Psychology (PSYC) 426

Psychology of Families and Parenting (Revision 2)

PSYC 426

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: One of PSYC 228, PSYC 323, PSYC 350, or PSYC 381 or professor approval.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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PSYC 426: Psychology of Families and Parenting, is an in-depth study of the issues surrounding parenting and family relationships, incorporating both theories and empirical research. It encourages critical analysis and awareness of the complexities of issues surrounding families. This online course explores many variations of families including nuclear families, families with same-sex parents, adoptive families, child-free families, and families that have adjusted to divorce. From a parenting perspective, the course looks at the influences of culture, genes versus environment, religion and spirituality, and parental age. The course also explores arranged marriages and polygamy.


PSYC 426 consists of twelve units:

  • Unit 1: What Is a Family?
  • Unit 2: Culture
  • Unit 3: Families: Genes vs. Environment
  • Unit 4: Religion and Spirituality
  • Unit 5: Adjusting to Divorce
  • Unit 6: Families with Same-Sex Parents
  • Unit 7: Adoptive Families
  • Unit 8: Parental Age I: Adolescent Parents
  • Unit 9: Parental Age II: Older Parents
  • Unit 10: To Have or Not to Have? Childfree Families
  • Unit 11: Arranged Marriages
  • Unit 12: Polygamy


To receive credit for PSYC 426, you must achieve a grade of at least 50 percent on the final exam, and an overall course grade of at least D (50 percent). In addition, all course assignments must be completed to pass the course. The weighting of assignments is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Biased Assimilation 10%
Information Retrieval 10%
Annotated Bibliography 10%
Debate Paper 40%
Final Exam 30%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials

All course materials are available online.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, January 19, 2017.

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