Social and Behavioral Sciences
SBS Course Descriptions
EYE 123/SBS 199 Our Brains at Play
This course will explore how play and interpersonal experiences forge key connections in the brain. By examining "our brains at play" student devote equal time to the fields of interpersonal neurobiology and play studies. The course will build communicative competence through experiential and cooperative learning, community engagement opportunities, class discussion on topics of ethical and social importance and oral and written assignments. Several times throughout the course, students will utilize a modification of the Lego® Serious Play® method, a kinesthetic and storytelling methodology for understanding how and why the interpersonal neurobiology of play contributes to the well-being of individuals, relationships, and society. Cr 3.
SBS/HRD 200 Multicultural Human Development (SCA)
This course introduces developmental theory and research that encompasses the entire lifespan. Emphasis will be on prenatal development through adolescence, with an overview of adult development. A multi-disciplinary and multicultural view of human development will be taken by examining theories from a socio-cultural context and in consideration of change as well as stability throughout the life cycle. The interaction of hereditary, environmental, and socio-cultural factors will be considered in studying physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development. Prerequisites: Second semester freshmen or above; must have completed College Writing and an EYE course. This course is cross-listed with HRD 200 . Cr 3.
SBS/SCI 209 Human Genetics
This course examines the role of heredity in human growth, development, and behavior. Decision making, ethical issues and societal responsibilities related to genetic disorders will be discussed. Prerequisite: Prerequisite: any laboratory science course. Cr 3
SBS 300 Deviance and Social Control (DIV)
This course provides a forum to examine deviance and social control from sociological, psychological, ecological, environmental and cross-cultural perspectives, examining contested definitions of deviance, and different theories about deviance and social control. The course investigates the interrelationships of culture, power, identity formation and social change. Portrayals of deviance and social control in literature, film and popular culture will also be explored. Students challenge their critical thinking skills and will achieve a higher level of understanding about the relative notion of deviance, including how it relates to population size, and the nature(s) and type(s) of social control. Cr 3.
SBS/LOS 301 Group Dynamics
This course gives students an understanding of how people behave in groups and the skills needed by group members to participate effectively in group activities. It provides a theoretical foundation for how groups function, with focus on group process and development; and it discusses how these theories can be applied to a wide range of group settings. This course uses experiential techniques to help students develop critical skills and understanding of group dynamics. Cr 3.
SBS/LOS 302 Organizational Behavior
This course examines human behavior in organizations: individual, group, and organizational processes that impact workplace behaviors and organizational life. The focus is on understanding factors that contribute to organizational effectiveness and the major challenges facing organizations today. We will cover topics such as individual and organizational learning, individual values and motivation; interpersonal communication and work team dynamics, leadership and emotional intelligence, power and influence, organizational culture and change. Students will engage in experiential and skill-building activities and apply conceptual frameworks to their real-life work experiences. Cr 3.
SBS 303 Abnormal Psychology
This course presents an introduction to the classification, diagnosis, and etiology of what is considered "mental illness." Cultural aspects of "abnormality" will be emphasized, as will integrative models of the causes of mental disorders. This integrative approach considers the complex interplay between biological, psychological, interpersonal, and cultural factors as they contribute to the development and expression of psychological disorders. Cr 3.
SBS 304 Food, Culture, and Eating
This course examines cultural beliefs and practices surrounding diet, food, cooking, eating, and nutrition. Students explore how behaviors and attitudes toward food and eating influence and are shaped by culture. Discussion may include food and healing, the social functions of food, food as represented in the media, food production and food politics, the diet industry, and eating disorders. Students gain insight into their own behaviors and attitudes toward food and eating, as well as those of today's global cultures. Cr 3.
SBS 305 Child Development
This course examines the development and behavior of children from conception through middle childhood, and introduces topics in adolescence. Theoretical frameworks and research upon which current knowledge in child development is based will be considered, as well as applications to contemporary topics in child welfare and education. SBS/HRD 200 recommended. Cr 3.
SBS 306 Adolescence
This course is an overview of the psychological and social dimensions of adolescent development, including consideration of gender and group differences in the experience of the physical, cognitive, and social transformations of adolescence. Cr 3.
SBS 308/ANT 302 Medical Anthropology
This course considers the interface between medicine and anthropology in terms of both human biology and society. The course develops concepts of health as effective adaptation to environmental stresses, including infectious disease, nutritional stress, and psychosomatic illness, among others. It traces the history of health and disease in human society from hunter-gatherers to modern urban, industrial communities, and examines the way in which human populations have attempted to deal with various agents of disease. The course examines the diversity of human theories of disease causation and explores the role of modern medicine in effective health care delivery to persons of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Cr 3.
