White Paper Guidelines

Write a 5–7-page white paper that provides an overview of current, peer-reviewed research on an issue affecting adolescent development and recommends steps for further action.

Note: The assessments in this course build upon each other, so you are strongly encouraged to complete them in sequence.

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Professionals are often asked to support their organizations’ research on issues, present their findings, and recommend next steps.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:


Competency 1: Analyze how theories of development and related research explain aspects of adolescent growth and behavior.
Evaluate current research related to the chosen topic in adolescent development.
Competency 2: Assess the potential impact of individual and cultural differences on adolescent development.
Evaluate the relationship between the literature and real-world practice in relation to the chosen topic in adolescent development.
Competency 3: Assess evidence-based interventions to address adolescent developmental issues.
Recommend best practices for positive adolescent development.
Competency 4: Communicate in a manner that is consistent with expectations for professionals in the field of psychology.
Use grammar, punctuation, and mechanics expected of graduate-level composition and expression.
Use APA format and style in written documents, with only minor errors that do not detract from meaning.

While there is a myriad of potential problems in adolescence, some of the more common issues include increased participation in risky or delinquent activity, increases in physical and mental health issues, and issues related to socialization (such as peer group dynamics, sexual identity, and body image).

Risky behaviors, such as crime, substance use, unprotected sex, and reckless driving, reach their peak during adolescence as compared to other stages of life (Steinberg, 2014). To date, the research indicates few empirically supported programs for reducing risky health behavior during adolescence (Steinberg, 2015).
Nutrition, exercise, and sleep are other major areas that offer health-enhancing or health-comprising behavioral choices for adolescents (Santrock, 2019). Adolescents and young adults have less access to health care than other age groups due to a variety of factors (Cobb, 2007).
Socialization for today’s teens looks very different from just a few decades ago. Adolescents spend more waking time in a school setting than in any other environment (Eccles & Roeser, 2011). Navigating the balance between peer groups and individual identity, sexuality, and body image are sources of intense stress for many adolescents. The way in which issues of loyalty, compassion, and acceptance are dealt with during this period often forms the templates for subsequent adult relationships (Santrock, 2019).
Cobb, N. J. (2007). Adolescence: Continuity, change, and diversity (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Eccles, J. S., & Roeser, R. W. (2011). Schools as developmental contexts during adolescence. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21(1), 225–241.

Santrock, J. W. (2019). Adolescence (17th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Steinberg, L. (2014). Age of opportunity: Lessons from the new science of adolescence. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Steinberg, L. (2015). How to improve the health of American adolescents. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(6), 711–715.

To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the professional community.

Identify what you consider to be the most under-addressed adolescent health issues, problem behaviors, or social/identity issues in the United States today.

Why are these issues so crucial to the present and future health of adolescents?
What might be an ideal approach to ensuring related healthy interventions for American teens?
What venues and organizations might be the most effective at executing the proposed intervention (or interventions)?
How might adolescent social relationships (friendships, intimate relationships, or relationships with parents) affect the approach to interventions?

APA Resources
Because this is a psychology course, you must format this assessment according to APA guidelines, since it is the writing style of the profession. Use the following resources to guide your work. Additional resources about APA can be found in the Research Resources in the left navigation menu of your courseroom.

APA Paper Template [DOCX].
American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Available in the courseroom via the VitalSource Bookshelf link.

Suggested Resources
The resources provided here are optional and support the assessment. They provide helpful information about the topics. You may use other resources of your choice to prepare for this assessment; however, you will need to ensure that they are appropriate, credible, and valid. The PSY-FP7230 – Adolescent Psychology Library Guide can help direct your research. The Supplemental Resources and Research Resources, both linked from the left navigation menu in your courseroom, provide additional resources to help support you.

A Selection of Research on Topics in Adolescent Development
The following resources are scholarly research articles related to current issues in adolescent development. Search for research articles related to a topic you have chosen on a challenge adolescents face and how it impacts adolescent development.

