Child Observation Project

Find a movie that depicts a group of Junior High or High School aged adolescents that lasts about 2 hours. This movie should depict adolescent interaction in any of the following settings: a private home, mall, athletic game, party, church or anywhere other than a formal classroom setting. I highly recommend Ordinary People directed by Robert Redford. I’m open to suggestions, but want you to keep your observations on a PG-13 level. This way we can focus on basic developmental aspects of adolescence. If you are observing movie characters, I still want you to complete and incorporate all of the following instructions. During the observation period note overall physical characteristics (ages, sexes, clothing, grooming, sizes, physical maturity, physical surroundings, etc), specific behaviors (aggression, smoking, touching, language, activity, play, etc), emotions (happy, sad, joking, smart-alecky, sympathy, cruelty, etc), grouping (pairings, races, popularity, physical appearances, sexes, ages, schools, stereotypes, etc), and attitudes (involved, lazy, intolerant, respectful, accepting, friendly, vulgar, etc). Keep notes on what you observe. You should type up the notes from your observation into a word document. These notes will be turned in with your paper, described below. The observation notes do NOT count towards the page requirements for your paper. After you have completed the 2 hours of observation, you should find and read 2 peer-reviewed empirical research articles that present a study or discussion of some of the things you observed (i.e., specific behaviors or attitudes, specific groupings, etc). The article must come from a social science journal, not a popular magazine, newspaper, or book. One way to identify if an article is from a research journal is by checking if it reports collected data and statistical analyses of that data.  Paper: You will write a 3 – 5 page type-written paper in APA format that provides a description of what you observed, discusses how this fits in with the course material we have or will review, and discusses how the research articles relate to the specific behavior that you observed. Use APA style to cite your references in the text. Do not use sentences such as, in an article in a Super Cool Research Journal, Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler observed some really neat things. Also, avoid using direct quotations as much as possible. You need to put things into your own words. If you must quote someone, be sure to properly cite it by including the page number. Your complete paper should contain the following sections:   Introduction (10 points): Provide a general description of the individuals you observed (demographic information such as age, sex, etc) and the observation setting. Description of what you observed (30 points): Describe the behavior or patterns of behavior that were interesting to you. Do NOT just put a chronological list of what they did. You need to show evidence that you made careful observations. Give examples of the physical characteristics, behaviors, emotions, groupings, and attitudes that you observed. Integration of research articles (30 points): Using your own words, describe how your chosen research articles relate to the specific behavior(s) or attitude(s) you observed. Describe what the research authors hypothesized and later found. Discuss how the research findings apply to the adolescents whom you observed. Reference section (4 points): You should include a reference section at the end of your paper with the citation information for your chosen articles, and any other references, in APA format. Observation notes (6 points): You should type your observation notes. These notes should be included after the reference section and begin on a new page titled Observation Notes. General formatting (10 points): Please see the Formatting instructions section below. Writing (10 points): Your writing should be clear, grammatically correct, and free of punctuation and spelling errors.   Plagiarism: Any copying and pasting from the actual research article or other papers or documents found anywhere (i.e., plagiarism) will result in all students involved receiving a 0 for the assignment.   Formatting instructions: Please format the document with 1” margins top, bottom, left and right. Please format the font to be 12 point Arial or Times New Roman. The line spacing should be double-spaced. You should use headings in accordance with the APA manual 7th edition. The following website provides a nice overview of APA style, http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/10/  (Links to an external site.) . Please include a title page as described in the APA manual 7th edition. Your paper should be between 3 – 5 pages in length in order to receive full credit. Your typed observation notes should be included at the end of your paper like an appendix.

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