Child development paper. instructions in attachments. paper is suppose to be how a child develops and outcomes.
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PSY 3200 Term Paper (Virtual Person Paper) Instructions
Overview: Each PSY 3200 student will complete a term paper summarizing the prenatal,
neonatal and childhood development of a hypothetical, or virtual person. The purpose of this
project is to describe concrete examples of the interplay among biological, physical, social
and psychological influences on development
How to write the paper: To help you plan and organize your project, several Term Paper
Items are provided on the following pages; use these to guide the writing of your paper.
Specifically, you will use coin tosses and dice rolls to determine certain events that may affect
the development of your virtual person (see the Term Paper Items below for specific
instructions). Your instructor may ask you to submit these Term Paper Item pages with your
You will write your paper in a narrative style from the perspective of a parent raising the
virtual person. For instance, you might write something like On Bobs first day at preschool,
I packed him a PB&J sandwich. In other words, you will be describing the development of
the virtual person from the parents perspective.
You will address specific issues at each of the following age periods: Prenatal, Birth-to-three,
four to six, seven to approximately age twelve. In addition, you are expected to describe how
early factors influence later development, using relevant information from the textbook and
The first step in writing this paper should be to review and complete the Term Paper Items
on the following pages; this will help you develop the general skeleton of your paper. From
there, you should use your textbook and any additional relevant materials (e.g. journal
articles, course materials) to help you write additional details regarding how and why your
virtual person is developing in certain ways. For instance, you may describe how a particular
event in the first year of school influences your childs development later in 3rd grade. Cite
your textbook and other sources as needed.
Guidelines & grading: Papers should be 8 to 10 pages in length, double-spaced, use
standard 12 point Times New Roman font, have 1-inch margins and use proper mechanics
(i.e., proofread your paper for proper spelling and grammar). Up to 60 points are possible; a
grading rubric is shown below for your reference.
GRADING RUBRIC FOR TERM PAPER (Max: 60 pts)
(Max: 48 pts)
Use of theory
answered in a
and ties to the
only in a
little or no
(Max: 12 Pts)
of the English
and no grammar
or typo errors are
Good use of
to read or
neatly typed or
TERM PAPER ITEMS
Sex: based on a coin flip or dice roll: heads/odd means FEMALE,
tails/even means MALE.
Known Genetic Defects: based on a dice roll:
1, 4, 5
no known defect
neural tube defect
known exposure to a teratogen (if so, choose a teratogen
from the textbook)
Term: based on dice roll: odd = full term; even = premature.
BIRTH-TO-3 YEARS OLD DEVELOPMENT
1. Birthing options: Choose a method of delivery, including anesthetic, midwife,
father present, etc.
2. APGAR: flip two coins five times (2 coins for every APGAR rating); each
Heads = 1, each Tails = 0
What do you name the child?
Feeding choices: Discuss whether you will use bottle feeding or breast
feeding; keep in mind any known genetic defects the newborn may have.
Diapers: cloth or disposable?
Crib or family bed?
Siblings: Dice roll to determine if child has older siblings (even = yes).
TERM PAPER ITEMS
8. Motor skills: Use the milestones of motor development table below to
assess the infant on the 11 skills listed, based on the flip of 2 coins where
each Heads=1, each Tails=0. Scores of 2=infant is in the top 50%, Scores of 1=top
90%, Scores of 0=skill is not yet achieved. It not necessary to describe every score in
your paper. Instead, describe motor development more generally by describing instances
when your virtual person is advanced (top 50%) or delayed (skill not yet achieved). If your
virtual person is typical (top 90%), then you can simply note that their motor development is
typical of other people their age.
Sitting without support
Standing while holding on
Grasping w/ thumb & finger
Building towers w/ 2 blocks
Walking up steps
Jumping in place
Copying a circle
50% achieve by this age
90% achieve by this age
Temperament: Based on a dice roll:
1 & 2 = Easy; 3 = Difficult; 4 = Slow to warm; 5 & 6 = unclear
Attachment: Based on a dice roll:
1, 2, 3 = Secure; 4 = Avoidant; 5 = Ambivalent; 6 = Disorganized
Thinking about the relation between temperament and attachment and
any known disabilities, do temperament and attachment make sense
in this case? What kinds of behaviors might you enact to help the
infant develop a secure attachment?
Home Environment: Based on a dice role, is your partner Present (even)
or Absent (odd)? How might this affect the infants attachment to you?
