Human Development Theory (Final) Paper Outline
The purpose of the theory paper is to assist students in developing self-awareness and gaining an
understanding of major human development theories. The final paper will include an annotated
bibliography, a theory evaluation, and a self-evaluation. The paper will also afford the student
the opportunity to examine his/her lifestyle, values, systems, needs, thinking patterns, habits, and
behaviors in relation to the Newman & Newman Life Development perspective. This assignment
is required to contain the following “student version” APA style format elements:
1. Title page (the title should be unique to your paper; it should not be “Theory
Paper.” Be creative and give your work an applicable title.)
2. No abstract (follow the student version paper of APA)
3. Body of paper/content (includes introductory paragraph)
4. Summary paragraph
5. Reference page (APA citation format)
6. Attach annotated bibliography
7. Be double-spaced throughout; 12-point Times New Roman font; headings; avoid
the use of “I” in the paper – use third person language; paragraph minimum length 3
sentences, maximum length 8 sentences
8. No direct quotes are permitted for this assignment. All writing must be a result
of student’s analysis of professional literature, critical thinking, and conclusions
drawn, as well as paraphrasing from references
Note: The body (content) of Part 2 and Part 3 of the theory paper is not to exceed 8 typed pages.
This does not include the title page, annotated bibliography, and reference pages. The final
paper, with all components included, should be approximately 11-12 pages in length. The
annotated bibliography should be attached at the end of your paper. Students are expected to use
concise, professional writing. The student should consider the specific audience that the paper is
being written for…the course instructor and social work faculty. As the paper will be evaluated
based on the criteria above and within the grading rubric to measure the student’s ability to
communicate about and apply the theories within the social work profession, it is important that
the student writes using professional social work language. Furthermore, as this paper will be a
part of the portfolio, social work faculty members will also view the paper for relevance to social
work, understanding of theories, clarity, and organization.
There are three parts to the theory paper. Each of the following (Parts One, Two, & Three)
should be included in this assignment.
Part One: Annotated Bibliography The purpose of Part One is to develop a peer-reviewed
resource listing from the research literature that can help provide additional support in writing
Part Two and Part Three of this assignment. By completing an annotated bibliography, students
will be expected to demonstrate appropriate research skills as well as the correct usage of APA
7th edition for formatting the work.
From the seven theories of development presented in Chapter 2 of the course text, select two (2)
that you are most interested in learning about and would prefer to use in working with a
multicultural client base in social work. Include the rationale for selecting these as your preferred
theories. Describe how these two theories can be applied to the social work profession regarding
human development. Provide population-specific examples that support and reflect theoretical
application from the professional literature (i.e., adolescents, parents, same-sex couples, older
populations, addiction, etc. – these are just a few examples).
Your annotated bibliography will consist of the following topic areas:
1) Your choice of any (two) theories from Chapter 2 that you are most interested in
learning more about and how the theories selected might be used in assessing client
2) Locate six (6) applicable peer-reviewed journal articles about the two selected
theories from the Social Work, Counseling, Mental Health, Human Development, etc.
literature (3 for each theory selected). All journal articles must be current and written
within the past 10 years (2013-2023). Please note, the course textbook cannot be
listed as one of the six references for the annotated bibliography.
To complete this assignment, see the Annotated Bibliography APA Style example in the
following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8nO9rezBNk
Follow the APA style example in the link above to complete your annotated
bibliography. The following components are required:
Include a minimum of 6 references that are appropriate academic resources (peer-
reviewed articles dated within the past 10 years – the course textbook cannot be listed as
one of the six references on the annotated bibliography).
Format your references in APA 7th edition style.
Identify the type of source (peer-reviewed articles) and provide a summary, in your own
professional words, explaining the information included in each reference – no direct
Describe the relevance of each reference to the selected theories you have chosen.
If you have any questions about the credibility of a reference, contact the Mary Livermore
Library librarians for support and guidance as to whether an article is considered “Peer-
Part Two: Theory Evaluation Outline (3 pages content minimum) Complete the following
steps to write the Theory Evaluation (Part Two). Use your annotated bibliography resources to
provide additional support to your theory evaluation along with your course textbook. You will
need to incorporate a minimum of 4 appropriate peer-reviewed articles from the annotated
bibliography (Part One).
● Select a film from the Film Options list below, as the case study for Part Two, students
will apply their two selected theories from chapter 2 to a main character in the film.
Students will need to view the film in its entirety before starting Part Two.
● From a social work perspective, explain how you would apply each of the theories you
selected in Part One to a main character in the film. In applying the theories to this case
study, describe what challenges you might face if the character was an actual client.
Describe any cultural diversity factors you would need to consider in working with the
individual as a client. What life stage is the main character in the film? Using Newman
and Newman’s Life Stage model, explain the developmental tasks, psychosocial crisis,
and core pathology traits associated with the main character’s particular life stage. What
are the strengths of the two theories you selected? What are the weaknesses? How would
the strengths and weaknesses of the two theories affect your client, (i.e., main character in
the film)? Explain any other notable observations you have learned about the theories as
it relates to the character in the film.
● Summary (one paragraph minimum): Provide a succinct closing paragraph that
summarizes your writing and helps to transition and inform the reader (course instructor)
for the next section of the paper (self-evaluation).
Part Three: Self-Evaluation (3 pages minimum) Part Three will consist of completing the tasks
listed below. Use at least 4 of your annotated bibliography references to further support this self-
evaluation component along with your textbook. Although students are encouraged, assisted,
and expected to engage in the process of self-exploration and personal growth, no student will be
required to disclose information beyond what is considered by the student to be comfortable and
● Examine the developmental tasks and experiences based upon the Newman and Newman
Life stage model using your own most previous, current, and future life stages. Include
the six basic concepts of psychosocial theory: stages of development, developmental
tasks, psychosocial crisis, central process for resolving the crisis, radius of significant
relationships, and coping.
● Write an in-depth reflection about where you were as a developing human being in your
previous life stage, how that has contributed to where you are now, and where you see
yourself in the future. Write about the developmental tasks you have completed
successfully and the tasks you are currently negotiating. Include what “barriers and
successes” you have experienced in completing each stage (most previous, current, and
future). Which developmental tasks do you still need to work on? Give examples that
reflect application of the theories you have learned about to your lived experiences.
● Summary (one paragraph minimum): Provide a succinct closing paragraph that
summarizes your writing. Be sure to include your own thoughts about how these theories
are relevant to the social work profession, to clients, and to your own life.
Film Options Medical
1. Theory of Everything
2. Still Alice
3. The Big Sick
4. The Fault in Our Stars
5. The Bucket List
6. My Sister’s Keeper
7. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
8. A Walk to Remember