Understanding Adolescents

Understanding Adolescents

Uncover the secrets of the adolescent mind. This course provides valuable information on how adolescents feel, how their identities develop, and how you can best meet their needs.

6 Weeks Access / 24 Course Hrs
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Parents, family members, teachers and related support staff, child and youth workers, counselors, nurses and the like will all benefit from the information shared in this course.

You will learn about the many physical, emotional, and cognitive changes that affect the teens in your life and understand the significance of these changes, both for you and the adolescent. You will look at relationships inside and outside the home and how they shape the development of a teen's identity. You will explore personality, moral development and the role of faith.

By the time you finish this course, you should be very well-prepared to understand, appreciate, and meet the needs of the teens in your life.


Your first lesson explains the term adolescent development and familiarize you with some terminology. You will also learn the three main stages of adolescence to help you become familiar with the tasks and milestones inherent in each stage.

Adolescence is a time of change. These changes occur on the outside as well as on the inside. This lesson focuses on some external changes, including puberty and the impact it can have on the adolescent. You will also learn how these changes can affect how you treat an adolescent.

This lesson focuses on internal changes kids experience during adolescence. As children's bodies take huge leaps forward, so do their brains as they learn and discover new ways of thinking and reasoning.

The dreaded peer group. In this lesson, you will take a close look at socialization, peers and peer groups, friends, intimacy, and social changes in your adolescent's behavior.

One of the things that changes most during adolescence is a child's family relationships and how family members interact with each other. This lesson focuses on some of those changes and the impact this may have on both the adolescent and the family.

Emotional development is one of the internal changes that evolves during adolescence. This lesson explores some aspects of emotions and their development, and the significance this may have for adolescent development.

This is the "Who Am I?" lesson. This lesson delves into how people think about themselves, how their identity develops, what might influence their identity, and their self-concept.

This lesson is all about moral development and how the changes to the adolescent play a role in their moral development. You will become familiar with the overall thoughts, ideas and processes that seem common to adolescent moral development.

This lesson takes a close look at stress, anxiety, frustration, and defense mechanisms. You will also explore how these things affect people and how some of this is demonstrated during adolescence.

This lesson looks at four separate things: nature versus nurture, temperament, personality, and resiliency. The main thread carried throughout this lesson is how a better understanding of yourself can help you to better understand others.

This lesson reviews some of the adolescent needs and how they affect LGBTQ+ youth. You will learn about the issues these individuals may be faced with.

Your final lesson shifts from the normal to the abnormal part of adolescent development. The focus of this lesson will be a brief overview of disorders or conditions that are consistently viewed within the adolescent population.



There are no prerequisites to take this course.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


Sonya Jodoin

Sonya Jodoin has been involved in social work and youth work for more than 25 years. She holds a diploma in Social Service Work; a degree in Social Development Systems (Social Policy); and numerous certifications in trauma assessment and treatment for children, youth, and adults; threat assessment for adolescents; risk assessment for adults; and compassion fatigue. She brings to the course both professional and personal experience in the field of adolescence, along with training in a multitude of treatment modalities, approaches, and therapies. She has worked on the front line in mental health settings with individuals and their families, primarily with teenagers. Ms. Jodoin has developed and implemented a specialized joint educational/mental health treatment program for children whose behavior has resulted in school expulsion, and was the creator of an evidence-based, specialized high-school youth program for adolescents struggling with trauma.


I enjoyed the course. I found very informative and useful information and suggestions that will assist me in my teaching profession. Sonya has an effective and often humorous way of presenting her research. I highly recommend her as an instructor.

I enjoyed this course very much. I think it should be a prerequisite for all parents with children about to enter adolesence. Thank you!

I got some great information and plan to use all of it as I work with students, teachers, and parents this fall as a middle school counselor. This was my first on-line course and I would definitely take another one because it was a very good experience.

I have a young teenager at home. This course has been a tremendous help to me in learning to deal with her actions and reactions.

This course had lots of excellent information for parents and professionals who want a better understanding of pre-teens and teenagers. A lot of food for thought and very challenging!

This course helped to freshen up my knowledge on the subject of adolescent psychology. I found much of the information to be quite useful in dealing with my students at the junior high level as well as my 14-year-old daughter. Thanks.

This course was an excellent choice. The information was so interesting and useful, both professionally and personally. Thank you!

This was definitely one of the very most interesting and useful courses I have taken. It offers a tremendous amount of insight, especially for parents and others who teach/work with adolescents. In addition to providing information pertaining to all the important facets of adolescence, the instructor also ties this in with the impact of earlier life experiences, quality of parenting, family environment, etc. As a private educational tutor, I plan to utilize the understandings and knowledge I have gained to better meet the needs of my adolescent students.

This was my first online course...The convenience and flexibility of time was paramount in order for me to complete this course. I was able to juggle everything in a time sensitive manner...This course enabled me to achieve my objective. I needed to take a DESE of MA approved Adolescent Psychology course in order for me to meet the criteria for certification. This course was approved. I look forward to going to the DESE tomorrow with my Certificate of Completion. This class was informative. Thank you!

I took this course as an addition to my professional development requirement. I found it refreshing and very informative...This course has also allowed me to rethink my teaching style when interacting with my 6th, 7th and 8th grade students...The results were mind opening and life changing. I will look for this instructor again when I need to take another course. Thank you, Sonya!

Self-Guided Course Code: T9116
Instructor-Moderated Course Code: una