After completing this essay assignment you should:
understand the theory behind the advantages and disadvantages of child-care on subsequent child
be able to describe the empirical findings in relation to the quality of child care and child
be able to synthesise ideas from psychological literature
know how to write clearly and concisely in APA editorial style
appreciate the value of critical thinking when reviewing psychological research
The ever increasing trend towards parents continuing their careers after children are born has led to an
increased reliance on external child-care facilities for children of pre-school age. This makes it important
to assess the effects of child-care on children’s long-term development. Research during the last century
found that, on balance, children who were placed in child-care were actually at an advantage in terms of
intellectual and social development, compared to children who stayed at home. A wider range of
educational and play activities at child-care facilities benefited intellectual development and the greater
opportunity for social interaction in child-care assisted children’s social development. However, research
also highlighted two major qualifications to this assertion. First, there are substantial individual
differences in the way children respond to child-care. What is good for one child may not necessarily be
good for another. Second, recent Australian research has shown evidence of increased stress levels in
some children when they are placed in unfamiliar child-care surroundings.
What is required?
1. A 1,200-word essay written in APA style conforming to the standards set out in Burton (2009) – Title
page, Abstract, Essay, References. The word limit starts at the first word of the Abstract and ends
with the last word of the essay (i.e. it does not include the Reference list). Markers will stop reading
and marking essays at 1200 words. Submission deadline via E-Submission: 23.59 on Monday 27
2. Using only the resources listed below, your essay must:
a) describe the findings of Belsky, et al. (2007);
b) describe the findings of Sims, Guilfoyle and Parry (2006);
c) provide a summation of the issues. Does child-care impact upon subsequent child
development? If so, in which developmental domains? How and why?
MS WORD APA essay template (USE THIS!)
Belsky, J., Vandell, D. L., Burchinal, M., Clarke-Stewart, K. A., McCartney, K., & Owen, M. T. (2007).
Are there long-term effects of early child care? Child Development, 71, 681-701. [LINK TO ARTICLE]
Burton, L. J. (2010). An interactive approach to writing essays and research reports in psychology (3
ed.). Brisbane: John Wiley.
Lilienfeld, S.O., Lynn, S.J., Namy, L.L., Woolf, N.J., Jamieson, G., Marks, A., & Slaughter, V. (2015).
Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding (2nd ed.). Melbourne: Pearson Australia
Sims, M., Guilfoyle, A., & Parry, T. S. (2006). Children’s cortisol levels and quality of child care
provision. Child: Care, Health & Development, 32, 453–466. [LINK TO ARTICLE]
PSYC101 Essay 2015 2
1. Start by reading the Belsky et al. article. I do NOT expect you to be able to understand the
statistics presented here, but I DO expect you to understand what was done and what they found.
2. Read the Sims et al. article. Again, at this early stage in your psychology studies, I DO NOT expect
you to be able to understand all of the Method and Results sections of this paper. However, you
DO need to understand the Introduction section, including the hypotheses, and the Discussion
3. Synthesise the literature – that is, pull together the various ideas and information contained in the
two readings, so as to make a coherent argument or discussion.
4. Carefully follow the recommendations of Burton (2010) for essay writing in APA style.
5. Feel free to use (and cite) your Psychology text to expand on any concepts that you encounter in
either of the two prescribed readings.
A summary of approximately 150 words that introduces the topic, describes your task and summarises
your conclusions. This criterion also includes adherence to APA style.
Review of literature provided (25%)
Describe the main findings from the two studies provided concerning the effects of child-care on
children’s development. Make sure that you distinguish between developmental domains (e.g.,
intellectual, social, etc.) and outline the advantages and disadvantages for each domain.
Critical thinking (25%)
Provide a synthesis of the literature provided to you. What are the limitations of the research you
Clarity of written expression (20%)
Write clearly and concisely. Follow guidelines in Chapter 4 of Burton (2010). The essay should flow
logically from one idea to the next.
Adherence to APA style (20%)
Title page (5%) – Set out in APA style – see Burton (2010). Also include “word count” in bottom left
hand corner as shown in the lecture on Writing Essays for Psychology.
Manuscript general format (5%) – in APA style – e.g., font, line spacing, margins, indentation
In-text citations (5%) – See Burton (2010), Chapter 6.
Reference list (5%) – See Burton (2010), Chapter 7.
Late assignments submitted without an extension will attract a penalty of up to 2% (i.e., 2 marks for an
assignment marked out of 100) deducted per day (maximum 10% per week), with a maximum of 3 weeks
(30%). Thereafter a late assessment will be recorded as having been received for the purposes of
completion, but attract a zero mark.
Extensions of up to 30 days may be granted on the major assignment. An extension will not be granted
beyond the end of the examination period. Thereafter, students will have to apply for a Special Extension
of Time through the Student Centre.