Psychological development: risk and resources (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Daniela Raccanello
Daniela Raccanello
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 2A dal Feb 15, 2021 al Apr 1, 2021.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

General Learning outcomes Knowledge and understanding - Knowledge and understanding of the determinants of bio-psycho-social wellbeing (with particular attention to the main social problems often faced by social workers) Ability to apply knowledge and understanding - Ability to recognize the main causes of people’s needs and to distinguish among their social, family, and personal roots, focusing on their reciprocal relations SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES The course aims at offering some conceptual and methodological instruments necessary to know and understand the psychological processes characterizing psychosocial risk and resources during development, according to the perspective of developmental psychology. By the end of the course, the students will have to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the determinants of bio-psycho-social wellbeing; ability to recognize the main causes of risk and to distinguish among their social, familial and personal roots, underlying the corresponding resources; autonomous assessment of the methodologies concerning the intervention on the psychosocial risk; communication skills regarding the scientific language of psychology; ability to integrate into working teams.


The syllabus is divided into three parts:
(A) Psychosocial development.
• Cognitive development.
• Linguistic development.
• Social development.
• Emotional development.
(B) Psychosocial risk and resources during childhood.
• Psychological processes during childhood: development in the cognitive, social, and emotional domain.
• Basic constructs: adjustment, risk and protection factors; stress and traumatic events; psychological vulnerability and resilience.
• Definitions, theoretical models, role of individual and contextual factors, evaluation instruments.
• Situations of psychosocial risk during childhood and adolescence: children/adolescents with parents affected by psychopathology, maltreated and abused, belonging to minorities, with separated or divorced parents, adopted, etc.
(C) Emotional prevention and disasters.
• Impact of natural and technological disasters (earhquakes, floods, fires, pandemics, etc.) on psychological development.
• Psychological disasters before and after disasters.
• Emotional competence as a resource to cope with disasters.
• Training on emotional prevention on seismic risk with primary school children.

Teaching activities
The course will include frontal lessons, aiming at transmitting basic notions, integrated by cooperative learning, aiming at deepening the knowledge of specific aspects of the syllabus, in particular through the study of research papers. The content of the texts and the lessons is coherent with the syllabus. Further didactic materials are available from the teacher.
During the whole academic year, in addition, the teacher will receive the students individually, at the times indicates in the website (it is not necessary to arrange specific appointments) which are constantly updated.
During the first lesson, the teacher will present the whole calendar of the didactic activities with dates and topics of the lessons, specifying the time and the rooms.

Texts for the exam:
Santrock., J. W. (in stampa). Psicologia dell’educazione. McGraw-Hill.
Inguglia, C., & Lo Coco, A. (2013). Resilienza e vulnerabilità psicologica nel corso dello sviluppo. Il Mulino.
Raccanello, D., Vicentini, G., & Burro, R. (in stampa). Prevenzione Emotiva e Terremoti nella scuola primaria. Il progetto PrEmT. Un training sui terremoti e sulle emozioni. McGraw-Hill.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Raccanello, D., Vicentini, G., & Burro, R. Prevenzione Emotiva e Terremoti nella scuola primaria. Il progetto PrEmT. Un training sui terremoti e sulle emozioni McGraw-Hill  
Santrock., J. W. Psicologia dell’educazione McGraw-Hill  
Inguglia, C., & Lo Coco, A. Resilienza e vulnerabilità psicologica nel corso dello sviluppo Bologna: Il Mulino 2013

Assessment methods and criteria

The aim of the exam is to verify the extent to which the expected learning results are achieved, in terms of knowledge and understanding abilities, both theoretical and applied.
The exam is formed by a written part and an optional oral part. Both of them cover the whole syllabus. For the written part, there are ten definitions and four open-ended questions. The duration of the written part is one hour. The oral part is optional, and it consists of an integrative interview requested by the student, after passing the written part.
In particular:
• Knowledge and ability of understanding factors associated with bio-psycho-social wellbeing, applied knowledge and ability of understanding focused on the factors underlying risks, and autonomy of judgment, in terms of critical evaluation of methodologies and interventions concerning psychosocial risk during childhood and during adolescence, will be evaluated examining the responses to the open-ended questions, assessing: (a) the possession of the required knowledge, (b) the argumentative abilities, (c) the critical ability to identify strength and weakness of contents.
• Communicative abilities in terms of competences and instruments to communicate and manage information will be assessed mainly examining definitions in the written part, in which it is requested to use the appropriate lexicon typical of the scientific language of psychology.
• Capacity of learning in terms of abilities to work in groups will be evaluated in itinere, assessing how the cooperative learning activities are conducted.
The evaluation of the exam is expressed in thirties. For the written part, there will be maximum one point for each definition and maximum five points for each answer to open-ended questions. For the oral part, there will be maximum three points.
The exam will be equal for those students who attend and those who do not attend the lessons.

Due to the current Coronavirus-related emergency, the above-mentioned description of the exam is modified as follows for summer and autumn 2020, according to the indications from the University of Verona. The exam is formed by an oral interview requesting definitions of constructs referred to the whole syllabus. The exam will be carried out online. After that the possibility to subscribe for the exam will be closed, I will send to the students an email with the indications on the exams. The date and hour of the oral exam will be communicated in the date determined for the exam.