TERM PAPER ITEMS
4-TO-6 YEARS OLD DEVELOPMENT
Environment at beginning of toddlerhood: Based on a dice roll: How does
the toddler spend his/her day:
Day care? (odd = yes)
Watching videos/TV? (odd = yes)
Playing with other children? (odd = yes)
Toys: What kinds of toys are available in the home?
Discipline & reacting to behavior: The toddler and you are shopping in the
grocery store. The toddler pitches a fit. What do you do?
Discipline & reacting to behavior: The toddler is teasing the family pet and
will not comply with your instructions to stop. How do you discipline?
Diet: Do you allow the toddler (3 years) to eat candy? Fast food?
Asthma diagnosis: Based on a coin toss (heads = yes)
Siblings: Dice roll to determine if child has a younger sibling (even = yes).
7-TO-12 YEARS OLD DEVELOPMENT
School: Will the child attend public, private, or home-school?
Diet: whats a typical lunch for your child?
Discipline & reacting to behavior: Your 8-year-old wants to wear a longsleeved sweater and jeans on a day when it is 90 degrees outside. What
do you do?
Social development: Will the child have sleep-over parties? Is the child
permitted to attend sleep-over parties?
Academic performance: Dice roll: 1 = above average; 2 = below average;
all others = average. Does this fit with any known genetic disorders?
TERM PAPER ITEMS
Teasing/bullying: your child is being teased by an age-peer (at school).
The child doesnt to go to school because of this. What do you do?
Discipline: You receive a phone call from a neighbor that your child threw
a rock through their window. What do you do?
Recreation: How much screen time does the child engage in daily?
Weight: Dice roll: 1 & 2 = average; 3, 4, 5 = overweight; 6 = underweight.
What do you do to encourage a healthy lifestyle, including weight, for this
Communication: Does your preteen own a cell phone?
Discipline & reacting to behavior: Your 12-year-old wants to wear a t-shirt
with swear words and ripped jeans to a dinner at his grandparents home.
What do you do?
Parenting: When, if ever, will you have the talk regarding sexual activity
and sexual responsibility?
Conclusion: write a very brief (1-3 sentences) description of what you expect for
your virtual child during adolescence (based on their development so far)
PSY 3200 Term Paper (Virtual Person Paper) Suggestions & Examples
To get a good grade on your term paper, youll want to follow these suggestions:
1. Throughout the paper, discuss how the 3 domains of development (physical,
cognitive & psychosocial), interact, and how events in at one stage of development
might influence outcomes at later stages.
a. For instance, a paper might describe a child who is born with low birth weight
(physical development in infancy). The paper may then continue to note that
because the parents were aware of the risks of LBW, they took steps to manage
those risksfor instance, perhaps they became highly engaged with the child;
holding him frequently, talking to him, and later reading and playing with the
child (social development in infancy & early childhood). The paper may then
discuss how this social interaction helped the child to develop a larger
vocabulary, which allowed him/her to do well in school (cognitive development
in early and later childhood).
2. Discuss how environment and genes affect development, and how they interact.
a. For instance, a paper might describe a child with a genetic predisposition to
having a difficult temperament, emotional reactivity and aggression. The paper
may describe how as this child ages, he/she seeks out violent video games,
television shows, and activities in which aggression is involvedand seeking out
these environments further strengthens the childs genetic predisposition to
aggression (this would be an example of an active gene X environment
3. Throughout the paper, be specific in your descriptions, use terms from the textbook
appropriately, and base your descriptions of developmental process on what weve
learned in class and from the textbook (and not your own assumptions).
a. For instance, a good paper might do this by describing how a childs regular
interactions with siblings, peers and others helps them become less egocentric,
and develop theory of mind abilitieswhich allow the child to experience more
complex emotions such as empathy and guilt. A non-specific paper might simply
say something vague such as Brians social interactions impact his improving
cognitive skills, which allow him to experience more complex emotions.
On the next page, youll see an example of a section from a good term paper. On the third page,
youll see an example of how the same sections might have been written in a poor paper.
