Chapter 1: Exploring Child Development

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Chapter 1: Exploring Child Development. Using the Scientific Method: Research in Child Development. By Kati Tumaneng (for Drs. Cook &amp; Cook). Descriptive Research Methods.

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### Chapter 1:Exploring Child Development

Using the Scientific Method: Research in Child Development

By Kati Tumaneng (for Drs. Cook & Cook)

Descriptive Research Methods
• Research methods that attempt to describe something about a behavior of interest, such as how often it occurs and under what conditions.
• Naturalistic observation – observe child in natural environment
• Structured observation – researcher creates environment
• Self-report – child answers direct questions
• Case studies – intensive studies of one child or small group
Correlational Research Methods: Measuring Associations
• Researchers measure the degree to which two or more variables are related or associated.
• Correlation coefficient – number that indicates direction and strength of an association between two or more variables
• Positive coefficient – the scores on two variables go in the same direction
• Negative coefficient – two variables have an inverse relationship
• Magnitude – strength of the correlation
• Correlation does not prove causation!
Experimental Research Methods: Determining Cause and Effect
• Research method where investigators systematically manipulate an independent variable to determine if it causes a difference in dependent variable.
• Independent variable (IV) – variable that is manipulated in the experiment
• Dependent variable (DV) – outcome measured; dependent on manipulation of independent variable
• Control other variables
• Random assignment to groups – each participant has an equal chance of being assigned to any of the groups
• Research must ask if it is ethical to manipulate IV
Methods for Assessing Development
• Cross-sectional method – design that studies development by comparing groups of children of different ages against one another at the same point in time.
• Can be completed in relatively short time period
• Age not only difference in participants
• Cohort effects – differences in behavior or other attributes that result from the unique experiences of people who grow up in different periods
Methods for Assessing Development
• Longitudinal method – design that studies development by measuring or observing the same children across time as they grow and mature.
• Allows more direct measurement of change over time
• Problems are time involved, dropouts
• May combine methods in hybrid design, such as cross-lagged or sequential.
Ethics in Research with Children
• Must follow ethical guidelines of American Psychological Association and the Society for Research in Child Development
• Most important Ethical Standards
• Risk v. benefits
• Nonharmful procedures
• Informed consent
• Privacy
• Implications of research
• Need approval for projects from an institutional review board (IRB)

http://www.apa.org/ethics/code2002.pdf

Figure 1.4 on Slide 5: from Cook, J. L., & Cook, G. (2005). Child development: Principles and perspectives (1st ed.) (p. 23). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
• Figure 1.5 on Slide 6: from Cook, J. L., & Cook, G. (2005). Child development: Principles and perspectives (1st ed.) (p. 24). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
• Figure 1.7 on Slide 8: from Cook, J. L., & Cook, G. (2005). Child development: Principles and perspectives (1st ed.) (p. 27). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
• Figure 1.8 on Slide 11: from Cook, J. L., & Cook, G. (2005). Child development: Principles and perspectives (1st ed.) (p. 30). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.