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Psychology: PSY 2070 Your Lot in Life

Human Growth and Development (PSY 2070)

Your Lot in Life

These instructions were taken from the document created by Dr. Young. For questions regarding the assignment, please contact your instructor.

Purpose of assignment:  To measure students ability to:

(1) Explain a life span development event, or issue (i.e., child rearing practices, marital considerations, elder care, dementia, reproductive technologies, healthcare policies); 

(2) Apply the concepts and major theoretical approaches to the assigned case in resolving a life span development situation, i. e., mental or developmental disorder, psychosocial change or trauma, or a moral dilemma;

(3) Use research to evaluate and distinguish the influences of heredity, environmental context and cultural values in their case scenario;

(4) Apply ethical principles to “best” resolve or alleviate the problem in their assigned case;

(5) Use information literacy skills to locate appropriate research and other relevant community resources and materials to create an informative class presentation. 


Directions:  Your group will be provided with a list from which to choose your “lot in life” condition. Your task as a group is to prepare a 40 minute oral presentation.  As a group you must divide tasks according to topic such that each member has a unique contribution to understanding the condition. Individual group members are responsible for presenting a 10 minute Power Point or Prezi (to be merged with the larger group presentation) that must include the following elements:

  1. Introduction of your unique segment of group topic.
  2. Brief contribution to the description and definition of the condition.
  3. Discuss at least one major theoretical approach to explaining and resolving the life span development situation (i. e., mental or developmental disorder, psychosocial change or trauma, or a moral dilemma).
  4. Share the research findings from one professional journal article, one national organization website, one governmental agency, and one additional source to reference in the presentation. References must be done APA style.
  5. Discuss the research method used in the journal article to study the condition. 
  6. Discuss your individual recommendations that you believe will best resolve/alleviate this condition based on research and the ethics and values as expressed in the “standard of care” practiced in this community.  
  7. Discuss the impact of this condition on the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development of those affected by this condition.
  8. Identify local community resources, and or national resources, such as phone numbers and contact information, and program details that are available to support an individual or family in your “lot in life” situation.
  9. Any additional information relevant to the topic for informational purposes (i.e., brief video clip, brochure, classroom demonstration) may be included.

Below is an example on how to approach this assignment. Suggestions for completing steps 1, 2 and 3 are outlined using a specific topic.

For this example, the following topic was chosen: Your partner has been diagnosed with AIDS

Step 1: Provide a description and definition of the condition.

First step is to identify the condition; in this example the condition is AIDS. Now you need to provide a description and definition of AIDS. For this part of the assignment you can use the following Library resources:

  • CREDO Reference: Credo is a collection of electronic encyclopedias, dictionaries and other reference sources. Credo also provides links to the Library's other databases.
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context: this database provides electronic access to social issues covered in viewpoint articles, topic overviews, statistics, primary documents, links to Web sites, full-text journal, magazine and newspaper articles, reference sources as well as multimedia sources.
  • Global Issues in Context: offers international viewpoints on a broad spectrum of global issues, topics, and current events. Featured are hundreds of continuously updated issue and country portals that bring together a variety of specially selected, highly relevant sources for analysis of social, political, military, economic, environmental, health, and cultural issues. 

(While these databases cover a variety of subjects, not all topics will be available. If you cannot find your specific topic, try searching another. You can find a list of available databases, organized by subject here: Databases by Subject )

Step 2: Identify specific local community resources, such as phone numbers and contact information, and program details that are available to support an individual or family in your “lot in life” situation.

For this example, you can find local community resources that deal with AIDS, like the Health Department, housing for people with AIDS, testing centers, etc. Since you are looking for local community resources, consider searching the Prince George's County website or the official Maryland site:

Step 3: Research your topic and include one professional journal, one national or state organization Website, and three additional sources to reference in your presentation.

Use the research databases to complete the first part of this step- look for a professional journal. For this step you want to search the Library's databases on Psychology, listed on the DATABASES tab. 

Helpful suggestions:

  • Before searching the databases, narrow down your topic
    • For this example the topic is AIDS. This topic is very broad, if we enter just the keyword AIDS the database will return a lot of results, probably in the thousands.
  • A better way to search is to narrow the topic and use Boolean Operators. Instead of entering AIDS as my keyword I can try narrowing the topic down and using the following combination of keywords
    • AIDS AND Maryland
    • AIDS AND "Prince George's County" AND Maryland
    • AIDS AND "at-risk youth"
    • AIDS AND teenagers
  • Remember to group keywords that have more than one word with parenthesis. For example:
    • "Prince George's County"
    • "African American"
    • "bipolar disorder"
  • Try different combinations of keywords - if you are not getting any results or are getting too many, try adding or removing keywords. 
  • Use synonyms - not all writers use the same words when they write.
  • Remember to check the "full-text" and "peer reviewed" boxes when you use the databases. (You can see a screen capture of how to do this under the DATABASES - SEARCHING tab.)  

For the website, you can use is the Quick Reference Sources page on the Library's website. Helpful sections: