About This Course

Introduction to Lifespan Development (Fall 2019)

Lifespan Development examines the physical, cognitive, and socioemotional changes that occur throughout a lifetime. This course covers the essentials in understanding human development, psychological research, and theories of growth and development. Students will come to understand the lifespan perspective and to analyze growth through each of the major stages of development: prenatal development, infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, early adulthood (including emerging adulthood), middle adulthood, and late adulthood. The course covers key topics in each of these stages, including major developmental theories, genetics, attachment, education, learning, disabilities, parenting, family life, moral development, illnesses, aging, generativity, and attitudes towards death and dying.

Faculty members may readily adapt the course’s OER content to include new developments and research to equip students with what they need to have success in their sociological journey.

Course Improvements

We believe in making continuous improvements to our courses in order to enhance and facilitate student learning. This newest version of the course includes a vast number of data-driven improvements to assessment questions and text content in order to better illustrate, clarify, and evaluate concepts.

This new edition of Lifespan Development includes the following significant improvements and enhancements:

  • Improved course organization 
    • Content is organized around specific, granular learning outcomes, which are listed at the top of each page.
    • Practice questions, try it questions, and quiz questions all align with learning outcomes.
  • Improved course content
    • Course content was significantly enhanced with greater coverage, more examples, news, and research.
  • “Try It” embedded practice questions for every learning outcome. This means that students learn about concepts and then immediately check their understanding with applied practice.
  • “Watch It” embedded videos that explain and reiterate key concepts throughout the course.
  • Discussions and Assignments for every module

As a Waymaker course, this is customizable and delivered with user-friendly personalized learning tools to strengthen engagement and student success. There are formative self-check assessments ​and​ summative quiz questions that can be imported directly into the LMS.


This course, based on Lifespan Psychology by Laura Overstreet, includes additional material from the Noba Project, OpenStax Psychology, and additional noteworthy contributions by the Lumen Learning team and:

Primary Content Authors
Sarah Carter, SUNY Empire State College
Margaret Clark-Plaskie, SUNY Empire State College
Daniel Dickman, Ivy Tech Community College
Tera Jones, Central New Mexico Community College
Julie Lazzara, Paradise Valley Community College
Stephanie Loalada, Texas A&M University San Antonio
John R. Mather, SUNY Empire State College
Sonja Ann Miller, Hudson Valley Community College
Nancee Ott, North Lake College
Jessica Traylor, Gordon State College

This book has benefited from the contributions of many people, including Jenauxn, Brooke Appler, Paige Ashworth, Jasmine Augustine, Caitlin Ayala, Sara Beckham, Caleb Blazek, Jennifer Meehan Brennom, Kelly C, Ibeth Chacon, Rebecca Chevrel, Ben Climer, Jamison Crabtree, Orion Dittler, Michael Earnest, Julia Kay Edgerton, Thomas Evans, Ren Foersterling, Khloe Gagen, Brittany Gavigan, Elizabeth Gaudino-Goering, Aline Gianfagna, Sarah Glick, Diana Godinez, Marissa Green, Katie Jacobs, Manuela Jimenez Herrera, Aubriea Lawson, Lydia Levin, Brock Meade, Tara Morales, Shelby Neshem, Darnell Parker, Savan Patel, Caitlin Pepe, Caitlin Jo Pepe, Caitlin O’Brien, Naomi Percine, Lesae Pfeffer, Christie Reimer, Finnian Rich, Autumn Richter, Shannon Rivera, Kimberly Rivers, Belen Saracco, Zaidalyn Schiappa, Rebecca Seghers, Rilka Spieler, Molly Sutter, Guadalupe Tautimer, Jamie Vaughan-Signorini, Julius Vellutato, Caitlin Vollmer, Winfield Whitehead, Jennifer Wadley, Melanie Werner, and Pat Williams.

About Lumen

Lumen Learning courseware is based on open educational resources (OER). When we can find well designed, effective OER that are appropriately licensed, we use them in our courseware. When we can’t find pre-existing OER, we create original content and license it as OER (under a Creative Commons Attribution license).

Lumen’s authoring process doesn’t end when our courseware is released. Our choice to adopt open educational resources means that we have the copyright permissions necessary to engage in continuous improvement of our learning content. Consequently, our courses are continually being revised and updated. Errata reported for our courseware are fixed in a matter of days, as opposed to the traditional model in which errors persist until the next “edition” is printed (often a year or more). Students and faculty can suggest improvements to our courses directly from within the courseware as they use it. And we conduct regular analyses to determine where students are struggling the most in our courseware, and make improvements that specifically target these areas.

Given our unique approach, our list of authors and other contributors may look different than the lists you are used to seeing. We provide both a list of the primary content authors (the people involved in the initial creation of the course) and a list of everyone who has contributed suggestions and other improvements to the course since it was first released. We invite you to join us as we create courseware that supports student learning more effectively each semester.

If you’d like to connect with us to learn more about adopting this course, please Contact Us.

You can also make an appointment for OER Office Hours to connect virtually with a live Lumen expert about any question you may have.