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University of Oklahoma

Spring 2022 Advanced Programs - Advanced Programs Online - Human Relations

[H R 5403] Psycho-Social Development - 492

Shannon Bert

Course Description

This course will review human development through the life span from a psychosocial approach with a special emphasis on early development and its influence on subsequent stages of development. The theories of Freud, Erikson, and Piaget will be emphasized to explicate different aspects and orientations of developmental theory. Students will be encouraged to apply their own experiences developmentally and/or those of people they know to the theory and information presented.

Course Dates

DatesMarch 1 – April 30, 2022
Last day to enroll or drop without penaltyJanuary 31, 2022

Site Director

This is a three-credit hour online course. Please see your local Site Director or email our online site coordinator at

Professor Contact Information

Course Professor: Shannon S.C. Bert, Ph.D.
Mailing Address: 601 Elm Avenue, PHSC 706
Norman, OK 73019
Telephone Number: (405) 325-1766
Fax Number: (405) 325-4402
E-mail Address:
Professor availability:The professor will be available via email to students during the course.

Textbook(s) and Instructional Materials

Student materials are available at the OU Bookstore Website at The website has book selling, renting, buying, returning, and order tracking capabilities. If you need help with an order, or if you have any questions contact the toll-free phone at 1-(855)-790-6637, agents are available from 9a – 5p (EST) Monday – Friday. Text prices are available online.

Development Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach
Development Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach
by Newman
Published by Cengage
ISBN: 9781337098144

OU Email

All official correspondence from instructors will be sent only to students’ address. 

Online Orientation

The College of Arts and Sciences offers an online orientation for students who are enrolled in online or blended courses. The purpose of the orientation is to ensure that students are well prepared both technically and practically to take online courses. The orientation can be found on their website at:

The College of Arts and Sciences Online and Academic Technology Services office is here to assist you with any questions, problems, or concerns you may have. For assistance visit their website at or contact them by telephone at: (405) 325-5854 or email:

Course Objectives

The purpose of this course is to help students:

  • develop an understanding of human development as a product of genetic, maturational, societal, and self-directed factors;
  • to be able to identify the developmental stages and the tasks associated with each stage;
  • to be able to explain how successful resolution of each developmental crisis contributes to development of a prime adaptive ego quality; and
  • to be able to explain how unsuccessful resolution of each developmental crisis contributes to core pathology.

Course Outline

Assignments, Grading and Due Dates

Successful completion of this course will require the use of Canvas. Students are encouraged to become familiar with the site for this specific course prior to the start of class.

Attendance and Participation:

Over the course of the semester, you will be expected to complete numerous participation assignments. These assignments will ensure that you are staying up-to-date on your reading and will allow you interact with the material. Given that this is an online course, these participation assignments are an essential aspect of the class and will provide you with an opportunity to communicate both with the instructor as well as with your classmates. Participation assignments will consist of weekly discussion forum posts.

Discussion forum posts are due weekly using the relevant forum on Canvas. A framing question related to the material to be covered will be posted. You will be expected to respond to this question as well as to at least two of your classmates. Thus, your first post should be a response to the posed question, while your second posts should be a respectful and insightful response to at least two of your classmates. The discussion forum will remain open for one week. Please see below for the relevant due dates. You will receive a grade out of 10 for each discussion post you make. You will receive a 0 for any unmade postings, and all late postings will be subject to a 50% grade reduction.

Midterm Paper (100 points)

Utilizing the text as a resource, prepare a 7-10 page paper assessing a person whom you know or someone you interview regarding their developmental history as it relates to Erikson’s psychosocial stages of development as presented in the text (e.g., trust vs. mistrust). APA format must be used. See Final Paper Guidelines. Papers will receive a grade out of 100. Late papers will receive an automatic 10-point deduction for each day the paper is late.

Most universities have a writing center, a place for students, faculty, and staff to meet and talk about writing. The ConocoPhillips Writing Center here at OU is a resource I encourage you to use. As a writer you will want to seek feedback from many different readers. The writing consultants at the writing center are able to talk with you about your writing--at any stage in the process and for any course you are taking.

You can make an appointment (online or by phone) and you can drop in whenever they are open. I urge you to visit the website for more information:

More details regarding your midterm papers will be posted to Canvas closer to the due date.

