The final project for this course is a program evaluation paper. You will select and research an existing program that is intended to promote healthy
development, or that addresses issues of atypical development. You will examine the theoretical foundations of the selected program, critique its ability or
consideration for meeting the needs of diverse populations, examine program effectiveness, and utilize concepts from the course to recommend potential
improvements to the program. You will place yourself in the role of a consultant who has been contracted to review the program to determine necessary
changes or make recommendations regarding future funding.
Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:
I. Select a Developmental Issue: Identify and research a developmental issue for children or adolescents. Developmental issues can be examined from the
perspective of the promotion of healthy development, or you may select a particular developmental issue in the form of an impairment or diagnosis.
A. Describe the developmental issue you are examining for the purpose of this program evaluation, including if the issue is considered typical
development or atypical development in nature. [PSY-632-05]
i. What distinguishes this issue in terms of criteria, if applicable? For example, are you promoting healthy cognitive development,
addressing developmental delays, or addressing an actual diagnostic mental health disorder? What are the criteria or key identifiers
for the selected issue?
ii. What is the primary area or areas of impact across physical, cognitive, affective, and social domains?
B. Describe the population who is affected by the selected developmental issue, at risk for the selected developmental issue, or who would best be
served by a program that promotes healthy development. In other words, is there a primary age range for successfully promoting health for the
selected developmental issue? Does this issue affect a particular socioeconomic group? Is the issue gender-specific? Are there cultural
considerations or groups that are primarily impacted by the issue? [PSY-632-04]
C. Determine the sociocultural impact that the selected developmental issue has on the field of psychology in general, as well as on communities
and organizations in which developmental psychology is practiced. [PSY-632-03]
i. How common is the developmental issue?
ii. What organizations, societies, or groups promote awareness of the developmental issue?
II. Research and Theoretical Foundations: Apply contemporary developmental psychology research and classic and contemporary theories to the selected
A. Analyze contemporary developmental psychology research in explaining the selected developmental issue. In other words, what does research
have to say about the evolution of your selected developmental issue? Be sure to support your position with specific examples. [PSY-632-02]
B. Apply the three core themes of developmental psychology to the selected developmental issue.
i. Where does the selected issue fall on the continuum of nature versus nurture? Be sure to substantiate your claims with specific
scholarly research. [PSY-632-01]
ii. Where does the selected issue fall on the continuum of continuity versus discontinuity? Be sure to substantiate your claims with
specific scholarly research. [PSY-632-01]
iii. Where does the selected issue fall on the continuum of stability versus change? Be sure to substantiate your claims with specific
scholarly research. [PSY-632-01]
III. Program Selection: Identify an existing program that targets the selected developmental issue for prevention or treatment.
A. Discuss the target of the program in terms of whether the program promotes healthy development, targets prevention of a developmental
issue, or provides actual treatment for an issue. In other words, is the program promotional, preventative, or prescriptive? [PSY-632-02]
B. Determine the extent to which the assessment and treatment methods employed by the program address the selected developmental issue
across diverse populations. [PSY-632-04]
i. What is the process for an individual with the selected developmental issue to be admitted to the selected program? What admissions
policies or procedures might need to be considered in terms of cultural, ethnic, or socioeconomic standing?
ii. What methods are utilized by the program to provide intervention, health promotion, or treatment for the developmental issue with
regard to cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic sensitivity?
C. Analyze the selected program’s methods for the developmental theory and research that you feel were chosen to serve as its foundation.
i. Does the program clearly stick to the core concepts of the developmental theory in its approach to assessment? Be sure to
substantiate your claims with specific examples and research. [PSY-632-01]
ii. Do the treatment or intervention methods vary from what the developmental theory would support or recommend? Be sure to
explain your rationale. [PSY-632-02]
iii. How might the assessment, prevention, or treatment methods be aligned with a different developmental theory? Be sure to justify
your position with research. [PSY-632-01]
IV. Sociocultural Evaluation: Critique current assessment and intervention strategies utilized by the selected program for their applicability across diverse
populations for improving clinical sensitivity to the individual client context.
A. Identify the population that was originally utilized for program development in terms of cultural, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic indicators.
i. Was the program developed to address a specific population or group with respect to cultural, ethnic, gender, and/or socioeconomic
ii. In what geographic regions has the program been deployed and studied for data collection?
iii. What impact might the process of regional and sociocultural population have on the program?
B. Analyze the effectiveness of assessment and intervention strategies across different cultural or ethnic groups. [PSY-632-04]
i. What methods were utilized to examine the effectiveness of assessment or intervention strategies across different cultural or ethnic
ii. What strengths of the selected program are apparent regarding the effectiveness to provide assessment and intervention strategies
across sociocultural groups?
iii. What limitations or concerns of the selected program are apparent regarding the effective provision of assessment and intervention
strategies across sociocultural groups?
V. Program Evaluation
A. Analyze the selected program with regard to the core developmental psychology themes (nature vs. nurture, continuity vs. discontinuity, and
stability vs. change). [PSY-632-01]
i. Which of the core developmental themes in psychology are reflected in the selected program? Explain.
ii. Given the identified core developmental themes reflected in the program, where on the continuum of each would the current
program lie and why?
B. Evaluate the selected program for the use of contemporary theories of development for key factors that impact child and adolescent
development with regard to prevention, assessment, and intervention strategies. Be sure to provide justification for your reasoning. [PSY-632-
i. How effectively does the program’s use of prevention, assessment, and/or intervention strategies align with the original theoretical
model that you feel was utilized to establish the program?
ii. Discuss the evidence that prevention, assessment, and/or intervention strategies utilized in the selected program may originate from
additional or different developmental theories or models.
iii. What alternatives to prevention, assessment, and/or intervention strategies for the selected program would improve alignment with
the original developmental theory?
C. Assess the impact of sociocultural influences on the communities and organizations in which developmental psychology is practiced. [PSY-632-
i. What are the impacts of the selected program on the communities and organizations in which it is currently operating?
ii. How does this program contribute to knowledge in the field of developmental psychology?
iii. What are the sociocultural implications of the program with regard to the communities and organizations in which developmental
psychology is practiced?
D. Assess the ability of the selected program to address typical and atypical development in children and adolescents across physical, cognitive,
affective, and social domains for informing prevention, assessment, and intervention strategies. [PSY-632-05]
i. If the selected program targeted health promotion (typical development), what determines if it is effective at meeting this goal? What
statistics or measures exist to support it? If not, recommend an approach for assessing the program’s ability.
ii. If the selected program targeted a developmental issue or diagnosis (atypical development), what determines if it is effective at
meeting this goal? Do statistics or measures exist to support it? If not, recommend an approach for assessing the program’s ability