This assignment is intended to allow you to closely examine various stages of the lifespan and compare them to developmental theory surrounding the physical, cognitive and emotional/social development of human beings. Due to the differences of maturity and life experiences among individuals, you will need to ask questions that are appropriate and reasonable to the life stages of each interviewee. Refer to relevant textbook chapters for subject matter. You will be expected to formulate questions surrounding relevant concepts and theories and ask them in such a way as to elicit valuable interview responses that hopefully provide you the opportunity to bring validity to the textbook material. You will also be expected to explore how culture has impacted their development.
Select a person who fits one of the following:
A parent of a child six years old or younger,
An emerging adult,
Someone in middle adulthood,
Someone in late adulthood
Ask your chosen subject if they would agree to participate in an interview that will last approximately an hour to an hour and a half. Explain that you are working on a project for your class and that all information will be confidential.
Begin the interview by telling the subject that you will be asking some questions, but he or she should feel free to expand on the topic or talk about related ideas. Also make sure your subject knows that they can choose not answer any question, and that they can discontinue the interview at any time if they feel uncomfortable. Either record the session (with your subject’s permission) or take thorough notes.
If a subject’s answers are too brief or uninformative, follow up with questions like, “Can you say more about X?” or “How do you think X affected Y?” If something the subject says seems important, make sure to follow up. We will discuss other interview tips in class.
Remember, you are interested in your subject’s life and ideas. Do not involve yourself in a conversation, offer advice, or talk about your own experiences during the interview, except as a way of encouraging your interviewee to talk.
Your written paper should include the following:
Introduction—Who are you interviewing? Why did you choose this person? What were the time, date, and location of the interview? Any other relevant and/or interesting background you wish to add.
Body— Make sure to ask at least two questions related to the big ideas of physical, cognitive, or socioemotional development for whatever age/stage you have chosen. You will use the Q & A format, which requires that you write questions and answers out verbatim. For example:
Q. What advice were you given about how best to feed your child in the first year?
A. It is typical in my culture, and in my family, for mom’s to breastfeed so I knew I wanted to follow that tradition and that I would have a lot of support.
Conclusion—Reflect on the interview process and on how the subject’s responses to your questions related to what you are learning from the relevant chapters of the text and other course material. Describe the interviewee’s response in detail (you can quote directly from the interview). Explain how their response correlates with our textbook and course content. Highlight the relevant key term, concept, or theory in bold; your conclusion should address four to five big ideas from the text, and be relevant to all areas of development. Also make sure to examine evidence of cultural practices or cultural development. Explain at least four elements of their culture, as discussed in the text, that may have played a part in their development.
This accurate reference to the text is required for a successful interview; you can only receive a passing grade if you thoroughly and accurately address the relevant aspects of the text and other course content in your conclusion.
Assess the biopsychosocial changes that take place during each life stage.
Compare the different scientific approaches to studying developmental psychology through the analysis of interview responses and observations.
Compare and contrast the different behavior and mental processes of individuals throughout each life stage.
Articulate the multidirectional, multi-contextual, multicultural and multidisciplinary life-span perspectives.
Implement and explain the importance of understanding lifespan development and its significance toward establishing a quality life.
Assignment Supporting Documents
Parenting Interview Techniques and Tips
Sample Interview of a Parent
Criteria A B C D or below
Preparation The student prepared the required number and type of questions. All questions were directly related to the course content. The student prepared the required number and type of questions. Some questions were directly related to the course content. The student prepared the required number and type of questions. Few questions were directly related to the course content.
The student did not prepare the required number and type of questions or the questions were directly related to the course content.
Introduction The student vividly described the person being interviewed; the date, time, and setting of the interview; and their reasons for choosing the person.
The student gave a factual description of the person being interviewed; the date, time, and setting of the interview; and their reasons for choosing the person.
The student very briefly described the introductory material, left out some relevant details. The student did not provide enough detail in the introduction, it was too brief.
