The goal of this research project is to enable you to research a topic you find interesting in child developmental psychology. Having some initial exposure to the field of child developmental psychology write down one or two questions you would like to explore by the end of the course. Presumably, you are interested in at least one aspect of development and have specific questions you would like to explore and evaluate how others have attempted to answer them (e.g., Does bilingualism influence cognitive development? To what extent do environmental factors influence cognitive development? How does attachment affect psychosocial development? What is the type and extent of change that occurs over the course of child development? etc.). These questions, or question, form the composition of your paper topic. Have fun!
Grade: This paper contributes 30% to your overall grade for the class
o To strengthen your ability to critically evaluate scientific research in developmental psychology
o To understand how we can use developmental psychological research to improve the lives of individuals
o To actively interact with various modes of scientific communication: research articles, manuscripts, scholarly reviews, popular media etc.
o To strengthen your ability to compose your thoughts in a written matter that is clear, concise, and adheres to professional and scholarly formats.
The paper must be in APA format, specific only to references, citation of references within body of paper, font size (11 or 12 only), title page and margins. The library contains information on APA format. The paper will be double-spaced. (No abstract or running head required).
It may be helpful to reign in your area of interest by considering the following: 1) What specific life period is of interest to you e.g., conception, infancy, the first three years, middle childhood, adolescence? 2) What specific domain might your area of interest involve: Physical, Cognitive, Psychosocial? 3) What other factors might be of value to your interest: Gender, Identity/including sexual identity, Socioeconomic status, Culture, Ethnicity, Marginalized others?
*NOTE: The assignment entails a minimum of three published research studies obtained from the databases. Unless used as supplemental resources, information obtained from the internet may not be used. *
The paper must be at minimum six pages in length; this includes three parts: a cover page (1 page), body of the paper (4 full pages at minimum), and a reference page (1 page). Criteria for each part are as follows:
1) Cover page: includes title of your paper, your name and course
2) Body: Introduction, Literature Review, Analysis, & Conclusions. Introduction: A one-two paragraph overview of your topic or research questions. Tell the reader why the subject is important to child development, what questions is the paper probing? Literature Review: You should research at minimum 3 published research studies on a specific area or topic within child developmental psychology. Analysis: Compose a summary (synthesis) of the empirical articles, related to your research topic. This section should tell the story of what you learned from reading the articlesthis is not a review of each article. Questions addressed here: Are there are any gaps in the work you have studied? How can this work be applied to improve lives? Has this work been applied and has it been successful? You can incorporate other materials here as well such as popular media sources (Newspaper articles on the topic or research, scholarly reviews, the text book). Conclusions: (Application). What have you learned? What areas, if any, may need further research?
3) Reference page: This lists the three research studies you reviewed as well as any other supplements such as your textbook, etc. all in APA format. Remember if you list a study or source of information in reference section, it must be included as a citation in the body of the paper.
Some examples of journals that may be useful in your exploration of published studies in different topic areas of development. You can do a journal title search in our library resource page.
Child Development
Developmental Review
Developmental Psychology
Developmental Science
Journal of Learning Disabilities
Development and Psychopathology