Human Growth and Development

This is the final submission of your Grow Your Own Human project: a detailed, comprehensive, research-based description of your human’s lifespan including late adulthood and death.

The purpose of this assignment is for you to demonstrate your understanding of development across the lifespan through your thoughtful application of theory and research to a case study of your own creation. This assignment requires you to create a detailed description of a fictional human being based on solid and accepted theoretical basis, and develop a narrative that follows your human throughout his or her life span. The creation of your human being should occur throughout the class and follow the presentation of material in class. The paper you will complete will be a creative assignment with a heavy research component. Please do not base your human on yourself or others who are close to you. Your human should be demographically different from yourself.

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While the assignment does allow you to be creative, be careful not to get so caught up in literary creativity that you lose sight of the academic nature of the paper. Each week you will be asked to write a paper about your human’s development with regard to the stage we are studying that week. These are individual weekly assignments, but for your final submission at the end of the term you will be expected to integrate these into a cohesive whole with logical transitions and implications between stages. In addition to incorporating material from previous weeks’ assignments, you will also need to incorporate into your final submission information about all stages through older adulthood.

Assignment guidelines:
Begin by introducing your human. Provide demographic characteristics of your human including: gender identity, socio-economic status, ethnicity, cultural background, family composition, parental characteristics, physical and psychological health of family members. Remember that these demographics characteristics will impact your developing human at each stage! For example, in the pregnancy and prenatal development, discussion will include, but is not limited to: development through the trimesters; involvement of the father (however applicable); mother’s emotional state; fetal development; impact of culture on pregnancy; mother’s health and nutrition; reactions to birth, etc. The same application of the material to your growing human will take place for each chapter up until the death of your human.
Apply the psychosocial stage from each chapter to your developing human. Application includes a brief but accurate description of the relevant crisis and the experiences of your human that impact the resolution (positive or negative or somewhere in between) of that crisis. Be sure to ‘carry through’ the results of a stage’s resolution in a logical manner to later stages, and explicitly describe the consequences in those later stage sections.
Apply other relevant theories and research to your human within each stage. For instance, if you are describing a toddler’s gender identity development, accurately reference relevant theory or research when you describe the child’s experiences and parental reactions.
Follow your human’s development from fetal development until their death. Please note that your human must live until at least 70 years of age in order for you to demonstrate knowledge of all developmental stages through older adulthood. The only exception to this is if your human were born with a genetic anomaly that shortens his or her life (e.g. Down’s Syndrome). In such cases, you would need to choose one of your human’s caretakers and describe his or her development from the point of your human’s death until the caretaker reaches at least 70 years of age.
Research and apply the concept of resiliency in at least two of your stages of development: one will focus on resiliency in childhood (< 18 years old), and the second will focus on adulthood (>18 years old). For this specific integration of resiliency, you will need to reference at least 2 professional journal articles to support you work. Include your articles as appendices at the end your final project submission. As always, use APA style for referencing journal articles.
You may find that it is very easy to write a lot of material for this project. A good rule of thumb is to write no more than 4 pages per stage.
This can be an emotional process, so please keep a record/journal of how this experience has impacted you. Please turn in this journal after your final submission.
Option: if you are struggling with the application of the material, it may help to ‘interview’ or talk with someone who is in this stage or who has a child in the particular stage you are struggling with. If you do this, please be clear with the person you talk to that this is for an assignment and that you are not using their experience, but trying to get a clear understanding of the stage of life. Feel free to share with the person the materials from class to let them know what we are discussing. This part is not to be formally written up for your paper. It is only to help you gain deeper understanding of a particular developmental stage.

***Completed research papers must adhere to APA style guidelines. All research references must be from peer-reviewed scholarly journals dated in the last 5 years (except for acknowledged seminal works.) Non-peer reviewed Internet sources are not acceptable (i.e. Wikipedia, Psych Central, and blogs are not peer reviewed sites.) Papers must include a title page, body, and references pages. All references cited in text must be listed on the references page and all listed references must be cited in the body. You need at least 3 scholarly articles in addition to our textbook as references.

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