Final Paper (100 points)

You will need to complete a final paper discussing a topic of your choice (you are responsible for identifying the topic from the list provided below). It is highly recommended that you select an aspect of the issue to discuss; this will make your paper more manageable (e.g., rather than looking just at violence prevention use in general, look at youth violence prevention or discuss terrorism and war, etc.) You will need to submit your topic to me for approval by the designated date. If you do not submit a tentative topic within Discussion #4, 10 points will automatically be deducted from your final paper grade.

Your paper should include an overview of the topic that you have selected. Explain the various dimensions of the issue (e.g., the ways that race, class, gender, culture, etc. interact when considering this problem) and the reasons why you have selected it as a topic. In addition, provide an analysis of extant literature (what does the literature say about the topic?). Use at least seven sources for your paper, of which no more than two may be reports published by governmental, non-governmental, and/or non-profit organizations. The remainder of your sources need to be scholarly books and/or journal articles. Only one of these may be a chapter covered in class. Papers should be approximately 7 to ten pages long and should be typed, double-spaced, and use conventional margins. Finally, your paper needs to conform to APA formatting guidelines.

Final papers will receive a grade out of 100. Late papers will receive an automatic 10-point deduction for each day the paper is late. Final grades will be assessed in the following manner: 10 points for stylistic considerations (correct use of APA format, font, margins, page length, etc.); 60 points for content (the thoroughness of your discussion of the topic you selected, the completeness of your literature review, etc.); 30 points for critical thinking (the degree to which you provide a thoughtful analysis of the dimensions of the issue, the thoughtfulness of your discussion of your personal reflections on the topic, etc.)

More details regarding your final papers will be posted on Canvas closer to the due date.

Please note that all deadlines are 11:59PM CST.

Final Paper Topics:

1.    Cultural Views of Pregnancy and Childbirth

2.    Paternal Rights and Abortion

3.    Attachment

4.    The Impact of Poverty on Development

5.    Gender Differences

6.    Moral Development in Early Childhood

7.    Violence Prevention

8.    Parent-Adolescent Relationships

9.    College and Moral Development

10. The Relationship of Gender Identity and Career Decision Making

11. Early Marriage Adjustments

12. Nonmarital Childbearing and Childbearing Choice

13. Managing the Household

14. Discrimination in the Workplace

15. Widowhood

16. Social Support in Older Age

17. Bereavement 


Students will be graded on:

Participation Assignments     100 points

Midterm Paper                       100 points

Final Paper                             100 points

Total:                                    300 points

Each student will receive a final grade according to the following point scale:

90% to 100% A

80% to 89%   B

70% to 79%   C

60% to 69%   D

Below 60%    F

Notice: Failure to meet assignment due dates could result in a grade of I (Incomplete) and may adversely impact Tuition Assistance and/or Financial Aid.

Attendance Policy

In addition to interaction via CANVAS and E-mail contact, students are required to contact the instructor via E-mail or telephone before the beginning of the course term for an initial briefing. Although physical class meetings are not part of this course, participation in all interactive, learning activities is required.

Student assignments and student/instructor communications will be conducted via CANVAS, although students may contact the instructor via telephone, postal mail, e-mail, or fax as needed.

Policy on Late Assignments

Students are expected to take exams on the scheduled date and turn in all work on time. If something comes up that precludes a quiz date or meeting a deadline, you must let the instructor know in advance of that class period. We will attempt to work out an arrangement for completion of the work. Unexcused absences from quizzes/discussions or unexcused late papers/discussions will result in zero (0) points.

In the case of incomplete assignments, the instructor reserves the right to assign a “0” to the assignment.

Incomplete Grade Policy

A grade of “I” is not automatically assigned, but rather must be requested by the student by submitting to the instructor a “Petition for and Work to Remove an Incomplete Grade” form. An “I” can never be used in lieu of an “F” nor can an “I” be assigned because of excessive failure to participate in class activities.

Technical Support Information

If you experience technical problems, contact Information Technology by visiting their website at: or contacting them by telephone at: (405) 325-HELP (4357).


Attendance/Grade Policy

Attendance and participation in interaction, individual assignments, group exercises, simulations, role playing, etc. are valuable aspects of any course because much of the learning comes from discussions in class with other students. It is expected that you attend all classes and be on time except for excused emergencies.