SBS 310 Childhood and Society
This course weaves several broad themes regarding children and childhood in society, including how socio-historical circumstances shape our perceptions of children and childhood as a distinct life stage; how various agents of socialization including family, educational systems, and media shape contemporary childhood socialization; how children are co-constructors of childhood and society; and how the experiences of childhood are shaped by ethnicity, race, class, and gender. Cr 3.
SBS 311 Theories of Personality
This course is an in-depth study of the major theories of personality. It includes consideration of historical developments and cultural differences in the area of personality theory and research. The specific understanding of psychopathology contained in the theories will also be explored. Cr 3.
SBS 312 Crime and Criminal Justice
This is a survey course of the social and cultural factors that influence crime and delinquency. Focus will be on misconceptions and myths about crime and the institutional responses to crime in our society. Cr 3.
SBS 315 Social Psychology of Disability
This course will examine some of the social psychological issues associated with disability and the rehabilitation of individuals who have disabilities, with a focus on minimizing existing social, vocational, educational, and attitudinal barriers to individuals rather than on minimizing the impact of clients' physical/mental differences within a normed environment. It will familiarize students with the points of view and the experiences of people from various social, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds with a wide range of disabilities/abilities, towards enabling students to approach counseling as a means of expanding opportunities for their clients' access to these opportunities, and empowering their clients to attain their goals. Cr 3.
LOS/SBS 316 Diversity in Organizations
Using historical, socio-economic, and psychological perspectives, students learn about the challenges diverse members of U.S. society, such as women, people of color, people from marginalized classes, and those from other countries have had and continue to face. Students gain an understanding of how the workplace may affect diverse peoples and how others can learn to make the workplace more hospitable. A primary focus of this course is on examining beliefs, behaviors, or unconscious attitudes that perpetuate the oppression and subordination of diverse members of society in the workplace, while also looking at how increased diversity is adding to workplace productivity, creativity, and learning. Readings are drawn from the social sciences and humanities to provide an interdisciplinary approach to the topic. Cr 3.
SBS 323/LOS 333 Portfolio Development
The portfolio development course is offered to adult learners who are preparing an academic portfolio, documenting their college-level knowledge, competencies, and abilities. The course guides students through the process of documenting and communicating their prior learning in the area of leadership and organizational studies, social and behavior sciences and other areas with approval. At the end of the course, students will follow the usual portfolio registration and assessment process in which faculty review the portfolio to determine credits earned, either in lieu of particular courses or generally for non-course specific credit. For more information see https://usm.maine.edu/lac/los-333-sbs-399-portfolio-development-special-... Cr variable.
SBS/LOS 329 Research Methods
This course provides an introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methods which can be used in organizational planning and decision making and in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. The course will cover topic areas related to the application of appropriate methods of inquiry and includes completion of an applied project. Prerequisite: LCC 150. Cr 3.
SBS 332 Death, Dying, and Denial
An interdisciplinary consideration of death and dying that may include biological, historical, and various social science perspectives, this course examines cross-cultural variations in beliefs and practices related to death, care for the dying, and bereavement. It also explores the personal, social, and cultural implications of denying death and refusing to mourn. Cr 3.
SBS 334 Spirituality
Spirituality, variously defined, is a central part of human experience, constituting important levels of consciousness and meaning. This course will investigate the experience and development of spirituality over the life span as depicted in religious, psychological, "New Age," and imaginative literatures. Cr 3.
SBS 335 Legal Issues in Health and Human Services
This course examines the legal framework underlying the delivery of health and human services with an emphasis on current socio-legal problems including the rights of clients and the responsibilities of workers. Cr 3.
SBS/SCI 336 and MPH 400/500 Introduction to Public Health
This course provides an overview of the public health system and examines the purpose, history, organization, approach, functions and determinants of health. The course places special emphasis on current health issues from our daily lives to highlight the relevance of public health. Trends, successes and challenges from a population perspective will be discussed as well as various tools and techniques used to address public health issues. Cr 3.
SBS/SCI 337 Introduction to Epidemiology
This seminar course introduces the student to epidemiology as a utility for the establishment and maintenance of public health. In essence, epidemiology involves the observation and statistical analysis of the occurrence of health and disease in human populations. This science informs the practice of preventive health/disease control and the formulation of public health policy. Seminar topics will be drawn from both infectious and chronic disease epidemiology ranging from the historical plagues such as the Black Death to the modern plagues of AIDS, cancer, and obesity. Recommended prerequisites include introductory biology, and statistics. Cr 3.
