Person–Environment Fit in a Life Span Approach



Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 1-4

Typically offered in

Autumn/Spring semester

Course description

During the course we will analyse the most important spaces of human life stages as defined by Erikson (from conception to death), from an environmental psychological perspective (focusing on cultural and trans-generational effects). The analysis begins with the socio-physical contexts (home) of family formation and proceeds through different stages: childbirth places (hospital, alternative maternity institutions, home), (small) childhood scenes (nursery, kindergarten, playground), school-age educational sites, adolescence (entertainment and favourite places, the role of places in identity), young adult and adult spaces (own home, work, consumption and leisure venues), the aging room (average aging, home and other environmental uses, retirement, illness, dementia: hospitals, nursing homes). Finally, the end of life: where people are dying these days (hospital, home, hospice), where and how they are buried. The course ends with the analysis of cultural transmission between generations. We will analyse use of space related to the stages in view of behaviour-environment interactions. During the course we will focus on the person-environment fit of each life stage and their psychological and environmental-shaping contexts. This is directly and indirectly linked to the contexts of health-disease through ill-causing environmental effects (e.g., pollution) or disease-prevention-health spatial contexts. We will analyse clinical and health care institutions and space use in therapy etc. as well as illness behaviours and health behaviours (e.g., eating disorders, addictions etc.) from an environmental psychological perspective.

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