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Domestic Violence and Adolescent Development

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Research Question: Is there a link between adolescents who witness domestic violence and impaired adolescent development?

Paragraph #1: Introduction Paragraph:

– State the purpose of the paper, which is addressing your research goals

Paragraph #2: Defining Variables and Hypothesis:

  • State the names of your independent variable and dependent variable.

The names of the variables used in the various articles that you read may vary, and that’s ok. When selecting the names of your variables, it is recommended that you use names that are: descriptive and not vague and are commonly used in the literature.

  • In the next few sentences define your independent and dependent variable. If the articles that you read for the paper do not explicitly define the variables, look in the methods section of the articles and see how it was assessed as this will provide you with some insight into writing the definition. The key is to provide a clear and explicit definition (with a reference) that matches the rest of your paper. That is, if you define the variables as one thing, but you seem to cite studies in the paper looking at something that seems to be different, points may be deducted.
  • Thus, you probably should define your IV and DV early on in the process, so you will be consistent across your studies.
  • In the final sentence, state your hypothesis or the types of association you expect to find between your independent variable and dependent variable.

Paragraph #3: Summary of Empirical Article #1:

  • You will provide a summary for your first (of four) empirical article.
  • In this article summary, you must have the following information:
  1. Purpose of the article:
  • State the purpose of the article as reported by the author(s).
  • Note that the purpose of the article may be slightly different than your paper topic.
  • Sample characteristics:
  • Some papers will report the characteristics of the sample when it was initially recruited but then perform the analyses on a subsample (i.e., families with complete data). Make sure that you report the sample characteristics for those individuals included in the analyses (if it’s available).
  • Age, ethnicity, gender, income/SES, marital status, family income, etc.
  • Sample characteristics may be a strength or limitation of the study.
  • Note that some authors don’t report much (or any) information about the sample.
  • Relevant study variables:
  • Only focus on the variables that are relevant to your paper topic ignore those factors that the authors examined but are not relevant to your research question.
  • Do not list the name of or citation for the instrument, just the name of the factor and informant/method for each relevant study variable.

Relevant results:

  • Make sure that you indicate the types of associations (i.e., positive or negative) and which (relevant) associations were and were not significant.
  • Note that the authors may discuss findings that include factors that aren’t relevant to your paper. While these findings may be interesting, don’t discuss them unless they use the variables relevant to your paper.
  • For instance, in Criss et al. (2003), the authors examined whether synchrony was correlated to youth antisocial behavior and social skills. Since these analyses aren’t relevant to the research question for the sample paper, these findings wouldn’t be discussed
  • Methodological strengths and limitations of the study- focus on strengths and limitations of the research methods and designs.

Paragraph #4: Summary of Empirical Article #2:

  • Provide summary of your 2nd (of four) empirical article
  • Purpose of article
  • Sample characteristics
  • Relevant study variable
  • Relevant results
  • Methodological strengths and limitations of the study

Paragraph #5: Summary of Empirical Article #3

  • Provide summary of your 3rd (of four) empirical article
  • Purpose of article
  • Sample characteristics
  • Relevant study variable
  • Relevant results
  • Methodological strengths and limitations of the study

 

Paragraph #6; Summary of Empirical Article #4

  • Provide summary of your 4th (of four) empirical article
  • Purpose of article
  • Sample characteristics
  • Relevant study variable
  • Relevant results
  • Methodological strengths and limitations of the study

Paragraph #7: Research Integration and Explanation:

  • In this paragraph, you will integrate the findings (i.e., What was the overall pattern of findings?) and provide possible explanations for the overall pattern of findings (i.e., Why was the IV related to the DV).
  • First what was the overall pattern of findings across the four studies?
  • Second, what are 2-3 possible explanations for the findings? Why was the independent variable related to the dependent variable?
  • These explanations could come from the articles themselves. In fact, good articles provide possible explanations for the findings in the Introduction and Discussion sections. Don’t forget to provide proper documentation if you use someone else’s ideas.

Paragraph #8: Integration of Methodological Strengths, Limitations, and Suggestions for Future Research:

  • In this paragraph you will state what the overall methodological strengths and limitations across the literature you reviewed and you will provide suggestions for future research.
  • Strengths and limitations (S&L):
    • Discuss the overall S&L of the literature that you reviewed. What was the overall pattern of S&L? In other words, do not simply restate the S&L for each study one by one but integrate this information.
    • As you did when writing your article summaries, focus on research design and measure S&L
  • Suggestions for Future Research:
    • When discussing suggestions for future research, you can get your ideas from the limitations

Paragraph #9: Personal Reflection:

  • In this paragraph (which includes an introductory sentence) you will reflect on:
    • The process of writing the paper
    • What you learned
    • How your views on the subject changed during the process of writing the paper
    • This in the only section you can write using the first person singular
    • The rest of the paper must be written in third person

For paper use:

  • 1 inch margins
  • Double spaced
  • Times new roman -12 point font spacing after each paragraph: 0 pt. (Note:

The default for Microsoft word is 8 or 10 pt., so you will have to change it).

  • Paper should be 10 pages
  • Saved as a Microsoft Word for Windows computer files
  • You are not allowed to quote in the paper.
  • Your paper must be written using APA formatting

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