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This course includes two projects/papers that demonstrate your understanding and
application of the concepts of human development. Each paper will consist of the
developmental history of an individual. The first paper will cover the life of an
individual from birth through adolescence, and the second will cover young
adulthood through old age.
• You must pick two individuals other than yourself to write about (one for
• Papers are to be done in APA style.
• Each paper should be four to six pages of content, plus a cover page.
• Papers must include both introduction and conclusion paragraphs.
• Key points for each stage of life are provided below. Students will want to
address each area noted below, but they need not answer absolutely every
question to get full credit.
• Papers should demonstrate an understanding of the stages and
developmental tasks of each age/stage. The use of proper terminology
supported with examples from the individual’s life is a good way to
demonstrate your understanding.
• Each paper is to be submitted as a Microsoft Word document to the
Dropbox at the end of the week that it is due.
Course Project Part 1 (Due by the end of Week 4): The subject of the first paper
should be someone who is at least in late adolescence. You may use your own
children or relatives, but be sure to select someone about whom you can obtain a
good bit of information. You will need to be able to talk to at least one of the
individual’s parents to access information about the early years and genetic
background of the subject.
Prenatal Development (Material from Week 1)
Start your report by giving some details about the individual’s parents. What are
the parents’ height, weight, intelligence, personality traits (e.g., Type A or Type
B, extraverted or introverted, controlled or emotional, etc.), physical health
conditions (strengths and weaknesses), mental health issues (or are they
completely mentally healthy), physical issues (e.g., family history of heart
trouble, diabetes, etc.), artistic/musical/athletic abilities, interests, aptitudes, and
so forth? Go into detail, and give examples where applicable.
Describe the physical and emotional environment of the mother during
pregnancy. What were the sleep and diet/nutritional habits of the mother? What
was her age (during pregnancy) and her general state of health? Did she
exercise? Were there any known teratogens impacting development? Did she
smoke? Drink alcohol? Did she have prenatal care from a doctor? Was she
knowledgeable about what she needed to do to give birth to a healthy child?
What was her stress level while pregnant? How did she deal with things? What
else was going on in her life? Was the baby’s father staying involved/assisting?
Did she have to work while pregnant? Take care of other children? Was she
excited about having this baby?
Early Childhood (Material from Week 2)
Where did the individual fall on the growth chart? Did he or she remain at
about that same spot as he or she grew? Discuss the cognitive development of
the child. Discuss how he or she exhibited (or failed to exhibit) Piaget’s
sensorimotor thinking and preoperational thinking. Did the child meet expected
developmental milestones? Explain the child’s development through Erikson’s
first three psychosocial stages.
Discuss the child’s emotional development. Did he or she show traditional
development of basic emotions? Did complex emotions appear at 18 to 24
months? When was he or she able to recognize emotions in others? How did the
child fare at regulating his or her emotions while progressing thought the preschool years? What was the child’s level of attachment to his or her caregivers?
Give examples and details.
Discuss how the child interacted with others from birth until entering
kindergarten. Did the child show the typical types of play at the expected ages?
How did he or she fare in learning to cooperate? Was the child altruistic? What
factors can you see attributing to this? Did he or she have imaginary friends?
What was the child’s imagination like? Be sure to give some details and
Middle and Late Childhood (Material from Week 3)
Describe the physical growth of the individual selected. Were the height and
weight within normal limits? (Use Figure 6.10 in Chapter 6–page 243) How
did motor skills develop? Was the physical development in line with that of at
least one of the parents? (tall parent = above-average-height child, athletic
parent = athletic child, etc.) What development of motor skills was observed
during the elementary school years? Was the child physically fit? Describe the
cognitive development of the child. Did he or she proceed normally through
Piaget’s concrete-operational period? Formal-operational period? What are
examples of the individual demonstrating the thinking of this period? How did
the individual fare in school? Did he or she make use of the memory strategies
mentioned in the text? Did the demonstrated academic abilities fall in line with
what might be expected of the child, given genetics?
Discuss the relationships within the family and their influence on the child’s
social/emotional development. What was the family environment in which the
child was raised? What was the parenting style? Were the parents a unified
team? Did the parents argue a lot? Divorce or never marry? Remarry? A
blended family? What can be ascertained about how all of this impacted the
child? How did the child’s temperament impact the parenting style? Did the
birth order have an impact as may be expected? Be sure to give plenty of details
and examples. Discuss the individual’s peer relationships, as well as the
television viewing habits, as they influenced the child’s social/emotional
development. Was the child able to make friends easily? Did he or she have a
large circle of friends? What were the factors that contributed to this? Did the
child watch much TV? Play video games? What types of shows/games did he
or she gravitate toward? Did this have an impact on behavior or morals? Did
the individual show Selman’s stages of perspective-taking? Did he or she
acquire any prejudices? If so, how?
Adolescence (Material from Week 4)
Describe the physical development of the adolescent. What was his or her
physical growth like during adolescence? Did he or she have a growth spurt?
What about sexual maturation? When did signs of sexual maturation first
appear? What was the individual’s response to reaching sexual maturity? What
was his or her diet like as an adolescent? Did he or she have weight issues? Did
the person notice any friends having eating disorders or problems with obesity?
How did the adolescent view his or her own physical development during
adolescence? Give details and examples.
Describe the cognitive growth of the adolescent. Did the person’s beliefs
interfere with his or her reasoning? Where does (did) the adolescent fall on
Kohlberg’s levels of development? Give examples of why you placed the
individual there. How did the individual fare in school? How did (does) the
individual see his or her cognitive development during adolescence? Did the
person exhibit the characteristics of adolescent thinking? (Table 9.2 on page
343) Be sure to give details and examples.
Discuss the adolescent’s identity (including ethnic identity) and self-esteem.
Did he or she exhibit Marcia’s four identity statuses? What was his or her selfesteem as an adolescent? What were the influences on that? What kind of
relationship did the person have with his or her parents? Did earlier parenting
styles indeed play into who the adolescent was becoming? How did (does) the
adolescent view himself or herself during this period in life? Discuss the
adolescent’s peer and romantic relationships. How important were peers? What
type of company did the adolescent keep? How much influence did the
acquaintances hold? How were issues of sex and drugs handled? Did the
adolescent experiment? Was peer pressure involved? What did the adolescent
do with free time? How did the adolescent particularly see the issues of sex and
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