Create and analyze a 1–2-page simulated case study of an infant or toddler with developmental challenges and who shows evidence of genetic and biological factors that affect development. Then, create a 5–7-page intervention plan based on evidence-based strategies that have proven effective in similar cases and make projections for possible long-term impacts of the child's current challenges.
Note: The assessments in this course follow the successive stages of lifespan development, so you are strongly encouraged to complete them in sequence.
Show Less Early developmental factors can have an influence that continues across the lifespan. The effects of genetic and environmental influences begin before birth. After birth, the formation of attachment style is a major developmental factor. Psychologists in each area specialization should be prepared to employ evidence-based interventions to address challenges posed by the effects of early developmental concerns.
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:
Competency 1: Analyze how lifespan development theories and related research explain aspects of human growth and behavior at different ages.
Analyze evidence of a specific attachment style.
Competency 2: Assess the potential impact of individual and cultural differences on development across the lifespan.
Assess the potential impact of individual and cultural differences on development.
Competency 3: Identify evidence-based interventions to address specific developmental issues.
Suggest appropriate intervention processes based on lifespan development theory and evidence from the literature.
Competency 4: Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with expectations for members of the psychological professions.
Write clearly, with correct spelling, grammar, syntax, and good organization, following APA guidelines.
Check Your ProgressUse this online tool to track your performance and progress through your course.
Toggle Drawer Context
Beginning as early as conception, both heredity and environmental influences can affect the development of an individual. As you engage in this assessment, keep in mind that small influences can have a significant impact on a developing fetus. Hereditary diseases, genetics, teratogens, nutrition, and stress are all factors that can influence prenatal development, which in turn, can have effects across the lifespan.
Show Less Once a child is born, the external environment begins to influence development in a huge way. Attachment is one aspect that has been given much attention as having emotional influence during this time. There are direct implications that attachment and temperament can have on the ability to successfully develop and maintain peer relationships into adulthood.
As you review the literature and complete the learning assessment, consider the potential implications of early development for your professional direction. How might you apply your knowledge directly or indirectly to your areas of professional interest? While early development may seem remote to your professional specialization, consider that the implications may be both direct and indirect. For instance, if you work in education, you will need to take into account how the permanent influences of early development can affect how a person learns. More indirectly, imagine you are an industrial psychologist working in the field. A female employee returns to work after a maternity leave. She is withdrawn and appears tired. When she is referred for a consultation, you discover that the employee had contacted Rubella during the first trimester of pregnancy, which caused her infant to be born with a heart defect. Would you be better able to support the employee if you were knowledgeable about the risk factors during pregnancy and environmental agents that could harm a fetus?
Toggle Drawer Questions to Consider
To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.
What are the critical processes and periods for neuroplasticity (changes to the brain) before birth and during the first 2 years of life? What factors can affect them? What remains relatively static (unchanging) after these periods?
What are possible effects of hereditary diseases, genetics, teratogens, nutrition, and stress on prenatal development? What effects persist across the lifespan?
What environmental influences, such as teratogens, can affect prenatal development? What environmental influences are important for development during the first 2 years of life?
What is the relative importance of genetic factors versus environmental factors for early development?
What is the importance of early relationships and attachments during the first 6–8 months of life for social and emotional development?
How might you directly or indirectly apply knowledge of early development to your areas of professional interests?
Toggle Drawer Resources
The following optional resources are provided to support you in completing the assessment or to provide a helpful context. For additional resources, refer to the Research Resources and Supplemental Resources in the left navigation menu of your courseroom.
Click the links provided to view the following resources:
Research Guide – Psychology.
Library Research and Information Literacy Skills (RAILS).
Databases A–Z: Psychology.
Writing in the Third Person: What Not Using the First Person Really Means.
APA Guide: The Title Page: Course Papers.
Show Less Capella Multimedia
Click the links provided below to view the following multimedia pieces:
Human Development Theorists | Transcript.
The Marvel of Prenatal Human Development | Transcript.
