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CODE 67317
SEMESTER 1° Semester
MODULES Questo insegnamento è un modulo di:


The course aims to deepen the current conceptions of the adolescent period, referring to recent research on typical development, with particular reference to the theoretical and applicative implications of studies on brain development. It also aims to activate students through exercises on teaching content.




The course aims to implement the knowledge and skills useful for intervention with adolescents. In particular, students will learn how to set up projects in the field of education and psychological counseling. In this perspective, it is proposed to: a) provide knowledge on the personal, contextual and cultural components at the basis of adolescent development, b) illustrate the protection and risk factors associated with the various developmental trajectories; c) analyze the biological and neural basis of the adolescent's characteristics.



  1. provide elements for a deepening of knowledge on adolescent development;
  2. allow reflection on brain changes associated with developmental processes in different areas;
  3. stimulate reflection on adolescence as a key period of human development;
  4. encourage the active participation of students;
  5. provide the tools to plan prevention interventions.

Attendance and active participation in the planned educational activities (frontal and interactive lessons, discussion and exercises on the study material) and individual study will enable the student:

  • to consolidate the previously acquired knowledge on the typical development in adolescence;
  • to learn how the brain develops during adolescence;
  • to understand how neurological changes occurring during adolescence affect cognitive functioning, the sense of self and the understanding of other people, the ability to recognize emotions,  the theory of mind, the relationships with adults and peers, the risk behaviors;
  • to compare traditional conceptions of adolescence with current issues;
  • to understand how to apply the acquired knowledge;
  • to understand critically the path of adolescents towards adult's identity;
  • to analyze in-depth the risk factors in adolescence, in order to develop prevention and intervention projects.


Before starting the course, the teacher will upload one or more questionnaires on expectations and knowledge on aulaweb that will serve as a basis for shared reflection and refine the course setting.

The first lessons will be devoted to ascertaining the students' knowledge of adolescent typical development through an interactive teaching methodology.

The second part of the course will focus on the monographic text, with constant attention to stimulating the students' requests for clarification and insights. Results of research and case studies will be shown to encourage discussion in the classroom and to analyze in-depth the more interesting topics.

In the third part of the course, students will present the results of a small-group work carried out in the first part of the semester, concerning the application of the acquired knowledge in planning prevention or intervention strategies.


The course program includes the presentation and discussion of the following topics:

  • physical development; self and identity development; cognitive, affective, and social development in adolescence;
  • parent-child relationship in adolescence;
  • peers relationship in adolescence;
  • the development of friendship and romantic relationships in adolescence;
  • adolescence as a key moment in the life course;
  • sensation seeking and risk taking in adolescence;
  • brain development and developmental trajectories;
  • risk and protective factors in adolescence;
  • adolescents from an the inside perspective;
  • the adolescent from an inside perspective
  • the emerging adulthood
  • prevention and intervention strategies in adolescence.


Bibliography for attending students

- A.E. Berti, A.S. Bombi, Corso di Psicologia dello sviluppo (fourth part: adolescence) Il Mulino, Bologna, 2018.

- S.J. Blakemore (2016), Inventare sé stessi: cosa succede nel cervello degli adolescenti, tr. it. Bollati Boringhieri, Torino, 2018.

- Chapters selected from the following book and/or among the papers published by the teacher in aulaweb.

  • D.J. Siegel (2013), La mente adolescente, Raffaello Cortina, Milano, 2014 (one of the four parts of the text).

Bibliography for students who do not attend the lessons

- .A.E. Berti, A.S. Bombi, Corso di Psicologia dello sviluppo (parte quarta: l’adolescenza) Il Mulino, Bologna, 2018.

- S.J. Blakemore (2016), Inventare sé stessi: cosa succede nel cervello degli adolescenti, tr. it. Bollati Boringhieri, Torino, 2018.

- D.J. Siegel (2013), La mente adolescente, Raffaello Cortina, Milano, 2014 (two of the four parts of the text).

- Two papers selected among those published by the teacher in aulaweb

Bibliography for students who will take the exam in English

- Blakemore, S. J. (2018). Inventing ourselves. The secret life of the adolescent brain. London: Public Affairs

- Waddell M. (2018). On adolescence. London: Routledge

- Papers selected among those published by the teacher in aulaweb

The teacher will take care to make accessible the slides and possibly the recording of some parts of the lessons in order to make the learning material as accessible as possible for all students.


Exam Board


GUYONNE ROGIER (President Substitute)

LAURA TRAVERSO (President Substitute)



September, the 27th 2021



For attending students the assessment will take place in several stages.

  • An initial assessment (after the first lessons) on the basic knowledge about developmental processes in adolescents. The assessment will be conducted through a multiple-choice test.
  • In the last part of the course, each group will be invited to present a report on the chosen readings: in this part an oral presentation is required, possibly with the support of video presentation; the groups will be formed by the teacher and the exhibition will be organized on several days in order to allow a fruitful exchange between the students (4/5 groups at a time).
  • at the end of the course there will be a written exam with short answers  on the monographic text (and with multiple choice questions on the basic manual for those who have not passed the first test on the two scheduled dates).

The final evaluation will be determined by the weighted average of the previous assessments: 25% point 1., 25% point 2., 50% point 3.

For non-attending students there is a written exam with multiple-choice questions on the first part of the course, aimed at ascertaining basic knowledge of the psychology of adolescence; an oral exam aimed at evaluating the critical understanding of the topics covered in the second part of the course (text by Blakemore); in addition, students will have to present orally an intervention project based on Siegel's text and on the selected articles.

Students with SLD, with disabilities, or with other regularly certified special educational needs will  agree with the teacher on the exam method and the compensatory instruments, by contacting the teacher at least 10 days before the test. They will also be able to take advantage of the additional time required by law.


The exam will verify the knowledge on the topics covered during the course and the skills acquired through classroom discussion, exercises, group work. Specifically, the exam aims to ascertain the following aspects of student preparation:

- knowledge acquired through lectures attendance and individual study

- the ability to reflect critically on what he/she studied;

- the ability to apply the theoretical concepts in planning intervention projects aimed at promoting the well-being of adolescents and preventing mental distress.


Exam schedule

Data appello Orario Luogo Degree type Note
13/01/2023 08:30 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
24/01/2023 14:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
07/02/2023 14:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
24/05/2023 09:30 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
08/06/2023 14:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
22/06/2023 14:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
17/07/2023 14:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
12/09/2023 14:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
12/09/2023 14:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale


All the students must visit the Aulaweb page ( regularly. All the information and materials related to this course are exclusively published on this website.

Any shifts in lectures timetable or office hours will be announced on aulaweb.

Students with DSA, disability or other special educational needs are recommended to contact the teacher at the beginning of the course, in order to organize teaching and assessment, taking in account both the class aims and the student's needs and providing suitable compensatory instruments.

Thesis requests must be made at students’ office hours or by appointment.

The thematic areas for the thesis can cover any topic of the course. Students are encouraged to make specific proposals, accompanied by a bibliography.

In the period between January 15th and July 31st the teacher will be on leave for exclusive research activity and will be replaced by Professor Laura Traverso.