Follow-up Question The student asked four or more relevant follow-up questions in an attempt to gather more detail from there subject. The student asked at least three relevant follow-up questions in an attempt to gather more detail from there subject. The student asked one or two relevant follow-up questions in an attempt to gather more detail from there subject.
The student asked no relevant follow-up questions in an attempt to gather more detail from there subject.
Conclusion/Reflection The conclusion was well-organized and accurately applied the text and other resources to facts taken from the interview. The resources were correctly cited and included in a thorough and detailed manner. The conclusion was well-organized and accurately applied the text and other resources to facts taken from the interview. The resources were correctly cited and included in a thorough and detailed manner.
The conclusion was somewhat disorganized but still accurately applied the text and other resources to facts taken from the interview. The resources were correctly cited and included in a thorough and detailed manner in most cases.
The conclusion was disorganized and/or did not accurately apply the text and other resources to facts taken from the interview. The resources were incorrectly cited or not included in a thorough and detailed manner.
Writing/Mechanics There were no errors in spelling, grammar, and organization OR errors were so minor that they did not affect the clarity and quality of the work. There were very few errors in spelling, grammar, and organization OR errors were so minor that they did not affect the clarity and quality of the work.
There were several errors in spelling, grammar, and organization OR the number and type of error had some affect on the clarity and quality of the work.
There were numerous errors in spelling, grammar, and organization OR the number and type of error had a significant affect on the clarity and quality of the work.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How do I find people to interview?
A. Consider interviewing people you know who fit the categories listed above. Since you’re only required to do one interview, you decide which subject will be most convenient (easiest for you to access) and conduct the interview for that assignment submission date.
Q. Do I have to create my own questions?
A. Yes, you will craft interview questions using the guidelines provided in the “Techniques and Tips” sheet found above. You should also be prepared to ask follow-up questions where needed. These are questions that may not be on your list, but that arise as a result of something your interview subject said that you want to know more about. Questions should be related to the big ideas in the chapters relevant to the age/stage of the person you are interviewing.
Q. What questions should I be asking my interview subject?
A. You want to ask questions that relate to the big ideas and concepts in the text and other course resources. Questions must be designed so that the responses you get can easily be tied back to the text and other relevant course content, though you want to be careful not to use too much jargon from the text in your actual questions.
Q. How many questions should I ask?
A. This is tricky because you may need to dig deeper with some subjects in order to get the info you need. In general, it is suggested that you prepare 2-3 questions for each areas of development (physical, cognitive, and socioemotional), and also be prepared to ask follow-up questions as needed. Follow the guidelines on the tip sheet and make sure that the questions are focused on the big ideas in the relevant chapters, and that they take cultural traditions and rituals into account (so that you can tie them back to the text AND other resources that have been provided).
Q. Does the interview have to happen in person?
A. No, you can interview your subject over the phone, Skype, Google Hangouts, or any other platform that will allow you to talk “live”. You may NOT send questions and/responses via email or text, or through any platform where you are not actually talking to each other. The only exception to this is if you have already finished the interview, but realize you’d like a bit more clarity in a particular area. Even then, it is better to talk live, but if you can’t talk in a timely fashion, then texting or emailing is acceptable.
Q. How do I write the Conclusion/Summary? Do I have to tie in information from the text and other sources, or can I just talk about my experience?
A. You must integrate and apply relevant information from the text and other relevant course materials when you analyze the interview content. In your conclusion/summary, you must address at least 4-5 big ideas from the text. Throughout the entire conclusion/summary, there should be at least five references to culture and tradition.
Q. How long does this paper have to be?
A. Page length for this assignment will vary, as is the case with most of the essay work in this course. Some interview subjects will give very detailed answers, others may offer very specific and relevant info in fewer words. Length is not as important as content here. You want to make sure you fulfill the guidelines thoroughly and accurately. Other than that, typical guidelines apply. Make sure your paper has a heading, is written using APA formatting (especially in relation to the in text citations and reference page), and that you double-space and use 12-point font (Times New Roman or Arial are best).