Psychology of Trauma Fall 2019
Research Paper Research Question Due: In lecture, 10/24/19 1/2-1 page, double-spaced, 1-inch margins + first page of two possible articles (see below) Final Paper Due: In lecture, 11/19/19 5-6 pages (of text, not including references or cover page), double-spaced, 1-inch margins Description of Assignment For your final paper, you will formulate a question about the psychology of trauma, find and read three empirical journal articles related to your question, and provide a thoughtful, well-written answer to the question, based on your reading. Sample Questions (these are suggestions only; you can pick your own question) Why do victims of trauma engage in self-harming behavior? Do civilians and rescue workers experience the same kind of secondary/vicarious trauma? What are the similarities and differences in how men and women cope with trauma? Which types of post-trauma interventions have the most effect on neurobiological changes? How can play therapy help children cope with the effects of sexual abuse? How does child abuse affect the child’s social relationships in the future? What are the psychological effects of trauma on torture victims? How effective is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy? How does prior victimhood relate to becoming a perpetrator of violence? Suggested Organization for the Paper 1) A 1-2 paragraph description of the question of interest. 2) A 1-2 paragraph summary of the method and results of each of the studies you read (there might be more than three total, if one or more of your articles reported multiple studies). Be succinct and do not plagiarize! Use your own words to describe what was done and what was found. 3) A 2-4 page integrative summary of the results presented in the three articles, in which you provide as clear an answer as possible to your original question. Note that in some cases, there might not be a clear answer. For example, if one study found that Asian Americans had higher rates of PTSD than European Americans, a second study found that European Americans had higher rates of PTSD than Asian Americans, and a third study found no ethnic differences in the prevalence rates of PTSD, there is no clear answer to the question “Are Asian Americans and European Americans equally likely to experience PTSD after a trauma?” In a case like this, your integrative summary should focus on a discussion of why the three studies might have had such different findings. Perhaps one or two studies had serious methodological problems. In that case, you might want to rely more heavily on the findings of the other study. Or perhaps all studies were methodologically strong, but there were key differences that might explain the different findings. Be sure to have a strong bottom line at the end of your paper, even if it is merely to say “We don’t know the answer to this question yet.” Additional Notes The paper should follow APA format (if you need assistance with APA format, consult with your TA). Please include a cover page, a separate page with an abstract, and a reference page; these do not count towards the 5-6 page total. Page numbers are required. Proofread and spell-check your paper before turning it in.
Psychology of Trauma Fall 2019
The articles you review should be empirical articles from medical or psychology journals. If you’re not sure whether an article is empirical, or whether a journal is a medical or psychology journal, please check with your TA. In some cases, journal articles from other fields (e.g., sociology or criminal justice) might be acceptable; please check with your TA. Abstracts from dissertations are not acceptable to use. If you can’t find enough articles on your question, broaden the question. For example, if your question is “What kinds of vicarious reactions do rape crisis counselors experience?” and you can’t find enough articles specifically on rape crisis counselors, you could broaden your focus to look at vicarious reactions among any social service provider who deals with trauma. If there are too many articles about your question, you may want to make it narrower. For example, if your question relates to sexual harassment, you could narrow your focus in a number of ways — racialized sexual harassment, sexual harassment among middle school students, attitudes held by people who sexually harass, etc. It is also ok to just pick three articles from a larger set of possibilities. Ideally, try to pick the best and most relevant articles, rather than the ones that are most easily obtainable. Don’t wait until the last minute to find your articles, or you will feel frustrated. Many articles can be obtained via interlibrary loan, but this can take up to a week or longer. Aim to have all your articles in hand a couple of weeks before the paper is due (i.e., by around November 6). Discussion Section Assignments and Assistance The TAs have devised ways to assist you with your papers during discussion sections, and help you to benefit from each other’s efforts. To facilitate this process, please note the following assignments for sections. Your TA will provide more information and may have additional suggested milestone assignments or exercises. Week 2/3 (10/10, 10/11, or 10/15): Paper assignment will be introduced and discussed. Bring a copy of the assignment (i.e., this document) to section. Week 4: In lecture on 10/24, turn in a one-paragraph description of the research question that you are tentatively interested in pursuing, along with a printout of the first page of two potential articles that you might use. Please include your section day/time and your TA’s name. Week 5/6 (10/31, 11/1, or 11/5): Come to section (on 10/31, 11/1 or 11/5) prepared to discuss this question.
Psychology of Trauma Fall 2019
Checklist for Research Paper Paper is due 11/19/19 in lecture. Late papers may be marked down. The paper will be evaluated on the following criteria. Question summary (10%) Question stated clearly and concisely Choice of articles (10%) At least 3 Empirical articles from psychology or medical journals (or acceptable alternative, if
cleared with your TA) Relevance to question Summary of research in articles (25%) Clear description of what was found Succinct, but includes the important highlights Integrative Analysis (50%) An original analysis rather than a summary of the research findings Clear and coherent Logical flow; argument is easy to follow Clearly answers the question of interest (or clearly states why the question can’t be answered based on the research reviewed) Style and format (5%) e.g., APA format, length, margins (APA format requires 1″ on all sides), spelling, grammar, page numbers, cover page, reference page, format of references