Week 6 – Assignment: Examine Research for your Signature Assignment

Stages of Development

Your behavior develops and evolves throughout your lifespan. While developmental theorists have identified stages or critical periods of life in which certain milestones are typically achieved, research also has found the social environmental influences human development and behavior. As a social worker, understanding the

complexities of development from both universal and individual perspectives is central to achieving social justice for your clients.

Erik Erikson suggested a psychosocial approach to explain human development. He posited that external forces shape your life development, which occurs in specific periods of life from infancy through old age. A highlight of his theory is that each life stage contains specific tasks to be completed and crises to be managed (Knight, 2017).

Jean Piaget is one of the main theorists behind the models of cognitive growth and development. Like Erikson, Piaget presented a stage theory but focused specifically on child cognitive development. According to Piaget, children construct an understanding of the world around them using the same basic structure, but it is their life experiences that shape their behavior (Siegler, 2016).

Be sure to review this week’s resources carefully. You are expected to apply the information from these resources when you prepare your assignments.


Knight, Z. G. (2017). A proposed model of psychodynamic psychotherapy linked to

Erik Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development. Clinical Psychology &

                   Psychotherapy 24(5), 1047–1058. doi:10.1002/cpp.2066

Siegler, R. S. (2016). Continuity and change in the field of cognitive development and in the   perspectives of one cognitive developmentalist. Child Development Perspectives,      10(2), 128-133. doi:10.1111/cdep.12173

Books and Resources for this Week

  • Human Behavior and the Social Environment: Shifting Paradigms in Essential Knowledge for Social
  • Knight, Z. G. (2017). A proposed model of psychodynamic psychotherapy linked to Erik Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development.
  • Ryan, K. O. (Producer). (2009). Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development [Video file]
  • Preparing an Annotated Outline [PDF file].

Week 6 – Assignment: Examine Research for your Signature Assignment

This week your task is to prepare an annotated outline for your Signature Assignment. Use the following criteria to organize your outline, which will become the basis of your Signature Assignment.

  • The Signature Assignment for this course is to identify a current social problem with which a social worker may be involved. As part of your presentation of the problem, be sure to describe how elements of human rights and social justice intersect with this social problem.
  • Select a population that would require social work services related to this problem.
  • Select a developmental phase of life (i.e., infancy and early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, adulthood, or late adulthood), and then explain the implications of this problem on an individual’s life course trajectory.
  • Along with the developmental theory related to the stage of life you identified above, identify one theory of human behavior and the social environment that is used to support work with this social problem. Find at least two sources to support this claim.
  • Examine how you as a social worker would advocate for the affected population regarding this problem.

Support your assessment of human behavior in social environments by drawing upon at least five scholarly works in the discipline of social work.

Length: 2-3 pages, not including title and reference pages

Your assignment should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course by providing new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

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