SBS 338 Health Care Policies
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to health care policy and the organization of the American health care system. Critical issues confronting the consumption, delivery, and financing of health care will be considered. Health care systems in other countries and around the United States will be examined. Cr 3.
SBS 339 Immigration, Ethnicity, and Identity
This course will investigate race and ethnicity and how people acquire and retain their identity. Why do people leave their homes to start new lives in new places? Why do they want to face new or grave challenges? Pilgrims, Jews, Huguenots, and Irish in the past, and Somali and Syrians, today, are but a few peoples who have done so. Through historical and contemporary readings and films, oral histories and personal interviews, the course examines the challenges immigrants face, as they attempt to assimilate within the U.S. while trying to maintain their native languages, traditions, cultures and communities. Cr 3.
SBS 340 Language Acquisition and Literacy Development
This course provides students with opportunities to apply knowledge of fundamental principles and means of investigation used in the study and explanation of language acquisition and literacy development. It plays a foundational role in fostering students' understanding of literacy, which is key to their development as professionals charged with enhancing children's literacy development. Cr 3.
SBS 341 The Family
This course is a contemporary, interdisciplinary approach to the study of the family that includes an examination of family structures, familial relationships, and the impact of historical change on these structures and relationships. Cr 3.
SBS 343 Substance Abuse
This course considers patterns of use of drugs, the bases of their effects and associated harms, and the history of and current options for prevention and intervention efforts. Consideration will be given to the role of society and public policy in influencing our thinking and behavior concerning substance use and abuse. Cr 3.
SBS 344 Violence: Causes and Control
This course studies violence and the possibilities of living peacefully as explored in psychological and sociological works and in writings on anthropology, social policy, and religion. The course reviews the causes of violent and aggressive behaviors and specific approaches to the prevention and control of these behaviors. Cr 3.
SBS 345 Diversity: Many Voices (DIV)
This course examines the impact of various markers of diversity including race, class, and gender on individual and social experiences in the United States. Students will analyze issues of diversity concerning inequality, power, privilege, and social justice. Students will explore their own place in a diverse society and develop opportunities for building strength through diversity in organizations and communities. Cr 3. *This course takes the place of the former SBS 345 Race, Class and Gender and also meets the USM Core Diversity Requirement.
SBS 346 Introduction to Social Services
This course examines the profession of social work from both historical and contemporary perspectives. Students will explore specialty areas in social work such as mental health and disability, crime and violence, and family work. Career options in the social work field will be explored. Cr 3.
SBS 347 Youth, Community, and Higher Education
This interdisciplinary, community-based elective provides students with the opportunity to work with diverse vulnerable youth in hopes of promoting higher education and encouraging resiliency. The course will be conducted through weekly sessions which will include both a discussion/supervision piece and group program activity piece. Students will take on roles as mentors, allies, and advocates for youth, and as organizers and developers for the group of youth as a whole as well as for the local community. Students will learn to work with adolescents, families, and communities in a comprehensive and integrated manner. Prerequisites: PSY 101 and 102, and permission of instructor. Cr Var.
SBS 348 Responding to Mental Health Crisis in the Community
This course explores history and models of mental health focused on the ability of individuals with mental illness to function successfully in the community. The course will assist students in developing an understanding of crisis intervention theory and perspectives, including knowledge of risk factors and precipitating events, and of available emergency community resources (and associated obstacles to access to these services). Cr 3.
SBS 349 Trauma and Narrative
This course examines the medical, political, and cultural history of the concept of trauma, focusing on how trauma has become a core concern in both contemporary clinical psychology and literary criticism. We consider models for conceptualizing responses to traumatic experiences. Topics include the diagnostic criteria of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, recommended treatment approaches, risk and protective factors. Students explore "narrative" vs. "traumatic" memories and carefully examine a number of literary texts and films to analyze the characteristics of representations of traumatic memory. The idea that fashioning a narrative of traumatic experience is essential to trauma therapy and to the healing effects of trauma literature, will also be explored. Prerequisites: Completion of a 100-level College Writing course (with grade of at least a C), SOC 100, PSY 101 & 102, and ANT 101). Cr 3.
SBS 350 Psychosocial Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence
This course includes readings and discussion of the etiology and manifestation of psychosocial disorders in childhood and adolescence. Topic areas, including approaches to intervention, will be considered from developmental, psychological and sociological perspectives. Special focus includes the role of the family and other collateral adults to support a variety of treatment approaches.Cr 3.
