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Study the adolescent mind - how they think, why they think the way they do and how they develop

Understand more about theories of human development, crime, moral and social development, the transition to adulthood, emotions and much more with this great distance learning course.
A course for anyone who wants to learn more about teenagers. When you understand how and why teens think the way they do; it becomes easier to comprehend and manage their behaviour.  For adults who are well beyond their own adolescent experience; it can be frustrating and even disarming to see a child with relatively predictable behaviour, changing into a teen whose actions are increasingly erratic. 
This course can both diffuse that sense of frustration and improve your capacity to influence the young person you are dealing with.

Course Structure
The course consists of ten lessons including –

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.

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.

6. Sexuality – acquisition of gender identity and social role identity, vicarious learning and sexual identity, gender identity disorders, curiosity, sex, sexual behaviour, masturbation, sexuality and nudity, answering questions.

7. Social Development - family influence, types of parenting, denigration of parents.

8. Moral Development – Piaget’s theory of moral development, Kohlberg’s theory of moral reasoning.

9. 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.

10. Adolescents and the Transition to Adulthood – Erikson’s later stages – the transition to adulthood.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.



  • 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.


Duration   The course requires 100 hours of study. We find most students complete 100 hours in three to six months, but it does depend on you and how much time you have available for studying.
Start Date You can start the course at any time to suit you.
If you are interested in learning more about teenagers and how they think and develop, then why not enrol today? 

Study the Psychology of Teenagers by distance learning - you study at your pace with our tutors there to help you every step of the way.

Understand the behaviour and theory behind working and living with adolescents.

Develop an understanding of the changes that adolescents go through during their teenage years.

Adolescence is a time between being a child and being an adult.  Over this time, there are many physical and psychological changes (eg. in relation to sexuality, physiology, emotions, moral perception, self-esteem, etc).  Adolescence can be difficult both for the adolescent, and for people interacting with them (family, friends, professionals etc). morally during the adolescent period.

COURSE AIM   Develop your understanding of the developmental changes that occur during adolescence.

Meet some of our academics

Tracey Jones B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), DipSW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies) Tracey began studying psychology in 1990. She has a wide range of experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects. She has been a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work and has also written many textbooks, blogs, articles and ebooks on psychology, writing, sociology, child development and more. She has had also several short stories published.
Miriam ter BorgPsychologist, Youth Worker, Teacher, Author and Natural Therapist. Miriam was previously an Outdoor Pursuits Instructor, Youth Worker, Surfing College Program Coordinator, Massage Therapist, Business Owner/Manager. Miriam's qualifications include B.Sc.(Psych), DipRem.Massage, Cert Ourdoor Rec.
Lyn Quirk M.Ed.,Dip.Med.,Dip.SportsOver 35 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy
Gavin Cole B.Sc.,M.Psych.Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist. B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA Gavin has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. He has co-authored several psychology text books and many courses including diploma and degree level courses in psychology and counselling. Gavin has worked for ACS for over 10 years.

Check out our eBooks

Psychological ProfilingPsychological profiling is used to assess anyone from potential new staff and school children to serial killers. It helps you to determine someone’s personality, neuroses, mental health and career suitability. This book provides an excellent overview of psychological profiling techniques and pitfalls.
Psychology DictionaryThis book provides explanations for common terms used in Psychology.
Counselling HandbookA book for both students, as well as volunteers who may be involved in helping people with problems. This is a starting point for understanding counselling, and a reference for developing counselling skills. The book contains seven chapters: 1. Where can counselling be used 2. How to see behind the mask 3. Emotions and attitudes 4. How to communicate better when all you have is words 5. Theory versus practice 6. Diffusing difficult situations 7. Golden rules or tips
How to be a Life CoachLife coaching is a relatively new profession - although coaches have been around for a long time in the guise of trainers, instructors, managers and tutors for various professions and disciplines. Life coaching is not easily defined, but it is a type of mentoring which focuses on helping individuals to achieve what they would like to achieve and thereby to lead more fulfilling lives. Unlike other forms of coaching, it takes place outside of the workplace and is concerned with all aspects of a person’s life.