Lifespan Risk and Resilience

Subject 196-750 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 contact hours per semester (8 x 1 hour lecture, 8 x 2 hour seminar )
Total Time Commitment: 24 contact hours 16 hours of class preparation and reading 24 hours of assessment related tasks = 64 hours total time commitment = 8 hours total time per week
Prerequisites: n/a
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's courses. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Course Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Dr Louise Harms
Subject Overview:

This subject examines the ways in which social work understands the inner and outer world dimensions of human vulnerability, adaptation and resilience across the lifespan. The usefulness of theories of grief, stress and trauma for understanding individuals’ capacity for coping with adversity is examined critically, as are understandings of diversity.

Subject objectives

This subject explores individual and environmental sources of risk and resilience. Stress, trauma and grief theories are examined as they apply across the lifespan. At the end of this subject, you will be expected to be able to:

  • apply your understanding of a multidimensional approach to specific human experiences of adversity and diversity
  • analyse social contexts in relation to their oppressive and protective dimensions
  • identify significant biopsychosocial-spiritual transitions across the lifespan and the influence of gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality, and other dimensions of diversity on these transitions.
  • critically assess the coping and adaptation processes of individual’s facing adversity and identify the implications for social work practice
  • critically reflect on these theoretical perspectives and their implicit value assumptions as well as your own subjective positioning.
Assessment: Written essay 3,000 words 60% (due end of semester) Group class presentation and paper 500 words 10% (due end of semester) Written case study 1500 words 30% (due mid semester)
Prescribed Texts: Harms, L. (2005). Understanding human development: A multidimensional approach. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press. A reading pack will be available.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who complete this subject should be able to:

  • critically analyse texts and practices;
  • understand recent developments in social work contexts of practice;
  • link theory to practice;
  • competently communicate in ways relevant to both academic and practice contexts;
  • undertake independent research.
Links to further information:

The disciplines of Nursing and Social Work are now co-managed within the Faculty of Medicine Dentistry and Health Sciences. At the time of publication Social Work subjects are under the administrative management of the School of Nursing.

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