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Online · School of Behavioral Sciences · Community Care and Counseling

Child/Adolescent Development, Deviance and Violence

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 01/13/2020

Course Description

This course explores the foundational theoretical models that give explanation to the issues and challenges associated with child and adolescent development. Attention is given to the perspectives of both child and parent with a focus on effective intervention at the familial and sociological levels. Informed by systems theory and empirically-supported treatment approaches, the student will emerge with a strong appreciation for the continuum of care in diverse ecclesial and professional settings.



HSCO 500


A strong case can be made that the child and adolescent is at greater risk than in previous generations, evidenced by abborent behavioral trends to the legal and moral structures of society. To view the condition only from a moral stance is to overlook the underlying motivations and factors that, when properly understood, set the stage for more effective remedial clinical, sociological and political intervention. Students will have the opportunity to engage these issues through an introductory exploration of the scholarly research of relevance in most recent years, without loss of their appreciation for the early efforts in the fields of psychology, family studies, and religious faith. The incorporation of case studies provides the students an opportunity to participate in the continuum of care, from assessment to treatment planning and strategic intervention, within the uniqueness of their own future respective human service settings.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

    1. Describe etiological factors surrounding strong-willed, deviant, and violent behaviors among children and adolescents.
    2. Develop proactive parenting strategies for effective discipline and child-rearing for strong-willed children and adolescents.
    3. Demonstrate critical thinking skills needed to evaluate, critique and synthesize current research on deviance and violence.
    4. Identify how different ethnicities and cultural dynamics are impacted by adolescent deviance and violence.
    5. Develop assessment and treatment strategies for effectively helping parents and the community at large deal with and be advocates in addressing deviant and violent issues in children and adolescents.
    6. Analyze the cultural, sociological, and political factors related to adolescent development, deviance, and violence.
    7. Create effective intervention and treatment plans for helping parents in light of contemporary behavioral science theory and research.

Course Resources

Required Resource Purchases

Dobson. J. (2004). The new strong-willed child: Birth through adolescence. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House. ISBN: 9781414391342.

Hardy, K. V. & Laszloffy, T. A. (2005). Teens who hurt: Clinical interventions to break the cycle of adolescent violence. New York, NY: The Guildford Press. ISBN: 9781593854409.

Meeker, M. (2007). Your kids at risk: How teen sex threatens our sons and daughters. Washington, DC: Regenery Publishing. ISBN: 9781596985131.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with that required by state licensing boards in the class subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.

Recommended Resources

American Psychological Association. Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (Current ed). Washington, DC: Author.

Clinton, T., Clark, C., & Straub, J. (2010). The quick-reference guide to counseling teenagers. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. ISBN: 9780801072352.

Dobson, J. (2007). Parenting isn’t for cowards. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House. ISBN: 9781414317465.

Dobson, J. (2003). Parents’ answer book: A comprehensive resource from today’s most respected parenting expert. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House. ISBN: 9780842387163.

Additional Materials for Learning

    1. Computer with basic audio/video equipment
    2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
    3. Blackboard recommended browsers
    4. Microsoft Word

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Each forum will require the student to answer questions with a minimum of 400 words based on that particular module/week’s readings (Dr. Dobson’s works and/or the core text), as well as video/audio content. The student will be required to post at least two (2) replies of 200 words each to other students’ threads.

4 MAT Reviews (2)

The 4 MAT Review system is a way of responding to readings, lectures, and life experiences, requiring the learner to interact with new ideas on several levels. Each of the 2 required papers must include a title page, footnotes/citations, subtitles, pagination, and a bibliography/reference page. The first 4 MAT review will be on the Dobson text and the second 4 MAT review will be on the Meeker text.

Movie Reviews (2)

The student will write a 2–3 page movie review that focuses on a movie that has an example of a cultural battle for the hearts and minds of today’s children and adolescents (this may include etiological factors surrounding strong-willed, aggressive, and violent behaviors in children and adolescents). Use the format in blackboard when completing your Movie Reviews – include the headings below in each of your reviews.

Research Paper

The student will write a research paper that focuses on the general topic of deviance and violence as it applies to child/adolescent development. The research paper will primarily discuss assessment and treatment strategies, as well as proactive parenting interventions, and may focus on any of the following issues:

  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Explosive Children
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Sexual Addiction in Children/Adolescents
  • Bullying
  • ADHD
  • (Other topics with the professor’s permission)

The paper should be 10 pages in length (not including Title Page or References) in current APA format with at least eight references from current sources (half must come from research/journal articles).

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


Discussion Board Forums (4 threads at 50 pts ea & 4 replies at 50 pts ea)



4MAT Reviews (2 at 100 pts ea)


Movie Reviews (2 at 100 pts ea)


Research Paper











Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at


DBFA 615

Textbooks: Dobson, The New Strong-Willed Child (2004).

Hardy & Laszloffy, Teens Who Hurt (2005).

Meeker, Your Kids at Risk (2007).


Reading & Study




Dobson: chs. 1–3

Hardy & Laszloffy: ch. 1

6 presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

DB Forum 1 – Thread





Dobson: chs. 4–6

Hardy & Laszloffy: ch. 2

4 presentations


Movie Review 1

DB Forum 1 – Replies




Dobson: chs. 7–9

Hardy & Laszloffy: ch. 3

4 presentations


Research Paper – Topic

DB Forum 2 – Thread




Dobson: chs. 10–12

Hardy and Laszloffy: ch. 4

4 presentations


4 MAT Review 1 (Dobson)

DB Forum 2 – Replies




Hardy & Laszloffy: ch. 5

Meeker: chs. 1–5

4 presentations


Research Paper – Outline

DB Forum 3 – Thread




Meeker: chs. 6–12

4 presentations


4 MAT Review 2 (Meeker)

DB Forum 3 – Replies




Hardy & Laszloffy: chs. 6–7

4 presentations


Movie Review 2

DB Forum 4 – Thread




Hardy & Laszloffy: chs. 8–11

4 presentations


Research Paper

DB Forum 4 – Replies





DB = Discussion Board

NOTE: Each course module/week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final module/week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.