Turning Points: An Overview of Prenatal Human Development | Transcript.
Introduction to Human Development | Transcript.
Introduction to Developmental Theories | Transcript.
The Mind: Teratogens and Their Effects on the Developing Brain and Mind | Transcript.
The following e-books or articles from the Capella University Library are linked directly in this course:
Bornstein, M. H., Suwalsky, J. T. D., & Breakstone, D. A. (2012). Emotional relationships between mothers and infants: Knowns, unknowns, and unknown unknowns. Development and Psychopathology, 24(1), 113–123.
Kurth, E., Spichiger, E., Stutz, E. Z., Biedermann, J., Hösli, I., & Kennedy, H. P. (2010). Crying babies, tired mothers – Challenges of the postnatal hospital stay: An interpretive phenomenological study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 10(21), 1–10.
Knafo, A., & Jaffee, S. R. (2013). Gene-environment correlation in developmental psychopathology. Development and Psychopathology, 25(1), 1-–6.
Lefmann, T., & Combs-Orme, T. (2013). Early brain development for social work practice: Integrating neuroscience with Piaget's theory of cognitive development. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 23(5), 640–647.
Neuman, S. B., Kaefer, T., Pinkham, A., & Strouse, G. (2014). Can babies learn to read? A randomized trial of baby media. Journal of Educational Psychology, 106(3), 815–830.
Pérez-Edgar, K., McDermott, J. N. M., Korelitz, K., Degnan, K. A., Curby, T. W., Pine, D. S., & Fox, N. A. (2010). Patterns of sustained attention in infancy shape the developmental trajectory of social behavior from toddlerhood through adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 46(6), 1723–1730.
Sameroff, A. (2010). A unified theory of development: A dialectic integration of nature and nurture. Child Development, 81(1), 6–22.
Baltes, P. B., & Smith, J. (2004). Lifespan psychology: From developmental contextualism to developmental biocultural co-constructivism. Research in Human Development, 1(3), 123–144.
Foster, E. M. (2010). Causal inference and developmental psychology. Developmental Psychology, 46(6), 1454–1480.
Kagan, J. (2008). In defense of qualitative changes in development. Child Development, 79(6), 1606–1624.
Kimble, G. A. (1993). Evolution of the nature-nurture issue in the history of psychology. In R. Plomin & G. E. McClearn (Eds.), Nature, Nurture & Psychology (pp. 3–25). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Manstead, A. R., & Fischer, A. H. (2002). Beyond the universality-specificity dichotomy. Cognition & Emotion, 16(1), 1–9.
Course Library Guide
A Capella University library guide has been created specifically for your use in this course. You are encouraged to refer to the resources in the PSY-FP7210 – Lifespan Development Library Guide to help direct your research.
Access the following resources by clicking the links provided. Please note that URLs change frequently. Permissions for the following links have been either granted or deemed appropriate for educational use at the time of course publication.
Mayo Clinic. (2014). Fetal development: The 1st trimester. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/prenatal-care/art-20045302
The Agenda With Steve Paikin. (Producer). (n.d.). David Shenk: Nature, nurture, and genes [Video] | Transcript. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_APOGar-DIw
TED Conferences, LLC. (Producer). (2008). Dean Ornish: Your genes are not your fate [Video]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/dean_ornish_says_your_genes_are_not_your_fate.html
TED Conferences, LLC. (Producer). (2011). Alison Gopnik: What do babies think? [Video]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/alison_gopnik_what_do_babies_think.html
TED Conferences, LLC. (Producer). (2011). Annie Murphy Paul: What we learn before we're born [Video]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/annie_murphy_paul_what_we_learn_before_we_re_born.html
WGBH Educational Foundation. (Producer). (2001). Discovering psychology: Past, present, and promise [Video] | Transcript. Retrieved from https://www.learner.org/series/discoveringpsychology/01/e01expand.html
The resource listed below is relevant to the topics and assessments in this course and is not required. Unless noted otherwise, this resource is available for purchase from the Capella University Bookstore. When searching the bookstore, be sure to look for the Course ID with the specific –FP (FlexPath) course designation.
