PSYC479-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021

Special Topic: Developmental Psychology in the Study of Sleep

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 22 February 2021
End Date: Sunday, 27 June 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 7 March 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 14 May 2021


The purpose of this course is for students to gain an understanding of the intersection between sleep and developmental psychology across the lifespan, with a particular focus across the periods of infancy to adolescence. There will be an emphasis on (i) current empirical research and the relationship between sleep, behaviour and psychological health, or vice versa; and (ii) applied sleep research drawing on the principles of behaviour analysis and cognitive-behavioural theory/therapy.

The aim of this course is that students will learn about the bio-behavioural and developmental sleep processes in infants, children, adolescents, emerging adults and older people.  There will be an emphasis on current empirical research findings in the field, in particular the interplay of sleep and the bi-directional influences on behaviour and mental health. There will be a focus on the relevance of applied sleep research in Psychology drawing on the principles of behaviour analysis and cognitive-behavioural theory/therapy in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Learning Outcomes

  • A graduate of the course will be expected to be able to:
  • Demonstrate information literacy by identifying the psychological, behavioural, physiological, factors in the development of sleep and associated psychopathologies.
  • Demonstrate how to measure behavioural sleep using sleep diaries, sleep questionnaires, psychometrics, and behavioural observations.
  • Demonstrate critical and analytical abilities by comparing and contrasting cultural sleep practices with traditional Western family sleep practices and communicating these differences effectively.
  • Demonstrate information literacy through learning to compare and critically evaluate both Aotearoa New Zealand and International empirical research and then communicating findings effectively.
  • Work collaboratively in a team on the task of researching and communicating effectively in an oral presentation through locating relevant research material.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Biculturally competent and confident

      Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


(1) PSYC344; and (2) PSYC335

Course Coordinator

Jacki Henderson


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Sleep Intervention Brochure 25%
Sleep Study Report 40%
Small assignment papers 10%
Group Presentations 25%

Textbooks / Resources

There is no set text for this course. There are excellent background reading particularly in the following e-books that will be drawn on extensively for Lecture pre-reading and it is available through the Library.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,066.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

Limited Entry Course

Maximum enrolment is 20

For further information see School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing on the departments and faculties page .

All PSYC479 Occurrences

  • PSYC479-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021