Excused absences are given for professor mandated activities or legally required activities such as emergencies or military assignments. It is the policy of the University to excuse absences of students that result from religious observances and to provide without penalty for the rescheduling of examinations and additional required class work that may fall on religious holidays. Unavoidable personal emergencies, including (but not limited to) serious illness; delays in getting to class because of accidents, etc.; deaths and funerals, and hazardous road conditions will be excused.

If you are obtaining financial assistance (TA, STAP, FA, VA, Scholarship, etc.) to pay all or part of your tuition cost, you must follow your funding agency/institution’s policy regarding “I” (Incomplete) grades unless the timeline is longer than what the University policy allows then you must adhere to the University policy. Students who receive Financial Aid must resolve/complete any “I” (Incomplete) grades by the end of the term or he/she may be placed on “financial aid probation.” If the “I” grade is not resolved/completed by the end of the following term, the student’s Financial Aid may be suspended make the student ineligible for further Financial Aid.

Students are responsible for meeting the guidelines of Tuition Assistance and Veterans Assistance. See the education counselor at your local education center for a complete description of your TA or VA requirements.

OU faculty will submit grades online through ONE not later than 30 days after the course end date. Course end dates are approximately one calendar month after the final seminar date on this syllabus and are provided on the official scheduling website for reference.

Academic Integrity and Student Conduct 

Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship. Academic assignments exist to help students learn; grades exist to show how fully this goal is attained. Therefore all work and all grades should result from the student's own understanding and effort.

Academic misconduct is any act which improperly affects the evaluation of a student’s academic performance or achievement. Misconduct occurs when the student either knows or reasonably should know that the act constitutes misconduct. Academic misconduct includes: cheating and using unauthorized materials on examinations and other assignments; improper collaboration, submitting the same assignment for different classes (self-plagiarism); fabrication, forgery, alteration of documents, lying, etc…in order to obtain an academic advantage; assisting others in academic misconduct; attempting to commit academic misconduct; destruction of property, hacking, etc…; intimidation and interference with integrity process; and plagiarism. All students should review the Student’s Guide to Academic Integrity at 

Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. All students should review policies regarding student conduct at 

Accommodation Statement

The University of Oklahoma is committed to making its activities as accessible as possible. For accommodations on the basis of disability, please contact your local OU Site Director.

Adjustment for Pregnancy/Childbirth-Related Issues

Should you need modifications or adjustments to your course requirements because of documented pregnancy-related or childbirth-related issues, please contact the professor as soon as possible to discuss. Generally, modifications will be made where medically necessary and similar in scope to accommodations based on temporary disability. Please see

Title IX Resources

For any concerns regarding gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking, or intimate partner violence, the University offers a variety of resources, including advocates on-call 24/7, counseling services, mutual no-contact orders, scheduling adjustments, and disciplinary sanctions against the perpetrator. Please contact the Sexual Misconduct Office at or (405) 325-2215 (8-5), or the Sexual Assault Response Team at (405) 615 -0013 (24/7) to report an incident. To learn more about Title IX, please visit the Institutional Equity Office’s website at 

Course Policies

Extended Campus (also and formerly known as Advanced Programs) policy is to order books in paperback if available. Courses, dates, and professors are subject to change. Please check with your OU Site Director. Students should retain a copy of any assignments that are e/mailed to the professor for the course. Neither duplicating services nor office supplies are provided.

Any and all course materials, syllabus, lessons, lectures, etc. are the property of professor teaching the course and the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma and are protected under applicable copyright.

For more information about OU Extended Campus, visit our website at:

Statement on Respect

The classroom should provide a safe learning environment where students can express their views without fear of reprisal. That freedom of expression must be balanced by demonstrated respect for other’s viewpoints and appropriate and reasonable sensitivity, especially within the context of scholarly disagreement.  Disrespectful or uncivil dialogue (including, but not limited to, personal attacks, insults, or harassment) will not be tolerated.

Recording Devices/Phones/Computers

It is important for students to be fully present during class to fully benefit from lectures, discussions, and experiential assignments. Class sessions may not be tape-recorded. All telephones and pagers should be turned off or placed on silent mode. Computers may not be used during class. Students who require an exception to this policy should discuss exceptional circumstances with the professor.


Shannon S.C. Bert, Ph.D.


