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The University of Mississippi Online

COUN 309 v3, Psychology of Adolescence

University of Mississippi
Department of Leadership & Counselor Education
3 credit hours

Instructor Information:

Philip Cooker

Instructor: Dr. Philip Cooker

Philip G. Cooker, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of Counselor Education at the University of Mississippi, where he served as Program Coordinator and Director of Training of the doctoral program in Counselor Education. He has worked in public schools as a teacher and elementary school counselor and at Florida State University teaching, consulting, and counseling.

Dr. Cooker has served as an officer in various state and national organizations and currently holds an appointment as a board member of the Mississippi Board of Psychology. As a licensed psychologist, he maintains a private practice, providing services to individuals, couples, and families, in addition to consulting, forensic work, and training on a variety of topics. His writing has appeared in national and international journals.

Contact Information:

If you have questions concerning the content of the course, you may contact the instructor directly using the Send Email link in the Communications & Tools tab. NOTE: Whenever sending email, please be sure to indicate your course title and number in the subject line.

For lesson or test administration issues, please contact the iStudy department:

The University of Mississippi
Division of Outreach and Continuing Education
P. O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677

Phone: (662) 915-7313, toll-free (877) 915-7313
Fax: (662) 915-8826

Course Description

The word adolescence comes from the Latin verb, adolescere, which translates roughly to mean growing into adulthood. The focus of this course centers on the psychological aspects of this transitional period of development. As in the study of any stage of human growth and development, what we know about the period of adolescence is based on research. Textbooks provide us with condensed summaries and reviews of new research, as well as research findings that have thus far stood the test of time. Textbooks are updated periodically to incorporate new knowledge that is being generated constantly.

When you complete your study of adolescence, you should have a better understanding of the characteristics of this stage, the significant influences on adolescent development, and the theories and research that enhance our abilities to work effectively with this group of individuals.

Textbook Information:


Santrock, J.W. (2013). Adolescence (15th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

ISBN-10: 0078035481

ISBN-13: 978-0078035487

There is also a Study Guide (not required), as well as internet sites specific to this course. Your textbook provides information regarding these and other resources. The online resources can be accessed here:

It is the student's responsibility to order his or her textbook. Online textbook retailers such as or usually provide used textbooks at economical prices. 

Whether you order from an online vendor or through the Ole Miss Bookstore, you must make sure that you are ordering the exact book that is required in this syllabus.

Course Objectives:

Objectives include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Examining and applying theories that provide perspectives to this developmental period.

  • Providing an overview of physical, cognitive, social, and personality changes that occur during adolescence.

  • Understanding the effects of the family, peer relationships, schooling, and other factors on adolescent development.

  • Developing an appreciation for adolescence as a cultural phenomena.

  • Introducing various careers that are typically available to those desiring to work with adolescents.

Course Outline:

This course is composed of fourteen instructional modules:

Lessons & Exams

Reading Assignments

Due for Grades

Lesson One


APA style exercise

Lesson Two

Chapter 1: Introduction

Lesson 2 Essay, Quiz

Lesson Three

Chapter 2: The Science of Adolescent Development

Lesson 3 Essay, Quiz

Lesson Four

Chapter 3: Puberty, Health, and Biological Foundations

Lesson 4 Essay, Quiz

Lesson Five

Chapter 4: Cognitive Development

Lesson 5 Essay, Quiz

Lesson Six

Chapter 5: The Self, Identity, Emotions, and Personality

Lesson 6 Essay, Quiz

Lesson Seven

Chapter 6: Gender

Lesson 7 Essay, Quiz

Mid Course Exam

Introduction through Chapter 6

To be scheduled and completed before proceeding

Lesson Eight

Chapter 7: Sexuality

Lesson 8 Essay, Quiz

Lesson Nine

Chapter 8: Moral Development, Values, and Religion

Lesson 9 Essay, Quiz

Lesson Ten

Chapter 9: Families

Lesson 10 Essay, Quiz

Lesson Eleven

Chapter 10: Peers

Lesson 11 Essay, Quiz

Lesson Twelve

Chapter 11: Schools

Lesson 12 Essay, Quiz

Lesson Thirteen

Chapter 12: Achievement, Work, and Careers

Lesson 13 Essay, Quiz

Lesson Fourteen

Chapter 13: Culture

Lesson 14 Essay, Quiz

Final Exam

Chapter 7 through Chapter 13

To be scheduled and completed to finalize credit


91-100 (A range)  
81-90 (B range)  
71-80 (C range)  
61-70 (D range)   
> 60 (Unacceptable, requiring a resubmission of the lesson*)

 *A new grade will be assigned to a resubmitted lesson, based on the average of the original and resubmitted grades for that lesson.  

Grading Information
The final course grade will be assigned using the same numerical ranges for grading lessons. The final grade will be calculated from the following sources:

  • Lesson grade average~25%

  • Midcourse essay test grade~25%

  • Second essay test grade~25%

  • Comprehensive multiple-choice examination grade~25%

NOTE: the journal activities in each lesson are required and must be completed. However, they will be graded only as complete or incomplete because they are based on your reflections and experiences.


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