PSYC3308 Psychology: Atypical Development

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the Psychological Science; Psychology in Society; Psychology major sequences
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Life and Health Sciences
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 3 elective
The lectures and laboratory classes inform students of the DSM classification system of developmental disorders, and introduce general approaches to understanding atypical cognitive, social and neurological development. Several major forms of atypical child development [e.g. intellectual disability, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)] and geriatric psychopathology (e.g. the dementias, including Alzheimer's disease) are covered. Commonly used designs and methods for conducting research on developmental disorders are reviewed.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of some of the major disorders of child development (e.g. intellectual disability, autism and ADHD); (2) demonstrate an understanding of some of the major forms of geriatric psychopathology (e.g. the dementias, including Alzheimer's disease); (3) explain the DSM classification system; (4) demonstrate an understanding of the major theories of some of the disorders and the major approaches to treatment; (5) develop communication skills in describing a body of psychological research; and (6) demonstrate an understanding of the major methods used in investigating developmental disorders.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments; (2) in-class assessment; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Murray Maybery
Unit rules
PSYC1101 Psychology: Mind and Brain
PSYC1102 Psychology: Behaviour in Context
PSYC2203 Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Psychology
PSYC2207 Psychology: Normal and Abnormal Development; PSYC2208 Psychology: Atypical Development
Contact hours
lectures: 12 x 2 hours; seminars/labs: 4 x 2 hours
Enrolled students can access unit material via LMS (Learning Management System).

Students are exposed to topics in psychology units that may cause some discomfort or distress in certain individuals (e.g. depression, suicide, trauma, eating disorders). They are also required to demonstrate skills across a variety of different formats and contexts (e.g. written assessments, participation in practical work, contribution to group discussions, oral presentations, examinations), so it is important to carefully consider whether they are able to cope with the demands of studying psychology and whether there is anything that would impact upon their ability to complete the requirements of the unit. Refer to individual unit outlines for more detailed unit information.

Current textbook information is available in the School of Psychology textbooks list.

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.