·      2001                BA in Psychology, University of Oklahoma

·      2004                MA in Developmental Psychology, University of Notre Dame

·      2006                Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, University of Notre Dame

  • 2005 – 2007     Postdoctoral Fellowship, Georgetown University

Current Positions

·      2012 – Present    Associate Professor - Department of Human Relations, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK.

·      2012 – Present    Advanced Programs Liaison - Department of Human Relations, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK.

·      2008 – Present    Graduate Program Instructor - Advanced Programs, Department of Human Relations, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK.

Frequently Taught Extended Campus (Advanced Programs) Courses

·      HR 5403    Psycho-Social Development

·      HR 5023    Research in Human Relations

·      HR 5743    Violence Against Women and Children

·      HR 5713    Women, Work and the Family

·      HR 5013    Current Problems in Human Relations

·      HR 5970    Special topics/Seminar: The Prevention/Intervention of Critical Social Issue

Major Areas of Teaching and Research Interest

·      Developmental Theory

·      Applied Research Methods and Advanced Research Methods

·      Research for Human Relations

·      Protective Factors and Resilience

·      Biracial/Multiracial Identity Development

·      Prevention and Intervention Programs for Disadvantaged Populations

·      Emergent Adulthood

·      Current Problems

·      Violence Against Women and Children

·      Women, Work, and the Family

Representative Publications and Presentations

Refereed Publications

·      Bert, S.C., & Farris, J. R. (2016). Motherhood. In R.J.R. Levesque (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Adolescence. Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

·      Farris, J.R., Bert, S.C., Nicholson, J., Glass, K., & Borkowski, J.G. (2013). Effective intervention programming: Improving maternal adjustment through parent education. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 40(3), 211-223.

·      Lanzi, R., Ramey, S.L., & Bert, S.C. (2012). The Parenting Responsibility and Emotional Preparedness (PREP) screening tool: A 3-item screen that identifies teen mothers at high risk for nonoptimal parenting. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 166 (8), 749-755.

·      Bert, S.C., & Farris, J. R. (2012). Motherhood. In R.J.R. Levesque (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Adolescence (pp.1796 – 1844). Springer.

·      Bert, S.C., & Lanzi, R. (2011). History of abuse and its transmission to parenting: A comparison among adolescent and adult mothers. Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology, 39 (1), 24-39.

·      Patchen, L., Lanzi, R., & Bert, S.C. (2011). Trauma history as risk factors for inter-pregnancy intervals less than twenty-four months among first-time adolescent and adult mothers. Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology.

·      Bert, S.C. (2011). The influence of religiosity and spirituality on adolescent mothers and their teenage children. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40, 72-84.

·      Bert, S.C. (2011). The influence of religiosity and spirituality on adolescent mothers and their teenage children. Institute for the Biocultural Study of Religion Research Review, 29. Reprinted from Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40, 72-84.

  • Long, W.C., & Bert, S.C. (2010). African American delinquent youth: Overcoming zero tolerance policies and finding educational success. Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology, 38 (2), 31-43.
  • Deacon, Z., & Bert, S.C. (2010). Teaching diversity: The impact of race and gender on our experiences as educators. Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology, 38 (1), 35-45.

Book Publications

Borkowski, J.G., Farris, J., Whitman, T.L., Carothers, S.S., Keogh, D., & Weed, K. (Eds.) (2007). Risk and resilience: Adolescent mothers and their children grow up. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Chapter Publications

  • Bert, S.C., & Farris, J.R. (2009). Addressing attrition rates: New directions in administering parent training. In P.H. Krause, & T.M. Dailey (Eds.), Handbook of Parenting: Styles, stresses, and strategies. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
  • Howard, K., Carothers, S.S., Smith, L., & Akai, C. (2007). Overcoming the odds: Protective factors in the lives of children. In J.G. Borkowski, J.R. Farris, T.L. Whitman, S.S. Carothers, K. Weed, & D. Keogh (Eds.), Risk and resilience: Adolescent mothers and their children grow up (pp. 205-232) Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Carothers, S.S., Farris, J.R., & Maxwell, S. (2007). Design and analytic approaches to risk and resilience research. In J.G. Borkowski, J.R. Farris, T.L. Whitman, S.S. Carothers, K. Weed, & D. Keogh (Eds.), Risk and resilience: Adolescent mothers and their children grow up (pp. 233-257). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Borkowski, J. G., Carothers, S. S., Howard, K., Schatz, J., & Farris, J. R. (2007). Intellectual assessment and intellectual disability. In J. W. Jacobson, J. A. Mulick, & J. Rojahn (Eds.), Handbook of intellectual and developmental disabilities. New York: Springer.
  • Carothers, S.S., & Weaver, C. (2006). Preventing youth violence. In J. Borkowski & C.M. Weaver(Eds.), The culture of prevention: Using science and art to promote healthy development. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brooks.
  • Weaver, C., Blotchett, E., & Carothers, S.S. (2006) Preventing risky sexual behavior. In J. Borkowski &C.M. Weaver (Eds.), The culture of prevention: Using science and art to promote healthy development. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brooks.


