Developmental Psychology

In this short (5-page) reflection paper, you are required to apply one or more key
concepts on lifespan human development discussed in class and in your textbook to
your own life or the life of someone close to you (family member, friend). In your essay,
you must cover at least two lifespan developmental periods (i.e., infancy, preschool
period, elementary school-age, adolescence, young adulthood, middle adulthood,
and/or late adulthood).
Possible topics abound. Choose one that is (a) covered in our textbook (i.e., is a key
topic in lifespan human development) AND (b) is meaningful to you personally. You
also must frame your paper theoretically, and examine the multiple factors
(personal, parental, family, school/community, cultural, and demographic) along
the way that may have contributed to resilience or heightened risk. A good
theoretical perspective to use for this purpose is Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems
perspective. Or, you can use another theoretical perspective. See Chapter 1 for ideas.
If you are not sure whether the topic you wish to discuss is appropriate, please email
me to verify it.
This paper comprises 20% of your final grade, so it is important to do the best job you
Here are suggestions of some possible topics: (you can choose a different topic)
• What is temperament? What was your temperament like early in life? How did
it influence your relationships with others, in childhood and beyond? Your
exploration of the world? Your opportunities for learning? Your adult
personality? Your career interests and choices? How did your parents’ behavior
toward you shape the expression of your temperament? What factors influenced
the expression of your temperament over time?
• What is attachment? Describe the quality of your early attachment relationship
with your parent(s). How did it influence your experiences as a young child?
How did it influence your well-being and your relationships with siblings, peers,
and teachers during elementary school, middle school, high school, and/or
college? How did it affect your romantic relationships in adolescence or
adulthood? What factors along the way may have contributed to heightened
risk or resilience?
• Describe two or more of Erikson’s psychosocial “crises” (age-salient tasks or
challenges) (e.g., identity vs. role confusion, intimacy vs. isolation, generativity
vs. stagnation, ego-integrity vs. despair) and apply them to your own life or to a
close relative’s or friend’s life. If there was failure to resolve a particular “crisis”
successfully at one phase of the lifespan, how did this affect functioning and
adjustment at later phases? Also describe how different risk or resilience
factors along the way may have contributed to success or failure in resolving
subsequent psychosocial “crises” at later points in development, and
psychosocial adjustment in general.
• How did a disability or disorder (e.g., ADHD, autism, schizophrenia, depression,
anxiety) affect your life or a family member’s or friend’s life? Your relationships
with parents, siblings, peers, friends, romantic relationships, teachers,
employers? Success or challenges in school? What factors (personal, parental,
family, school/community, cultural, and demographic) along the way promoted
resilience or heightened risk?
• If you or a family member immigrated to the U.S. from another country, describe
that experience. How did moving to a new country, learning a new language,
and adjusting to new cultural customs and laws (acculturation) affect your/their
well-being and adjustment, or that of other family member(s)? If you or a family
member immigrated because of severe trauma or danger in your country of
origin, describe how that exposure may have affected you or your family
member. What factors (risk or resilience) affected your adjustment along the
way? What challenges remain? How important is it to you or your family to
become acculturated to your new country, or to retain cultural beliefs, values,
and traditions from your country of origin?
Style Requirements
Your paper should be written in APA style. If you do not have an APA style guide, you
can google “Owl at Purdue” for an abbreviated APA style guide. Just remember that this
is an essay, not a data-based research paper. Thus, do not include a Methods or a
Results section and do not include headers called “Methods” or “Results”.
Your paper should be typed and at least 5 double-spaced pages long. This length does
NOT include the title page or the reference list. Do NOT include an abstract.
Use 12-point Times New Roman font, and 1-inch margins all around.
On the title page, include the title of your paper, your name and student ID, our class
(PSY 2400 001), and the date. Also include a running header (use APA style for this)
on the title page. The running header should be brief and in CAPS.
At the top of each page, include a header at the top left-hand corner which contains
your running header and the page number (use APA style).
Body of Paper
In the first section of your paper, you should introduce and define your topic. Review
the literature on what is known about your topic so far, and why it is important. Why
does it interest you personally? Also provide a theoretical frame for your paper, to help
you evaluate the multiple factors (biological/individual, parental, familial,
school/community, cultural, and demographic) that contributed to outcomes, adjustment, and well-being. I suggest using Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems perspective for
this purpose. Or, you can use another theoretical perspective that speaks to you. See
Chapter 1 for ideas. Make sure to write the paper in your own words (do not copy
material or plagiarize from any source).
Then apply that your topic or key concept to your own life or the life of someone you
know well (e.g., family member, friend). I am looking for personal reflection here.
Be sure to cover at least two lifespan periods in your essay. When you discuss your
key concept/topic across different lifespan periods, be sure to describe the multiple
factors (individual, parental, family, school, community, culture, demographics) that may
have contributed to resilience or heightened risk along the way.
For every idea that is not your own, be sure to include an in-text citation (use APA style).
For every in-text citation you make, include a full reference for that citation on your
reference list at the end of the paper. You can cite literature presented in the Berk text,
or from other sources, but again, please do not copy or plagiarize.
The Berk e-text does not have page numbers. So, when you cite information from the
Berk text, you should first cite the Berk text, then the chapter, and then the section
header where you found the information. For example: (Berk, 2018; Chapter 16,
Siblings). If you cite other sources, do it in the regular APA-approved way.

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Note: the example given in the APA style guide (at Owl at Purdue) is based on a
research paper. Your paper is not based on your own empirical data, but rather is
essay-like. Thus, you should not include a Methods or Results section, or use headers
such as “Methods” or “Results”. You can include other headers if you like, but this is not

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