Research Paper Assignment Guide
The Research Paper assignment is designed to integrate your developing skills in self-reflection, scientific knowledge, awareness of research methods, and critical thinking, as they relate to the field of developmental psychology. You may find that your topic for the Research Paper is related to your focus in the Autobiographical Developmental Essay (e.g., you may choose to focus on the same or similar developmental stage) and/or the Theory Essay (e.g., you may choose to explore more of the theories you discussed). You may also wish to tackle a completely new developmental stage and/or topic, and that is just fine! The important part of selecting your focus for this assignment is that you follow your own natural curiosity about the human condition.
Your Research Paper should be at least 1000 words double-spaced (the last page will be your references page which does not count towards your word count)using 12-point font and 1-inch margins. You must incorporate at least 3 peer-reviewed journal articles as sources, in addition to your textbook.
Ensure that you are up to date on your reading assignments for the course (through Chapters 15 and 16, Middle Adulthood).
Review key characteristics of each major developmental stage to help with your focus for the paper.
Reflect on the major area of development in which you are most interested (e.g., physical, cognitive, social, emotional).
To complete this assignment, you will:
Step 1: Select one of the major developmental periods you have studied thus far in the course: infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, or middle adulthood.
Step 2: Select a phenomenon or construct that features prominently in your chosen developmental stage. The construct should reflect one or more of the major areas of human development (physical, cognitive, social, emotional). For instance, if you are focusing on adolescence, perhaps you select the construct of egocentrism, which includes both cognitive and social components.
Step 3: Review the section(s) of the Santrock text that are relevant to your developmental stage and construct.
Step 4: Prepare a research paper that addresses the following:
Step 4.1: Describe, in detail, the developmental stage you are focusing on for this research paper. You should briefly review the major developmental tasks of this stage as they pertain to physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development.
Step 4.2: Describe, in detail, your selected construct of interest. Be sure to define the construct and discuss its relevance during your selected stage of development. If the construct first appears earlier in development, or somehow changes with development across various stages, you will need to discuss how the construct changes over time.
Step 4.3: Pick at least one theory that helps to explain the relevance of your construct to your chosen developmental stage. Explain the theory and its application to your construct and stage.
Step 4.4: From the available 12 peer-reviewed journal articles, select and read at least 3 peer-reviewed journal articles that have some relevance to your topic and/or proposed study. Some articles may contribute information about your topic of study, or they may contribute information about research methods that could be applied to your specific topic of study. You are not required to understand or discuss the statistics involved in these articles, but you should be able to glean some information from the articles with relevance to your topic or proposed methods.
Step 4.5: Now, consider yourself a scientist. Imagine you can conduct any study you like about this construct in your chosen developmental stage. Put forth at least 1 research question, and describe the method(s) you would use to collect the data (e.g., observational, survey/interview, standardized test, case study, physiological measures). Explain what type of study design you would use (e.g., descriptive, correlational, experimental). What is your hypothesis about what the results of the study will be? Why would this study be important to conduct, and how might it contribute to new knowledge in this area of developmental science?
Step 4.6: Prepare a references page that lists each of your sources in APA style. Note that you will need to list your textbook as well as each of your 3 peer-reviewed journal articles. The References page will be the last page of your research paper.
(should include 3 articles and Santrock text)
Conrod, P. J., & Nikolaou, K. (2016). Annual Research Review: On the developmental neuropsychology of substance use disorders. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 57, 371-394. https://acamh.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdfdirect/10.1111/jcpp.12516
Dirks, M. A., De Los Reyes, A., Briggs-Gowan, M., Cella, D., & Wakschlag, L. S. (2012). Annual Research Review: Embracing not erasing contextual variability in children’s behavior – theory and utility in the selection and use of methods and informants in developmental psychopathology. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53, 558-574. https://psyc.umd.edu/sites/psyc.umd.edu/files/pubs/Dirks,%20De%20Los%20Reyes,%20Briggs-Gowan,%20Cella,%20&%20Wakschlag%20(2012).pdf
Glenn, C. R., Kleiman, E. M., Kellerman, J., Pollak, O., Cha, C. B., Esposito, E. C., Porter, A. C., Wyman, P. A., & Boatman, A. E. (2020). Annual Research Review: A meta-analytic review of worldwide suicide rates in adolescents. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 61, 294-308. https://kleimanlab.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Glenn_et_al-2019-Journal_of_Child_Psychology_and_Psychiatry.pdf
Koss, J. J., & Gunnar, M. R. (2018). Annual Research Review: Early adversity, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis, and child psychopathology. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 59, 327-346. https://acamh.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdfdirect/10.1111/jcpp.12784
Lau, J. Y. F., & Waters, A. M. (2017). Annual Research Review: An expanded account of information-processing mechanisms in risk for child and adolescent anxiety and depression. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 58, 387-407. https://acamh.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdfdirect/10.1111/jcpp.12653
Mandy, W., & Lai, M-C. (2016). Annual Research Review: The role of the environment in the developmental psychopathology of autism spectrum condition.Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 57, 271-292. https://efisiopediatric.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/mandy2016.pdf
McAdams, T. A., Cheesman, R., & Ahmadzadeh, Y. I. (2023). Annual Research Review: Towards a deeper understanding of nature and nurture: combining family-based quasi-experimental methods with genomic data. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 64, 693-707. https://acamh.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/jcpp.13720
Newlove-Delgado, T., Russell, A. E., Mathews, F., Cross, L., Bryant, E., Gudka, R., Ukoumunne, O. C., & Ford, T. J. (2023). Annual Research Review: The impact of Covid-19 on psychopathology in children and young people worldwide: Systematic review of studies with pre- and within-pandemic data. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 64, 611-640. https://acamh.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/jcpp.13716
Odgers, C. L., & Jensen, M. R. (2020). Annual Research Review: Adolescent mental health in the digital age: facts, fears, and future directions. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 61, 336-348. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8221420/
Russell, M. A., & Gajos, J. M. (2020). Annual Research Review: Ecological momentary assessment studies in child psychology and psychiatry. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 61, 376-394. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8428969/
Santrock, J. W. (2023). Life-Span Development (19th ed.). McGraw-Hill Higher Education (US).
Thomas, M. S. C., Ansari, D., & Knowland, V. C. P. (2019). Annual Research Review: Educational neuroscience: progress and prospects.Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 57, 477-492. https://acamh.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/jcpp.12973
Williams, N. J., & Beidas, R. S. (2019). Annual Research Review: The state of implementation science in child psychology and psychiatry: a review and suggestions to advance the field. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 60, 430-450. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6389440/pdf/nihms-983463.pdf
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