Child/Adolescent Development, Deviance and Violence – DBFA 615

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course explores the foundational theoretical models that give explanation to the issues and challenges associated with child and adolescent development. Attention is given to the perspectives of both child and parent with a focus on effective intervention at the familial and sociological levels. Informed by systems theory and empirically-supported treatment approaches, the student will emerge with a strong appreciation for the continuum of care in diverse ecclesial and professional settings.


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A strong case can be made that the child and adolescent is at greater risk than in previous generations, evidenced by abborent behavioral trends to the legal and moral structures of society. To view the condition only from a moral stance is to overlook the underlying motivations and factors that, when properly understood, set the stage for more effective remedial clinical, sociological and political intervention. Students will have the opportunity to engage these issues through an introductory exploration of the scholarly research of relevance in most recent years, without loss of their appreciation for the early efforts in the fields of psychology, family studies, and religious faith. The incorporation of case studies provides the students an opportunity to participate in the continuum of care, from assessment to treatment planning and strategic intervention, within the uniqueness of their own future respective human service settings.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

    1. Describe etiological factors surrounding strong-willed, deviant, and violent behaviors among children and adolescents.
    2. Develop proactive parenting strategies for effective discipline and child-rearing for strong-willed children and adolescents.
    3. Demonstrate critical thinking skills needed to evaluate, critique and synthesize current research on deviance and violence.
    4. Identify how different ethnicities and cultural dynamics are impacted by adolescent deviance and violence.
    5. Develop assessment and treatment strategies for effectively helping parents and the community at large deal with and be advocates in addressing deviant and violent issues in children and adolescents.
    6. Analyze the cultural, sociological, and political factors related to adolescent development, deviance, and violence.
    7. Create effective intervention and treatment plans for helping parents in light of contemporary behavioral science theory and research.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Each forum will require the student to answer questions with a minimum of 400 words based on that particular module/week’s readings (Dr. Dobson’s works and/or the core text), as well as video/audio content. The student will be required to post at least two (2) replies of 200 words each to other students’ threads.

4 MAT Reviews (2)

The 4 MAT Review system is a way of responding to readings, lectures, and life experiences, requiring the learner to interact with new ideas on several levels. Each of the 2 required papers must include a title page, footnotes/citations, subtitles, pagination, and a bibliography/reference page. The first 4 MAT review will be on the Dobson text and the second 4 MAT review will be on the Meeker text.

Movie Reviews (2)

The student will write a 2–3 page movie review that focuses on a movie that has an example of a cultural battle for the hearts and minds of today’s children and adolescents (this may include etiological factors surrounding strong-willed, aggressive, and violent behaviors in children and adolescents). Use the format in blackboard when completing your Movie Reviews – include the headings below in each of your reviews.

Research Paper

The student will write a research paper that focuses on the general topic of deviance and violence as it applies to child/adolescent development. The research paper will primarily discuss assessment and treatment strategies, as well as proactive parenting interventions, and may focus on any of the following issues:

  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Explosive Children
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Sexual Addiction in Children/Adolescents
  • Bullying
  • ADHD
  • (Other topics with the professor’s permission)

The paper should be 10 pages in length (not including Title Page or References) in current APA format with at least eight references from current sources (half must come from research/journal articles).