Broderick, P. C., & Blewitt, P. (2014). The life span: Human development for helping professionals (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Chapter 1, "Organizing Themes in Development." This chapter introduces lifespan developmental theorists, including Freud, Erikson, Piaget, learning theories (behaviorism and social learning), and multi-dimensional theories, including Bronfenbrenner's theory, and provides an introduction to nature-nurture.
Note: The assessments in this course follow the human developmental sequence, so you are encouraged to complete them in order.
Part 1: Create the Case
Create a simulated case study, relevant to your area of specialization, of an infant or toddler (birth to 24 months of age) who presents developmental challenges related to factors described by Bowlby's attachment theory, and also shows evidence of biological factors that affect development.
Your case study should be 1–2 pages in length and it should describe:
The infant or toddler and his or her strengths and challenges.
The medical, family, and social context.
The developmental challenges evident in the behavior of the infant or toddler.
Evidence in the case that supports a specific attachment style.
Contextual factors that could affect the infant's or toddler's biological and brain development.
Individual and cultural factors that theory and/or research indicate could impact the infant's or toddler's development.
Any other factors you deem appropriate based on your understanding of the theory and related research.
To develop this case, you should:
Explore theory and research related to development linked to biological and brain factors and influences based on Bowlby's attachment theory.
Identify attachment styles in general and analyze a specific attachment style for the case you are developing.
Locate and read current research on prenatal and infant brain development to describe potential outcomes linked to brain development in infancy or toddlerhood, including important considerations in the case you are developing.
Follow current APA guidelines for style and formatting, as well as for citing your resources. Include a reference list of the scholarly resources you consulted.
Part 2: Early Development Case Intervention Analysis
Complete the following:
Research evidence-based interventions that have been effective in meeting the challenges of the infant or toddler you described in your case study, from the perspective of your own professional specialization (as far as possible).
Explain how the deficits in developmental domains or environmental contexts impacted functioning.
State the recommended interventions that align with your specialization.
Include evidence for those outcomes from the professional literature.
Explore briefly the literature on adult attachment issues, considering that early influences can impact development across the lifespan.
Explain, from the perspective of your specialization, how the attachment style of the infant or toddler could be manifested as an adult.
Explain how this might help in understanding and determining an approach to working with an adult with attachment-related issues.
Structure of the Report
Use the following format to structure your report:
A descriptive title of 5–15 words that concisely communicates the purpose of your report and includes the name of the fictional subject. Be sure to follow Capella's suggested format for title pages on course papers.
An overview of the paper contents, including a brief summary (approximately ½ page) of the background information regarding the case study. (The complete 1–2-page case you developed will be included as an appendix.)
Body of the report.
The presenting challenges and primary issues.
An analysis of how lifespan development theory and research may account for the presenting challenges.
An assessment of the potential impact of individual and cultural differences on development for the current age and context described in the case study.
Suggestions of evidence-based intervention strategies that have proven effective in similar cases, supported by citations of research and any applicable theories.
Projections, based on research and/or theory, of possible long-term impacts that the current challenges may produce across the individual's lifespan.
A summary of what was introduced in the body of the paper with respect to the case study context, challenges, and interventions.
A minimum of five scholarly sources from current peer-reviewed journals, formatted in current APA style.
The simulated case study you created in Part 1.
Your paper should meet the following requirements:
Written communication: Write coherently to support central ideas, in appropriate APA format, and with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics.
Length of paper: 5–7 typed, double-spaced pages, not including the title page, reference page, or case study appendix.
References: At least five scholarly resources (peer-reviewed journals).
APA format: Follow current APA guidelines for style and formatting, as well as for citing your resources in the body of your paper and listed alphabetically on the Reference page.
Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.
Note: In graduate-level and professional writing, you should minimize the use of direct quotes. Lengthy quotes do not count toward assessment minimums. It is your interpretation of the material and its application to practice that is assessed.
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