Growth and Development in Childhood


The following guidelines can be used in writing up your child case study:

PURPOSE: What re you trying to find out? You should be examining the factors that make for appropriate or inappropriate growth and development in childhood. How does this child’s situation in his or her family, social and economic context, position in the family, and personality factors affect the way that child has of has not adapted to the developmental stage that her or she in currently in. What factors in the child and/or family’s history impact on his/her
current developmental tasks? Decide on your aim and state it clearly
at the beginning of your paper.

SUBJECT: Describe the child you are interviewing/observing (age, gender, health, etc). How long or how well do you know this child, and in what capacity?

METHOD: Your primary method may be the interview, supplemented by other sources of information, such as observation or other supplemental informational sources. You develop your own questions to ask. Make sure the child is comfortable and that s/he as well as the parent(s) has the right to refuse to answer any question, for any reason. Use questions, which provide information, without embarrassing the child or the parent(s).

Your secondary method may be that of observation. Note the child’s behavior and mood during the interview (happy, sad, contented, angry, frustrated, etc). If you know this child for a long time, compare present mood with earlier mood and behavior. For example, has the child always been so overly active? Have there been any recent events that may have caused changes in mood and/or behavior?

DATA OBTAINED: The data obtained consists of a synopsis of the answers to your questions. Jot down your impressions right after the interview session(s) so you do not forget anything. Note place, time, and length of each session. If more than one session, note the time between sessions and changes in mood or behavior at each session.

ANALYSIS: This is the MOST IMPORTANT part of this assignment. Carefully look at your answers and observations. What has the child and/or the parents revealed?
How does what you have learned about the child relate to the readings, lectures, and discussions in class? Where is this child in his or her development, specifically in the areas of: PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT, COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT, and SOCIAL/PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT? What theories of growth and development that you have learned about help you to understand what you have observed?
What are the developmental tasks for this child’s stage of life? Where is this child in terms of accomplishing these tasks? Your grade will be based upon the extent to which you are able to apply what you have learned in this course (textbook, weekly discussions, etc) to the child you have interviewed/observed.
What have you learned from your observations?
Go back and look at your aims. Did you find out what you were looking for?
What factors seem to have influenced the child’s growth and development?
Did you find out anything that you were not looking for? What?

SUMMARY: What did you learn from this project?

LENGTH: As long as it takes to be complete and comprehensive. Average length in the past has been 5-7 pages.

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