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SPCL 7900 Theories of Human Development: SESSION 13 - Module 6: Adolescence, continued

Open Educational Resource (OER) created for Professor Elizalde-Utnick's SPCL 7900 course.


Please complete the following PRIOR to our Zoom session on December 1:

1. Readings

READ the assigned readings (LN 4&5; anti-racism practice article).

3:40 Section: Julissa & Hannah:,intellectual%20disability%20as%20their%20peers.&text=One%20study%20found%20that%204,education%20and%20early%20intervention%20programs

Discussion Questions for 3:40 Class:

  1. Do you think the statistic of Black children in special education accurately depict their need for special services? If not, why do you think their representation in the special education system is so high? 
  2. What are potential ways to reduce the number of Black children in the special education system? 
  3. Do you think a student’s disability should exempt them from school suspensions?
  4. The textbook explains that risk factors (such as learning disabilities, contextual stressors, etc) can lead to interference with optimal development and may influence peer/teacher interactions and relationships. Black students with disabilities face the cumulative effect of contextual stressors based on race and the individual risk of a disability. What can we do to help these students?

6:30 Section: Natasha & Joanna:

Discussion Questions for 6:30 class:

  1.  How are gender and race constructs similar? 
  2. Why are gender constructs harmful throughout childhood and how does that relate to racial constructs? 
  3. What are some ways gender and racial discrimination reinforce one another?
  4. How do you think society uses race and gender to determine who is an "ideal man or woman" ?

2. Discussion Board

Go to Blackboard to the Discussion Board link and post to the "Session #13forum.

Write a discussion question based on this week’s assigned readings. Read the questions already posted, and do not repeat a question asked by one of your classmates. Your question should relate directly to an issue discussed in the reading and should require a thoughtful response.

A. Post your question. 

B. Read the questions posted by your classmates and respond to at least three of them. 

C. Respond to every student who responds to you. Do this in your own thread as well as the other threads you are participating in.

D. Continue participating in the threads until the module is over.

Note: If other students are not selecting your thread to participate in, perhaps it is because your question is too complex, confusing, or uninteresting. In this case, substitute another question.

3. Prepare for Blackboard Quiz (RAT#12)

The 5-question multiple-choice quiz will be on the LN 4&5 readings and videos. This RAT will be made available to you at your designated quiz time (3:40 pm or 6:30 p.m.). Our Zoom session will commence right after the quiz at 4:10 or 7:00 pm, depending on your course section.

DUE Sunday, December 6: Gender Identity


In this session we will explore adolescent protective and risk factors and the family environment. We will then discuss the anti-racism practice article. 



Claudia, a 15-year-old adolescent of Dominican descent, is very angry at her mother’s restrictions.  Claudia is not allowed to socialize with school peers after school hours.  She is supposed to go straight home after school. During a family session with Claudia and her mother, a single parent, Claudia tells her mother to “back off” and leave her alone. In response, her mother declared that Claudia has become “too Americanized”, is only interested in herself, and shows very little interest in her family.


1. What are the issues involved in the conflict between mother and daughter?

2. Apply this week’s readings to this case. What variables are associated with positive developmental outcomes?

3. What would you like Claudia’s mother to understand about typical adolescent development?

Adapted from: Elizalde-Utnick, G. (2002). Best practices in building partnerships with families.  In: A. Thomas & J. Grimes, Best practices in school psychology IV (pp.413-429). Washington, DC: National Association of School Psychologists

Triandis Survey: Are You an Individualist or a Collectivist?

This week's assigned reading describes family systems and the level of boundaries between family members. According to family systems theory, boundaries can be to small (i.e., enmeshed) or too far apart (i.e., disengaged). Does cultural background make a difference? We will discuss the degree to which families are individualist vs. collectivist. Take the Triandis Survey to see where you stand along this cultural continuum.