PSY 2230E Adolescent Development ONLINE
Fall 2019
Article Summary Assignment
This assignment meets Course Learning Outcome 3 of 4: Given a prescribed format, students will read and summarize an adolescent development research article.
Bloom’s Taxonomy Requirements: Comprehension, Analysis, Evaluation
APA Standards Addressed:
-Identify principal methods and types of questions that emerge in specific content domains. (APA 1.2b)
-Demonstrate psychology information literacy (APA 2.2)
-Read and summarize general ideas and conclusions from psychological sources accurately. (APA 2.2a)
-Describe research methods used by psychologists including respective advantages and disadvantages. (APA 2.4a)
-Express ideas in written formats that reflect basic psychological concepts and principles. (APA 4.1a)
DO NOT worry about having to “do” what is listed above. By completing this assignment, you will be demonstrating skills in the areas above. This information box is provided simple as a reminder that your work on this assignment does serve a purpose.
Reading a research article can be very challenging for a variety of reasons, particularly as a student. These articles are written by experts for other experts rather than for novices or students. In psychology, our published research articles follow a standard format: abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion.
 The abstract is a very brief summary of the entire project, including the aims and results.
 The introduction sets the stage for the rest of the article and requires a great deal of higher level thinking to develop (analysis and evaluation of individual research articles and synthesis into the new idea or approach taken in the current article). In the introduction, the authors discuss research relevant to their current pursuit and present the prior research in a manner that develops a rationale for their study. This rationale guides everything else that follows. This section is VERY useful to students.
 The methods section describes every detail of the current study, from the participants to any materials used to any decisions about study design (e.g. longitudinal or cross-sectional). This section is most useful for other researchers looking to replicate or extend the findings of the current article.
 The results section contains a lot of statistics. Scientists use statistical manipulation of data to help determine the effects of what they are investigating. Psychology students learn about basic statistics as undergraduates, but research articles often employ statistical measures and processes with which students are unfamiliar. As such, this section is once again largely for other researchers.
 The discussion section presents an interpretation of the results. This section requires evaluation and synthesis as well because the current findings must be examined in light of previous findings and with respect to the rationale set out for the study. This section is also VERY useful to students.
Unfortunately, most students approach reading research articles as they would a textbook chapter, starting at the first page and attempting to read all the way through to the end. The problem with that approach is that students often get lost in the methods and results sections, losing sight of the connections between the introduction and discussion. Even experts don’t read articles this way. Personally, I start with the abstract, of course, but then I often go straight to the discussion to see what they are concluding, particularly if I am familiar with pervious work in the target area. If I am less familiar, I read the introduction before the discussion. Once I am clear on why they conducted the study and what they claim to have found, I go back and read the methods and results.
Fortunately, for this assignment, I’m going to ask you to read an article differently than you might think, and the process I am suggesting will be very useful to you as educators. I am literally giving you permission to skip
the results sections outright when you read research articles as professionals, and the methods sections will be areas that you skim after the fact if you need clarification about the participants, assessment measures, or any other details that can be found in the methods section (but only after you have read the abstract, introduction, and discussion).
The article that you have been assigned is Decreases in Psychological Well-Being Among American Adolescents After 2012 and Links to Screen Time During the Rise of Smartphone Technology (Twenge, Martin, & Campbell, 2018). This article is a multi-study article because it contains two experiments in one paper. So, there is a general introduction, but then each study has a brief introduction to explain the purpose of each study. Each study also has a discussion section, followed by a general discussion section at the end of the paper. The assignment prompt and grading specs reflect this format.
To read the article, you are going to do the following (and take notes for yourself throughout – trust me on this one):
1. Read the title carefully to try to make sense of what you are about to read.
2. Read the abstract VERY carefully (multiple times if you have to) so that you get the gist of what they were after before you try to read the larger sections of the article.
3. Read the introduction so that you can understand the relevant research and how the authors have used it to formulate their rationale for conducting the experiment(s) you will be reading about.
4. Read the introduction and discussion for Study 1.
5. Read the introduction and discussion for Study 2.
6. Read the general discussion to determine what they found and whether their findings were in line with their expectations. You should also be looking for how the authors cycle back to the main points in the introduction to see if they close the loop and discuss how their study fits in with the previous findings that they reviewed in the intro. One last thing to look for is a consideration of the limitations of the study and future directions.
In your summary, you must address the following:
1. What is the purpose of the article, including the specific purposes and rationales of each of the two studies that were conducted? If you need help here, try to determine what questions the authors were trying to answer with their research.
2. What did they find? How are their findings significant? Do they align their findings with what they presented in the introduction? Do they discuss next steps?
3. Reflect upon how/why this article is relevant to you as an educator of adolescents.
Your summary should be typed, double-spaced, and approximately 3-4 pages in length. Writing mechanics do count, so please be mindful of your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Please refer back to the article by citing appropriately (e.g. Twenge et al., 2018) when you do. If you are unsure of when to cite, err on the side of caution (a good rule of thumb is to cite anything that is not common knowledge). Do not use quotes – make sure everything is in your own words. Your work will be graded according to the grading specifications on the next page. You must meet all specs to pass this assignment. If you do not, you will have the opportunity to revise and resubmit for full credit.
Grading Specs General purpose is explained clearly and accurately. Rationale/purpose of each study is explained clearly and accurately. Findings are explained clearly and accurately. Reflection upon application of the article to educator practice is evident and sound. Student statements are supported by evidence from the article. Citations are present when necessary. Bloom’s Taxonomy: Comprehension has been demonstrated reasonably. Bloom’s Taxonomy: Analysis of the reasoning in the article has been demonstrated reasonably. Writing mechanics are sound and errors do not impede reader’s ability to easily comprehend the content.