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As we progress through the lifespan, none of us is absolutely certain as to what course our life might take. This assignment is designed to simulate challenges you may face in your own future life and to better prepare you for overcoming potential obstacles. Additionally, it will allow us, as a group, to provide information that others in the community may access when searching for help on their topic.

In the assignment,  Your Lot in Life, each of you will be randomly assigned a unique life experience that may occur during childhood. Your assignment is to gather information about your topic (or “lot” in life) from both scholarly and community sources as well as the internet. You will compile this information into a report that will be put together with reports from other students to create the guide. The goals of the assignment are:

1. To give you an opportunity to become familiar with research that has been conducted on your life issue.

2. To give you practical experience in locating likely sources of information and support from the community.

3. To give you practical experience in locating likely sources of information and support from the internet.

4. To get you to evaluate the choices available to individuals who share your life circumstance.

5. To get you to think about how your issue relates to the period of the lifespan in which it occurs.

The research for this lot:

Today you will receive your “lot” in life by random assignment.

1. You will be required to find 3 articles on your topic:

One general article – This source should describe the disorder/condition that has been assigned as your lot. This can come from a book chapter or an article that reviews the literature. These articles do not have methods sections in them.  You must include a copy of the book chapter/article that you use.

Two empirically based articles from  two different scholarly journals (i.e., data has been collected,  they contain a “methods” section, and there is a list of references at the end). Most articles can be found in the online databases, Psycinfo and Ebscohost. If you use Ebscohost, you must select “peer reviewed” articles. Try MEL.


2. Find two agencies in the community and three internet websites that can help you in meeting the challenges of your life issue.  You must turn in some written material from EACH agency and a print-out from each internet website when you turn in your term paper. You may not have an agency count for both an internet source and an agency – it must be one or the other.

3. Consider how the lot impacts three areas of development. For example, how are cognitive, physical and social development affected?

Writing the Report:

Your paper must include the following  (use the headings and format displayed below):

A description of your specific issue. Start with the lot that you were assigned (e.g., I am a 25 year-old single parent who must find care for my 3 year-old daughter). Then describe what the lot is and highlight the challenges inherent in the lot.

·  Put the full Citation (APA style) for the article/book chapter here.

Description of the lot from your general article. You will read this article or book chapter and summarize it as the first entry under research. You should try to give the reader some understanding of what the lot is about and the kinds of challenges that are likely to arise. This reading should provide an “overview” of the lot. What does the lot involve? What kinds of issues come up?  Note that this article/chapter does not contain a “methods” section.

·  Put the full Citation (APA style) for the article here.

Description of each empirical article: You will read and summarize each of the two empirical articles in your paper. To do this, you will write a summary of the article (in essay form) so that it contains all of the following information  (THIS MUST ALSO BE MARKED ON THE COPIES YOU TURN IN):

1. a statement about the issue which is addressed in the article (e.g., effects of daycare on young children)  MARKED “ISSUE” ON THE ARTICLE

2. a statement about what the researchers found (e.g., this study indicated that there were no gender differences in adjustment to daycare; boys did not score differently than girls on the adjustment to daycare measure).  MARKED ‘MAIN FINDINGS’ FOR EACH FINDING THAT YOU REPORT

3. a conclusion for the study (e.g.., in sum, this study suggests that daycare, in and of itself, is not related to gender differences in children’s adjustment).  MARKED ‘CONCLUSION’

·  Synthesis of research articles

In this section you will write a brief summary statement about the research you read. It should highlight only the key points from each of the three articles you described above (with the appropriate studies cited) – it should NOT be a reiteration of the information you provided above. These key points should be the “take home message” that you obtained from the materials you read. You must cite the article that the key point came from in APA style.

Available Community Resources

·  Provide the Name of the Agency and the name of the contact person (then provide the description of the agency).

A discussion of the agencies that you contacted and how you went about locating them. You must tell the reader about the agencies, who you spoke with (and his/her position in the agency) and the kinds of services that they provide for a person with your lot (you should write a paragraph or two about each agency). You should focus on services that someone with your lot could use.  You will include written materials from each agency with your final report. YOU MAY NOT USE MATERIAL FROM THE INTERNET HERE.

If you contact an agency and find out that it is NOT helpful, find another one. You will lose points if the agency you find is of no help to a person with your lot.

You may not use pages out of the phone book as proof of contact.

NOTE: You may not use an agency as both a community resource and an internet source.

Available Internet Resources

·  Provide full Website address for the agency (then write a paragraph or two about it).

You will summarize each website you report on and provide the address for the site. You should write a paragraph or two about each internet source. In addition, include a print-out from each internet source. The discussion of the internet source should include: who sponsors the site; what kinds of information are provided; how good is the information that is provided; how would a person with this lot use the website; what might you caution a parent about with regard to this site.

NOTE: You may not use a website as both an internet resource and a community agency.

Effects on Development

Your paper must also address three developmental issues that a perrson with this lot might be facing. For example, divorce is a very different experience for children of different ages. Address the aspects of the adolescent’s cognitive, social, emotional, physical, or moral development that might be affected by the lot.  Each aspect of development must be discussed in a separate paragraph.

·  Social(these are examples – you can choose any three aspects of development)

·  Emotional

·  Physical

Do not “list” the effects, discuss them. Demonstrate your understanding of how this lot affects the developmental trajectory of this person. Cite information in APA style where appropriate.

Obstacles and What Society can do to help


Indicate the kinds of problems a person with this lot may encounter as he/she tries to deal with the lot (e.g., would he/she have trouble getting information from the agencies? What would prevent a person from using a particular agency?). Aside from developmental challenges, what major obstacles must a person with this lot in life face? What would prevent someone from being able to get help? How can society respond to help? Be specific here – don’t just state that we should be more educated. Give concrete suggestions for ways to help these children and their families.

Papers must conform to the following criteria:

1.  Your paper must be typed (1”margins; double-spaced; Times New Roman 12 point font).

2. Your paper should be 4-8 pages long and must be written in complete sentences (essay format).

3. You must include a  reference page (in APA style) for your scholarly sources. You must include a  copy of each of the articles/book chapters used.  You must have the information from the “research” section clearly marked (e.g., “statement about the issue” “sample description”) on the articles (see instructions above).

4. You must include  written material from each agency with your paper.

5. You must include  print-outs from each of the three internet websites you located.

6.  Papers should be put in a folder.  You will need the following sections in this order: Paper; General Article; Empirical Article #1; Empirical Article #2; Agencies; Websites.

7. Papers are due ____________________________




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