Hurwich-Reiss, E., & Gudiño, O. G. (2016). Acculturation stress and conduct problems among Latino adolescents: The impact of family factors. Journal of Latina/O Psychology, 4(4), 218–231.
Mutti-Packer, S., Hodgins, D. C., el-Guebaly, N., Casey, D. M., Currie, S. R., Williams, R. J., & … Schopflocher, D. P. (2017). Problem gambling symptomatology and alcohol misuse among adolescents: A parallel-process latent growth curve model. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 31(4), 447–456.
Shapiro, L. A. S., & Margolin, G. (2014). Growing up wired: Social networking sites and adolescent psychosocial development. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 17(1), 1–18.
Zebrak, K. A., & Green, K. M. (2017). The role of young adult social bonds, substance problems, and sexual risk in pathways between adolescent substance use and midlife risky sexual behavior among urban African Americans. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 31(7), 828–838.
A Selection of Evidence-Based Best Practices for Adolescent Issues
The following articles present examples of evidence-based best practices for addressing selected issues facing adolescents. Search for evidence-based practices that address the issue/topic you have chosen.

Auslander, W., McGinnis, H., Tlapek, S., Smith, P., Foster, A., Edmond, T., & Dunn, J. (2017). Adaptation and implementation of a trauma-focused cognitive behavioral intervention for girls in child welfare. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 87(3), 206–215.
Gutman, L. M., & Schoon, I. (2015). Preventive interventions for children and adolescents: A review of meta-analytic evidence. European Psychologist, 20(4), 231–241.
Houck, C. D., Barker, D. H., Hadley, W., Brown, L. K., Lansing, A., Almy, B., & Hancock, E. (2016). The 1-year impact of an emotion regulation intervention on early adolescent health risk behaviors. Health Psychology, 35(9), 1036–1045.
Evaluating the Relationship between Research and Real-World Practice
This resource is an example of a learner using library search skills to apply findings from research to improve a work situation.

Information Literacy and Your Workplace | Transcript.
The following research articles illustrate the relationship between research findings and practice.

Aldao, A., & De Los Reyes, A. (2015). Commentary: A practical guide for translating basic research on affective science to implementing physiology in clinical child and adolescent assessments. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 44(2), 341–351.
Case, A. D. (2017). A critical-positive youth development model for intervening with minority youth at risk for delinquency. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 87(5), 510–519.
Writing a White Paper
Hyde, C. (2017). White Papers PowerPoint Presentation. Purdue Online Writing Lab. Retrieved from https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/546/03/
This assignment requires you to write a white paper. This resource discusses the characteristics of a white paper.

Assessment Instructions
Note: The assessments in this course build upon each other, so you are strongly encouraged to complete them in sequence.

A white paper is a professional paper that compiles and summarizes present knowledge about an issue and proposes future action. Compose your white paper building from your initial proposal. Your target audience is your work colleagues—educated laypeople who will understand your field but will not necessarily have expertise in the area of adolescent psychology.

If needed, use the “White Papers PowerPoint Presentation,” listed in the Suggested Resources, for assistance in developing the format consistent with expectations for a white paper.

Evaluate current research related to your chosen topic in adolescent development. What are the current challenges that adolescents experience in relation to your chosen issue? How does that issue impact adolescent development?
Evaluate the relationship between the literature and real-world practice in relation to your chosen topic in adolescent development. What has current research suggested about underlying causes and evidence­-based best practices for addressing the issue?
Recommend best practices for positive adolescent development. What subsequent solutions or best practices would be viable options for your organization to adopt in response to the issue?
Use grammar, punctuation, and mechanics expected of graduate-level composition and expression. The quality of your writing will determine the clarity and acceptability of your argument.
Use APA format and style in written documents, with only minor errors that do not detract from meaning. Grounding your argument in the accepted format for the field lends credence to your document.

Written communication: Written communication should be free of errors that detract from the overall message.
APA style and formatting: Resources and citations should be formatted per current APA style and formatting standards.
Use APA subheadings.
Include a title page, abstract, table of contents, and reference list, per APA guidelines.
Length of paper: 5–7 double-spaced pages, not including title page, table of contents, abstract, or references list.
References: A minimum of 12 peer-reviewed resources are required.
Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 points.

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