SBS 358 Representations of Motherhood
This interdisciplinary course examines the ways in which motherhood is represented in various cultural forms (including film, literature, and political rhetoric) and from within different historical and cultural contexts. Contemporary psychological theories will be considered in terms of how they are used to prescribe normative demands on women and mothers and also how they attribute various powers to mothers that then contribute to the construction of particular social policies and practices. This course has been approved by the State Department of Education for content area in secondary Social Studies. Prerequisite: LAC 110 or other College Writing course. Cr 3.
SBS 361 Psychology and Sociology of Women
This course approaches the study of the psychological and sociological realities of women's lives from a feminist perspective. This involves a critical examination of cultural assumptions regarding girls and women and also of the methodological biases within traditional social science research. In addition, students will look at the ways in which systems of discrimination based on race, class, and gender affect women's lives, and enhance their own appreciation of the diversity in women's social realities and experiences. Cr 3.
SBS 364 Introduction to Expressive Therapies
This course introduces students to the basic principles, theories, and varied professional applications of the expressive therapies, including modalities of art, drama, movement, music, poetry and play. Exposure to and experience with a variety of experiential processes is a major feature of the course. Exploration of the value of these methods in transcending barriers of age, mental health, physical health, learning styles and needs, language ability and cultural norms is also woven into the course. Cr 3.
SBS 365 Psychological Language of Dreams and Fairytales
This course explores psychological approaches to understanding the language of dreams and fairytales. Students consider how works of imaginative literature and dreams inform the theories of Freud and Jung and also how their theories, in turn, have shaped contemporary approaches to understanding of images and metaphors. We then culturally situate this psychological approach by comparing it with cross-cultural and literary approaches. Cr 3.
SBS 366 Transforming Words: Poetry and Psychologies of Change
This course examines the interrelationships between poetry and psychology, with a focus on transformations of meaning in words and lives. Topics will include the varying functions of poetry over the life span, poets' reflections on how and why they write, poetry as political witness and community catalyst, therapeutic uses of poetry, and the distinctive qualities of "poetic" language. Students have the option of pursuing community-based projects involving poetry. This course has been approved by the State Department of Education for content area in secondary English. Cr 3.
SBS 367 Healthy Learners Project: Social and Emotional Learning
The Healthy Learners Project provides training in individual, non-directive play intervention to support the emotional and educational achievement of at-risk children in their first three years of elementary education. This service-learning course consists of training, direct individual work with children, and scholarship. Supervision of the student's work is provided both in local elementary schools and in class. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Cr 3.
SBS 375 Infant Mental Health and Attachment: This course focuses on the critical importance of attachment in early childhood and the emotional development of young children as the basis of forming relationships throughout one's life. New developments in neuroscience, the impact of stress on developing brain architecture and adverse childhood experiences will be reviewed. Positive and negative influences on both attachment and emotional development will be discussed as well as implications for attachment relationships throughout the lifespan. The concepts of infant mental health as relational, reflective, and interdisciplinary will be presented as well as skills and strategies for supporting the growing field of infant mental health. Recommended: PSY 102, HRD/SBS 200, a course in Child Development, or SBS 311. Cr 3.
SBS/LOS 381 Introduction to Globalization
This course examines the economic, political, social, and cultural aspects of globalization from an interdisciplinary perspective. The purpose is to get a sense of clarity about what globalization is, how it is affecting people around the world, and why there is an increasingly robust resistance to it on the grassroots level. We will also discuss how to empower ourselves while being socially responsible in this rapidly changing world. Course format includes discussion, case study, and student presentation on research projects. Recommended: SOC 100, ANT 101. Cr 3.
SBS 390 Brain and Behavior
This course is a survey of biological and environmental factors affecting the relationship between brain/mind and behavior. Topics will include brain organization, neural transmission, stress and emotion, learning, memory, violence, psychopathology, and the development of consciousness. Cr 3.
SBS/ECE/LAE 391 Mathematics in Early Childhood Education
This course examines key principles for effective teaching of early mathematics and what teachers need to know to guide and challenge a child’s understanding so that all young children receive a high-quality education in mathematics, as advocated by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Additionally, the types of opportunities young children have to participate in mathematical exploration of the world around them will be examined. This course builds off our natural ability to develop numeracy and the child’s interest in doing so and connects it with the development of a comprehensive mathematics program in early childhood education. Instruction in hands-on exploration is guided by key principles of mathematical thinking including number sense, geometry, patterning, and measurement. Students learn how to create learning environments that support cultural and linguistic diversity and gender-fair practices. The course addresses standards from the NAEYC developmentally appropriate practices (DAP), the National Council for the Teaching of Mathematics (NCTM), the State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Development Standards for Mathematics, along with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics. 3 Cr.
