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Growth and Development Paper
posted template to use with this outline when writing this observation paper
Study someone you know closely (observe a
subject) using the knowledge gained in class and from readings/evidence-based
Analyze what was observed using the assigned
growth and development theory appropriate for the age of the person observed.
Select a person between the age of 3 years
and older age (over 65 years).
Include your knowledge and observations of
your subject in their natural environment. This includes at home, daycare
center, nursery school, playground, school, recreation center, job setting, or
senior center.
The observer (you) should not be directly
responsible for the individual’s care/safety at the time of a direct
observation activity.
Guidelines for the
Prior to the observation, read about growth
and development of the age group you will be observing.
Use the Denver Developmental Screening Test or
other standardized measures appropriate for the age of the person you have
selected to observe to help focus your observation.
Take paper, pen and a watch with you for making
notes and timing activities during the observation.
Do not
join in the activities as much as
possible. You are an observer.
Describe what you observe. Be as objective as
possible write a rough draft of your observations immediately from your notes
in order to be accurate and comprehensive this will help you with writing your
final paper.
for Writing the Paper
Based on the observation of the person, write
an 8 to 10 page, typed paper which describes the person’s behavior. NO ABSTRACT
You should describe Alaska’s of the behaviors
in relation to the following developmental areas: physical, psychosocial,
emotional, moral and cognitive.
You should analyze your subjects behaviors according to
developmental theorists from the assigned readings in your text (and prior
psychology courses), as appropriate for subjects developmental level e.g.
Freud, Erikson, Giselle, Kohlberg, Mahler, Maslow, Neugarten, and Piaget.
for Written Assignment:
Follow APA
guidelines and be sure to include:
citations with page numbers
separate reference page
1. Followed
by an introduction that describes the setting in which the observations took
place and individuals interacting with the subject.
2. The
first part of the paper should begin with a description of what the individual
did during the observation.
3. Include
the subject’s exact age, height, weight, physical appearance, actions,
verbalizations, emotions, type of play/activity in the way in which the subject
related to others and to objects in the environment.
4. The
second part of the paper should analyze the observations of the subject.
Compare specific
examples of the person’s behavior with the expected “norms” for that age group
from the readings (text and/or other references).
5. Keep in
mind that depending on the age of the subject you choose; some areas below may
not apply.
Include in
the Analysis:
1. Physical
(Gesell or Growth Charts and Textbook References)
a. What is the child’s level of physical development?
b. Are there any developmental
spurts or delays, declining ability?
c. How does the physical development influence plate, school,
work or other activities?
Psychosocial (Erickson)
a. What stage of psychosocial development
was observed?
b. What is the critical task for the stage
and how was it expressed in play and interpersonal
Cognitive (Piaget)
a. What is the subject’s stage of cognitive development?
b. How does level of cognitive development
influence the individual’s behavior in: play,
language, relations with others, etc.?
Psychosexual (Freud)
a. What stage of psychosexual development?
b. What aspect of personality is
associated with any fixations at any of the stages?
5. Object
Relations (Mahler)
a. Where is the child in the
separation-individualization process?
6. Hierarchy
of needs (Maslow)
a. Describe the subject’s level of need
according to the pyramid.
b. Analyze why the subject is at the
recorded level of need.
7. Moral
Development (Kohlberg, Piaget)
a. Describe value systems and any behaviors observed related to this
It Is Important to Support Your Conclusions In
The Analysis With
Do not
use the first person or I. “Refer to yourself as” this observer.”
Identify the subject by initials only. Do not
use the subject’s first name.
Proofread the paper
and make appropriate corrections in content, spelling and grammar.
Use 7th Edition APA format or style
and proper citation of references. Use the writing lab and web resources
provided on blackboard and connect to assist you with 7th Edition
guidelines. (Purdue OWL online writing)

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