First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Psychology
Course unit
PSN1032225, A.A. 2015/16

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2015/16

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
PS1978, Degree course structure A.Y. 2014/15, A.Y. 2015/16
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 9.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination PSYCHOLOGY OF AGING
Department of reference Department of General Psychology
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge ERIKA BORELLA M-PSI/01

Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge Degree course code

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses M-PSI/01 General Psychology 9.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 9.0 63 162.0 No turn

Start of activities 01/03/2016
End of activities 01/06/2016
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
4 2017 01/10/2016 30/09/2017 BORELLA ERIKA (Presidente)
CARRETTI BARBARA (Membro Effettivo)
DE BENI ROSSANA (Membro Effettivo)
FAGGIAN SILVIA (Membro Effettivo)
MENEGHETTI CHIARA (Membro Effettivo)
3 2016 01/10/2015 30/09/2016 DE BENI ROSSANA (Presidente)
BORELLA ERIKA (Membro Effettivo)
CARRETTI BARBARA (Membro Effettivo)
CORNOLDI CESARE (Membro Effettivo)
DE MIN TONA GIULIANO (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Basic elements/concepts of psychology and general psychology.
Good command of written English.
Target skills and knowledge: The course will form psychologists who are able to:
- understand and interpret age-related changes that people experience in adulthood and old age, from a multidimensional viewpoint;
- gain an up-to-date theoretical, methodological, and practical (i.e. assessment tools, interventions, …) knowledge of normal and pathological aging;
- - learn about crucial aspects of aging, e.g. retirement, illness and pain management, bereavement and fear of death;
- that influence aging individuals and also their relatives, and professionals caring for the elderly (caregivers).
Examination methods: Written exam with multiple-choice and open questions
Assessment criteria: Students will have to learn:
- the main theoretical approaches to explain age-related changes from the social, physical, cognitive and emotional standpoints;
- strengths and weaknesses of older people;
- how to conduct multidimensional assessments;
- procedures for sustaining healthy aging and attenuating age-related decline (in pathological aging too);
- the role of the environment (caregiving and services for older adults) in aging;
- how to deal with stressful life events typically experienced by older people such as pain and bereavement, and fear of death.

They will also need to learn how to conduct multidimensional and multidisciplinary assessments of on people who are aging and the care they require.
Course unit contents: The following topics will be covered:
- demographic changes and the “gray revolution”;
- ageism and stereotypes related to aging;
- age-related changes occurring in: i) the brain; ii) the cognitive system, including memory, intelligence, spatial abilities;
iii) the so-called basic cognitive mechanisms (working memory, cognitive inhibition and processing speed); and
iv) emotions, motivation and personality;
- successful, active aging and the well-being paradox;
- multidimensional assessment in advanced age;
- the environment, and older people’s attachment to the their environment;
- cognitive and metacognitive training for normal aging and non-pharmacological treatments for pathological aging;
- psychopathology (Alzheimer’s disease, depression, anxiety, suicide);
- caregivers and the person-centered approach to care;
- pain and fear of death in aging.

The new professional figure of the geropsychologist (expert in the psychology of aging) and new guidelines for psychological practice with older adults will also be discussed.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Teaching will consist of face-to-face lectures.
Experts in the field will also be invited.
Lectures will be integrated with: i) the chance to participate in experimental procedures; ii) visits to rest homes for the elderly and Alzheimer units. These activities will enable students to start applying their competences to practical situations in the field.

Students’ active intervention will be appreciated and stimulated.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Articles and book chapters (that will be uploaded on the platform) will be recommended during the course and will be included as part of the material to study for the exam.

For foreign students, chapters in English could be proposed subject to approval by the person responsible for the course.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • De Beni R. e Borella E. (a cura di), Manuale di Psicologia dell'Invecchiamento e della Longevità. --: Il Mulino, 2015.