·      Bert, S.C. (2017, April). Racial profiling and sense of felt security within American minority families. 2017 Oklahoma Council on Family Relations, Oklahoma City, OK.

·      Bert, S.C. (2016, April). Is there a need for a new paradigm? Examining issues and opportunities facing Black families in 2016. 2016 Oklahoma Council on Family Relations, Oklahoma City, OK.

·      Bennett, C., & Bert, S. (2016, April). “Damn right sex sells:” An examination of how Black female Hip Hop artists embrace negative images of women to appeal to male gaze. University of Oklahoma Honors College Undergraduate Research Day, Norman, OK.

·      Lanzi, R., Fajgenbaum, D., Ramey, S., Ramey, C., & Bert, S.C. (2015, March). Conducting longitudinal research in the community: Boundaries and other dilemmas. Conversation Roundtable presented at the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, PA.

·      Bert, S.C. (2014, March). Passing in either, belonging to neither: Biracial and bicultural identity. Paper presented at Teach in on Race, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK.    

·      Bert, S.C. (2014, February). Being biracial: Past, present, and future experiences within college environments. Paper presented at Black History & Higher Education – A Discussion, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK.

·      Nicholson, J., Farris, J., Lefever-Burke, J., Bert, S.C., & Akai, C. (2012, February). The implementation of active control groups in parent-based interventions. Poster presented at the Society for Research in Child Development Themed Meeting: Developmental Methodology, Tampa, FL.

·      Bert, S.C. (2011, October). How gender and race influence multiracial students’ identity and adjustment. Paper presented at Diversity Challenge: Intersection of Race or Ethnic Culture with Gender or Sexual Orientation, Boston College, MA.

·      Bert, S.C., & Long, W. (2001, September). African American delinquent youth: Overcoming zero tolerance policies and finding educational success. Paper presented at the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Alliance of Black School Educators (OCMABSE) Conference: Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education, Midwest City, OK.

·      Bert, S.C., & Nix, K. (2010, October). Causes and consequences: Examining racial identity among biracial/multiracial college students. Paper presented at Diversity Challenge: Racial Identity and Cultural Factors in Treatment, Research, and Policy, Boston College, MA.

·      Deacon, Z., & Bert, S.C. (2010, October). Teaching diversity: The impact of race and gender on our experiences as educators. Paper presented at Diversity Challenge: Racial Identity and Cultural Factors in Treatment, Research, and Policy, Boston College, MA.

  • Bert, S.C., Findlay, D.A., & Maye, N.M. (2009, October). A comparative cross sectional examination of biracial identity development. Paper presented at Diversity Challenge: Racial Identity and Cultural Factors in Treatment, Research, and Policy, Boston College, MA.
  • Bert, S.C., Borkowski, J.G., & Whitman, T.L. (2009, August). Adolescent mothers and their teenage children: Religiosity, spirituality, and adjustment. Paper presented at meeting of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada.
  •  Guner, Bella M., Carothers Bert, S., Lanzi, R., Ramey, S.L., & The Centers for the Prevention of Child Neglect. (2007, March). Maternal history of abuse and subsequent parenting knowledge, opinions, and behavior. Poster session presented at the Society for Research on Child Development Conference, Boston, MA.

Representative Major Professional Affiliations

  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Society for Research in Child Development
  • Society for Research on Adolescence
  • APA, Division 35 – The Society for the Psychology of Women
  • APA, Division 35 – Section 1, Psychology of Black Women

Representative Major Professional Affiliations

·      American Psychological Association

·      Society for Research in Child Development

·      Society for Research on Adolescents