(Please note: these are just examples to help you get an idea of how a good paper might look. In your
own paper, you may or may not discuss these specific topics, depending on the specific development
of your virtual person)
Example of sections from a good term paper:
Like most babies in the U.S., I gave birth to Joe in a hospital, and I elected to have an epidural for
pain relief.1 Joe was a full-term and health babyhe was born at 40 weeks of gestation, and he
scored a 7 on the Apgar scale.2 Based on recommendations of doctors and a wide body of research
suggesting positive health outcomes for breast-fed children, I decided to breast feed Joe.
(later in the paper) Joe has developed a secure attachment with me; he is generally happy when
he is with me, he becomes distressed and sometimes cries if I leave him alone with a stranger, but
hes easily comforted when I return3
(later in the paper) Joe recently began preschool. So far, he has done a great job making friends,
and he seems to get along well with his peers. I think part of Joes good social skills today can be
traced back to the fact that he had a secure attachment with me and his father as an infant. 4 Although
Joe was a healthy infant and breast fed, and even though neither I or his father smoke, he developed
asthma at about 4 years old. 5, 6
The writer uses specific material from the textbook and classsuch as the fact that most U.S.
babies are born in hospitals.
The writer uses correct terminology (e.g.; gestation), and not only references relevant material
(e.g.; the Apgar scale), but shows that they understand the materialfor instance, by correctly stating
that a healthy child would receive a 7 on the Apgar scale. Because the writer uses a specific Apgar
scale score, this also shows that they have used the term paper items from the Term Paper
The writer doesnt just use terms from the textbook, but describes how these concepts play out with
the child. For instance, the writer doesnt simply say Joe has developed a secure attachment., but
goes on to describe what that actually means in terms of Joes behavior.
The writer links developmental outcomes later in life to events early in life (based on information
from the textbook and class). In other words, the descriptions of developmental outcomes at later
ages are based in part on what occurred (or did not occur) at younger ages.
Sometimes, the developmental outcomes will match with earlier life events. However, sometimes
earlier events dont match with later outcomes. If/when this happens, its important to point out
that an outcome was unexpected, given earlier events. In other words, the writer here acknowledges
that it was unexpected that even though the child was breast fed and not exposed to cigarette smoke
(factors usually related to less chance of asthma), the child still developed asthma.
Throughout, the writer uses good spelling, grammar and mechanicsthey have proofread their
work. Also, the language is clear and concisethe writer generally uses simple language and only
uses terminology from the textbook when its relevant to the topic at hand.
Example of sections from a poor term paper:
I gave birth to Joe and used pain relief.1 Joe was inside me for 40 weeks and was healthy when he
was born.2 Breast feeding is good for kids and there health an happiness an societating3. I decided to
breast feed Joe
(later in the paper) Joe has a secure attachment with me and his dad4
(later in the paper) Joes secure attachment was good for his development5 Since I breast fed
Joe, he attended Harvard and had a 4.0 GPA and grew up to be an NFL quarterback. 6
(later in the paper) Joes schemas and post-operational thought interplay with his socialization,
which facilitates a fascinatingly advanced progression of cognitive capabilities in the academic realm
that integrates with his lack of egocentrism and advancement beyond the preoperational stage of
The writer is non-specific by not saying what form of pain relief is used.
The writer doesnt use correct terminology (e.g.; saying inside me instead of gestation), and
says that the child was healthy, but doesnt provide specific information. The writer doesnt mention
the Apgar scale, so its evident that they are not using the term paper items from the Term Paper
The writer misspells words (an instead of and) and uses words incorrectly (there instead of
their). The writer also invents words that sound like terms from the text book, but arent actual
words (societating). In general, the writing is sloppy and hasnt been proofread.
The writer does little or nothing to show that they understand what the material means in terms of
real-world outcomes. For instance, they use the term attachment, which is from the text, but they
dont describe what a secure attachment is, or provide any indication that they understand what a
secure attachment would look like in terms of actual behavior.
The writer mentions that an early characteristic (secure attachment) has implications for later
development, but the description very vague, and doesnt show that the writer has any real
understanding of how early attachment relates to later development.
The writer uses information from class and the text (that breast feeding is related to better academic
performance and health later in life), but they make assumptions about development that go well
beyond what the textbook and class material show. In other words, they base their description of
development on personal assumptions that dont necessarily have any scientific basis.
Here, the writer uses numerous terms from the textbook, and a lot of big words (that they may
think makes them sound smart), but in fact the effect is the opposite. This is a run-on sentence, its
difficult to understand, and most of the words are not needed. Ironically, despite its long length, this
sentence is vague and conveys very little useful information.
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