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Human Growth and Development 1b: Journey Into Adulthood

You have a solid foundation of childhood growth and development behind you, and now it time to explore the developmental changes of adulthood- relationships, career, and family- and expand your understanding of the changes that occur throughout one’s lifespan. In this course, you will hone your communication and problem-solving skills, learn about your personal values, understand family influence, apply development theories to adulthood, and more! You will also explore career options, demonstrate professionalism and leadership, and create a custom portfolio for future use. Let’s continue learning about ourselves and those around us.

Review Course Outline

Units at a Glance

Unit 1: School’s Out! Now What?

If you ask an adult to reminisce about their high school years, you may get some very different recollections. For some, high school was the best time of their lives! For others, even the thought of high school days send shivers down their spine. So is high school the peak? Or just the beginning? What comes after graduation? Prepare to enter another new and exciting stage of life. Though you have surely seen portrayals of life after high school, none of them fully convey what lies ahead during late adolescence and emerging adulthood. Though everyone’s life plays out differently, some central components affect the lives of all individuals as they move into adulthood. We’ll explore them here.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify the components and responsibilities of increased independent living
  • Understand the consequences of decisions and effective decision-making principles
  • Apply skills that lead to healthy and successful relationships
  • Examine brain development in late adolescence and emerging adulthood

Unit 2: All Grown Up

If you saw 18-year-old Justin Bieber on stage in 2012, it would have been hard back then to imagine that in a few years he and his wife would be preparing meals together on a reality TV show. But that’s just what you will see on “Biebers on Watch.” Justin and his wife Haley also share skincare routines, their day at a lake, and playing Jenga together. This drastic change in Justin Bieber’s pursuits highlights just how much priorities shift between the stages of emerging adulthood and early adulthood. During this transition, the focus changes from self to others, from having fun to establishing a career, as well as other similar milestones.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify biological and cognitive theories of development related to early adulthood
  • Describe moral theories of development and understand their role in early adulthood
  • Distinguish psychosocial theories of development related to early adulthood
  • Analyze emotional development and the role emotions play in early adulthood

Unit 3: Working for a Living

One of the most significant changes from childhood into adulthood is the transition from student to a working member of society. The torch is passed from being a child provided with basic needs by your parents to caring for yourself and potentially caring for your own children. Career choices impact your lifestyle, your mental health, and even the activities you engage in. Starting your career with a solid plan, which focuses on what is most important to you your life, will serve you well.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Explore your abilities, aptitudes, and career possibilities
  • Describe the elements that are important in developing career skills
  • Explain the necessary components of a successful career
  • Discuss the importance of human services
  • Identify the requirements for individuals to work in the field of human services

Unit 4: A Family of Your Own

You’ve probably heard the playground rhyme, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.” What you likely didn’t realize, if you have ever used that rhyme, is that you were presenting a concise outline of the process of life. Love, marriage, and starting a family are some of the most significant changes that often begin in early adulthood.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify how attraction develops and types of love
  • Describe crucial elements in choosing a partner and developing healthy relationships
  • Explain how couples can prepare for children and be familiar with different types of families
  • Discuss parenting and attachment theory related to parenting

Unit 5: Reevaluate and Refresh

Having an “Over the Hill” party at the age of 40 is a popular rite of passage. This party marks someone reaching the top of the developmental ‘hill’ and then heading on down the other side. It’s a humorous way to address the physical and mental declines one can look forward to. These are often fun parties, poking fun at the lucky individual who is headed into decline. While there is some truth to middle age taking you over the hill, there is also a great deal to look forward to when midlife approaches.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify cognitive and biological development in middle adulthood
  • Describe changes that take place in relationships during middle adulthood
  • Explain emotional and psychosocial development in middle adulthood
  • Discuss elements related to midlife crisis and midlife renewal

Unit 6: The Winter of Life

While middle adulthood brings an awareness that life will not last forever, late adulthood brings an acute recognition of our humanity. With late adulthood comes the struggles that age brings as our functioning gradually declines. Nevertheless, while our physical and cognitive abilities may diminish, there are many opportunities in late adulthood for us to continue to thrive and leave an impact on the world around us.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify the process and causes of aging
  • Describe the physical changes that occur in late adulthood
  • Explain how cognition changes and develops in late adulthood
  • Discuss elements that contribute to mental, emotional, and social health in late adulthood

Unit 7: The Realm of Loss

In the popular book Tuesdays with Morrie, author Mitch Albom visits his college professor who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. This leads to them meeting each Tuesday and discussing all that Morrie experiences as his life draws progressively closer to the end. In their discussions, they talk about Morrie’s view of the world as he anticipates soon leaving his life behind. Similarly, in this unit, we will discuss many of the components of the final stage of life and how it impacts those left behind.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify elements present as individuals prepare for death
  • Describe common elements that accompany the loss of a loved one
  • Explain how individuals cope with and grieve loss due to death
  • Discuss components that are beneficial to individuals moving forward after a death

Unit 8: Preparing for Your Future

Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of your journey in the exploration of human development. Now that your course is coming to an end, you’ll learn how to use the information you’ve gained and put it into practice. Your journey through human development has only just begun, and you can now use your knowledge and the tools you’ve accumulated to create your best life!

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify how the concepts you’ve learned in human development can be used moving forward in your life
  • Describe the power of and need for continued curiosity in the world around you
  • Explain how you can continue building your database of information about the developing human
  • Discuss how you can influence your life tomorrow through the choices you make for yourself today

Required Materials


  • Art Supplies
  • Video recording device
  • Digital Camera or smartphone


  • Word processing software


  • Helpers


  • Graphic design software
  • Presentation software
  • Writing supplies
  • Binder or folder
  • Audio recording device
  • Construction paper or cardstock
  • Age progression app
  • Posterboard
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