SBS/ECE/LAE 392 Science in Early Childhood Education
This course examines key principles for effective teaching of science in early childhood education. The course will focus on the ability of young children to engage in scientific practices as well as the ways educators can guide children in the learning of scientific thinking and principles in biological, physical, chemical, and applied sciences. Additionally, the types of opportunities young children have to participate in science investigations will be explored with a focus on creating learning environments that are supportive of cultural and linguistic diversity and gender-fair practices. This course will connect children’s innate curiosity about their world with the development of a comprehensive science program in early childhood education guided by the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) developmentally appropriate practices (DAP). The course addresses standards from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and the State of Maine Science Learning Results. 3 Cr.
SBS/ECE/LAE 393 Exceptionality in Early Childhood Education Cr 3.
This course offers an overview of the philosophy and methods of educating young children with disabilities in early childhood settings, with particular attention to the needs, services, and creation of inclusive environments for these children. Students will gain an understanding of the history of early childhood special education and of the policy and legal mandates for young students with disabilities and their families. This includes knowledge of the principles and practices of universal design, Response to Intervention, differentiated instruction, and other best practices in early childhood special education. A focus is on the teacher's role in the creation of classroom environments that support cultural and linguistic diversity and gender-fair practices that assist access to the general curriculum for students with disabilities. Strategies for working with families, assistive technology, and the transition from pre-school to school-aged services will also be covered. 3 Cr.
SBS 398 Independent Study
Prerequisite: junior standing and permission of instructor. Cr 3.
SBS 399 Special Topics
Various courses. Cr 3.
SBS 411 Counseling and Psychotherapy
A study of the conceptual foundations, fundamental characteristics, and ethical principles involved in the process of psychological counseling. Alternative models (e.g., individual, group, family) of therapy will be explored in relation to theories of personality development and functioning. Special focus will also be placed on counseling approaches in community mental health areas such as trauma and crisis intervention. Prerequisite: SBS 311. Cr 3.
SBS 420/LOS 599 Mindfulness
Mindfulness is about paying attention without judgment to what is being presented to us in our lives moment by moment right here, right now and then responding to this moment from a place of balance/center rather than reacting from old patterns. This course studies Mindfulness using practices based on the Kabat-Zinn Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Program and practices based on the work of Professor Nancy Hathaway. Students will learn to utilize Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction practices for cognitive and emotional regulation, and explore ways to integrate Mindfulness into work, family, health, and relationships, particularly into Teaching, Nursing, Social Work, Counseling, Public Safety, and the Healthcare Professions. Cr 3.
SBS 430 Applied Social Policy
A review of contemporary social policy alternatives and an examination of social policy making processes at both the macro- and micro-levels. Students complete an applied social policy project which might take the form of a policy paper, a grant proposal or written legislative testimony for a community agency. Prerequisites: Junior standing and either LAC 200 or LAC 370 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.
SBS 435 Children, Policy, and Law
This course explores the interface of legal policy related issues and problems in childhood. The relationship among legal, public policy, and psychological concepts will be framed within family relationships, legal decision making, and the judicial and legislative allocation of power between parents and the state. Topics will include the state of knowledge about outcomes for children's emotional health and development related to the risks and protections that legal intervention brings. Cr 3.
SBS/LOS 436 Risk, Public Policy, and Society
This course considers the variety of ways in which risks, especially risks to the environment and to health, are measured, perceived, communicated, and acted upon in our society. Perspectives will be drawn from health fields, natural sciences, and political science, as well as from the social sciences. Cr 3.
SBS 450 Assessment of Individual Differences in Children
A survey of methods used to evaluate the developing child for abilities and disabilities. There will be an emphasis on understanding the interrelatedness of social, psychological, educational, physical-developmental, and health related assessments, as well as the cultural meaning of individual and group assessments. Cr 3.
SBS 470 Study Abroad
The goal of this course is to provide an experiential learning opportunity for students to increase their global awareness. Through a variety of readings, overseas traveling, site experiences, and reflection exercise, students will examine a diversity of sociocultural issues in a foreign environment. Prerequisite: Instructor permission. Cr 3.