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PSYC590 - Contemporary Issues in Psychology

Course Details

Course Code: PSYC590 Course ID: 4046 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course requires students to critically and creatively examine psychological topics that are currently relevant in the field of psychology within contemporary society. Some of the topics covered include: media influence and how the discipline of psychology is represented through media; the application of technology in treatment (e.g. online counseling), new issues in childhood/adolescence, the increasing incidence of specific disorders (i.e., autism spectrum disorders), and teen issues (e.g., eating disorders, pregnancy, self-injury), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and war and the emerging psychological needs of today’s military.

Course Schedule

No Course Offerings.

Current Syllabi

Students completing this course will:

  1. Examine influence of technology and popular media on society and psychology
  2. Assess ethical implications related to involuntary treatment
  3. Examine role of psycholegal issues affecting society
  4. Evaluate challenges of psychology in military setting
  5. Demonstrate awareness of diversity in practice
  6. Examine role of psychology in the workplace
  7. Develop familiarity with requirements for supervision and licensure

General Assignment EXPECTATIONS:

It is expected that graduate students will exhibit advanced level critical thinking; the ability to synthesize multiple sources of information, writing skills and academic integrity in all course activities. With the exception of discussion forum posts, assignment submissions completed in a narrative essay or composition format may not be written in first or second person (“I” or “you”). All writing must follow the citation and reference style established by APA the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. (2009, Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association), in size 12 Times New Roman or Arial font, double-spaced with 1” margins on all sides of the page and include a cover page with the following centered vertically and horizontally: Student Name, Date of Submission, Assignment Title, Course Name and Professor Name. With the rare exception of briefly quoting specific statistical research findings, in which case the publication’s author and year date of publication must be properly cited with quoted material placed inside quotation marks, all paper content MUST be paraphrased (summarized in the student’s own words) with correct source citations properly formatted in APA style. ANY copying of any kind and/or failure to include source citations in the paper body and in the assignment’s attached “References” page will result in an assignment score of zero with any repeat instances causing a failing course grade. The website is an excellent, easy to understand resource for APA style formatting and source citation.

Unless otherwise instructed, students may not use commercial websites as the basis for completion of any assignments. Encyclopedia websites, such as Wikipedia or Encarta, dictionaries, blogs or opinion slanted news media outlets, and commercial Internet sources such as Web MD or may not be used for any writing assignment. Scholarly, peer-reviewed journals from the APUS Online Library must be used for assignment completion.


Weekly dialogue with classmates based on engagement with assigned course readings and/or related multi-media will take place in the online classroom on designated forums. While designed to promote lively discourse within a community of fellow learners, the dialogues are academic in nature and require a scholarly orientation.


For each assignment, please ensure that your work is in APA format, with size 12 font, double spaced with 1-inch margins, and includes a title page and reference page. Each assignment should integrate supportive scholarly citations and references to support content and conclusions. Please proofread for grammar and spelling.

Contemporary issues in psychology essay (Weeks 1,3,4, 5)

Students will identify a contemporary issue relevant to the week’s topic and write a paper (4 to 5 pages) that includes the following:

  1. Identification of the issue
  2. Examination of the issue as it relates to a psychological theory
  3. Explanation of the challenges presented by the issue to the field of psychology and society.


Stress at work can impact one's overall well-being, along with one's productivity and engagement in the workplace. Recognizing the implications of workplace on worker morale and satisfaction, many companies are integrating wellness programs to help employees develop healthier habits and balance the demands of work and life. In this assignment, students will function as a consultant developing a wellness program for a company.

In a Power Point presentation, students will describe the wellness program, explain the benefits of the program, and describe how it will affect stress in the workplace.

The presentation should be between 11 and 16 slides with a minimum of 5-7 scholarly resources. Be sure to include at 150-200 words in the Notes section of each Power point slide to explain your ideas.

Course Requirements
Points Possible
Percent of Total Course Points Possible

Forums (8 x 40 points each)



Contemporary Issues Essays (4)



Psychology in the Workplace Presentation






NameGrade %
Forums 32.00 %
Week 1 Forum 4.00 %
Week 2 Forum 4.00 %
Week 3 Forum 4.00 %
Week 4 Forum 4.00 %
Week 5 Forum 4.00 %
Week 6 Forum 4.00 %
Week 7 Forum 4.00 %
Week 8 Forum 4.00 %
Assignments 68.00 %
Week 3 Contemporary Issues Analysis Essay 12.00 %
Week 7: Psychology at Work 20.00 %
Week 1: Contemporary Issues Analysis Essay 12.00 %
Week 4 Contemporary Issues Analysis Essay 12.00 %
Week 5 Contemporary Issues Analysis Essay 12.00 %

There is no required text for this course. Required reading is listed in syllabus.

Book Title:There are no required books for this course.

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.