    • Puberty
    • Attachment theory
    • Internalised and externalized problems
    • Types of problems experienced by adolescents
  3. Physical Development
    • Puberty in females
    • Puberty in males
    • Hormones
    • Physical activity
    • Obesity
  4. Intellectual Development
    • Piaget’s formal operations stage
    • School problems
    • Lesson 5. Emotional Development
    • Freud’s theories
    • Emotional problems
    • Teenagers and grief
    • Eating problems
    • Depression
    • Emotional problems
    • Typical childhood responses to grief
    • Supporting a grieving child
  5. Sexuality
    • Acquisition of gender identity and social role identity
    • Vicarious learning and sexual identity
    • Gender dysphoria
    • Curiosity
    • Sex
    • Sexual behaviour
    • Masturbation
    • Sexuality and nudity
    • Answering questions
  6. Social Development
    • Family influence
    • Types of parenting
    • Denigration of parents
  7. Moral Development
    • Piaget’s theory of moral development
    • Kohlberg’s theory of moral reasoning
  8. Delinquency and Crime
    • Juvenile delinquency
    • Pathways to delinquency
    • Gangs
    • Crimes more likely in adolescence
    • Behaviour problems
    • Drugs, solvents and alcohol
    • Child abuse
    • Triggers of abuse
    • Stranger abuse
    • How to deal with deviance
  9. Adolescence and the Transition to Adulthood
    • Erikson’s later stages
    • The transition to adulthood


  • Develop an understanding of the theories of child development in relation to adolescents.
  • Develop an understanding of life crises in relation to adolescents.
  • Develop an understanding of the physical changes that occur in puberty.
  • Develop an understanding of the intellectual changes that occur in adolescence.
  • Develop an understanding of the emotional development that occurs during adolescence.
  • Develop an understanding of sexuality during adolescence
  • Develop an understanding of the social development that occurs in adolescence.
  • Develop an understanding of the theories of moral development in relation to teenagers.
  • Consider the links between adolescence and delinquent activity such as crime.
  • Develop an understanding of the changes that occur moving from adolescence to adulthood.

Sample Course Notes - Problems Can Originate Anywhere

Adolescence is a difficult time for anyone; and a time when many teens will tend to hide problems from parents and others who might care for them. Issues that may not seem important to adults can sometimes have their origins in a small incident; but grow unchecked into something that can have a serious impact on the psychology of a young person.

School problems can be due to many things, including emotional and intellectual problems, but can also be related to rebellion against authority.

Refusal to go to school can be due to a number of problems –

  • Some children may be perfectionists. They may become depressed and unsettled if they do not do as well as they expect to.
  • They may have a disturbed family life due to various factors, such as loss of a parent through death or divorce, parental relationship difficulties and so on.
  • They may experience difficulties being separated from their parents.
  • Their school problems may be an established pattern.  Some children may have established a pattern of missing school early in life. They may often have physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach aches.  
  • Some teenagers may go to school, then play truant. This is usually because they are unhappy at home and frustrated at school. They may want to spend their days with others who feel the same way. 
  • Emotional problems can affect school work. It can make it hard to concentrate. They may have worries about themselves, about home, pressure to do well, pass exams and so on. They may want to do well and push themselves. But excessive nagging and pushing can be counter-productive. Whilst exams are important, they should not be allowed to dominate the teenager’s life or cause them unhappiness. 
  • Bullying. Around 1 in 10 secondary school children is bullied at some point, 1 in 20 every week.  
  • Methods employed by the teacher can also affect development.  The use of authoritarian methods can inhibit the development of real cognitive skills.  However providing an environment with discussion, and group interaction and exchange can promote formal thinking and problem-solving skills.

Bullying and Cyber bullying

Bullying is an area of life that many children (and adults) may experience. The teenage years are a time of massive change. Children who were once confident can lose their confidence. Children who were once popular can become unpopular. Children suddenly grow, or don’t grow as fast as their friends. They may lose a lot of weight or gain a lot of weight.  All these changes can affect the self-esteem and self-confidence of a child.  Also, other children may notice differences and target other children. Some children may not understand that their jokes and fun making can actually seriously upset another child. Whilst other children will engage in far more destructive, physical and emotional bullying.

Research in the UK by Tellus4 found that 46% of children reported they had been bullied at some time at school.  Children are bullied for many reasons, it can be due to their appearance, religion, race, sexual orientation, home circumstances, disability, body, intelligence, hair colour. Or they may be picked on for no reason at all.

Bullying can take many forms from – 

  • teasing 
  • spreading rumours
  • gossiping
  • excluding people from groups
  • insulting people 
  • stealing belongings
  • writing or drawing graffiti
  • causing actual physical harm 
  • messing with other people’s belongings
  • threatening people
  • being pushed around. 
  • mocking

Bullying often happens when other people are present.

What do our students think of our Psychology courses?

 " The online courses are very easy to use and follow. Prompt friendly replies from tutor to any queries. Course structure flows freely. Very satisfied with course and results..."

Diana (completed ACS Online course in Introduction to Psychology and Psychology & Counselling).

Who Should Study This Course?

Anyone interested in understanding more about how teenagers grow, develop and think will benefit from studying this course.

If you are a parent, caregiver, foster carer, teacher, teaching assistant, charity worker, care assistant or anyone who lives or works with teenagers, then this course will help you to understand more about teenagers.

Study Adolescent Psychology with ACS and -

  • Learn about how teenagers think and develop.
  • Develop your knowledge to be able to help adolescents through the difficult process of puberty and adolescence.
  • Understand how to be supportive to adolescents.
  • Know how to react in the face of challenges.
  • Improve your career and job prospects with knowledge that you can apply.

Enrol now on this 100 hour course and gain detailed knowledge of adolescent psychology.

With self-paced studies, you are in charge of your progress - ACS tutors will be on hand to support you at every stage of your studies.

Put yourself ahead of the rest with this specialist course on adolescent psychology.

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