The literature review Assignment

The literature review Assignment

topic : The literature review Assignment

Your literature review assignment  does not need an introduction. The literature review should have a centered heading that says Literature Review for the The literature review Assignment. Please note: the examples below come from the article by Garst & Gagnon (2015).

Below are your guidelines for this section of the paper (Pyrczak & Bruce, 2000):

Your literature review assignment should be written as an essay and not as an annotated list of the studies you review. This can be confusing because “literature review” seems to imply that you are simply summarizing a series of articles. But that is not true! A literature review is an argument. Actually, you have a main argument and sub-arguments in each paragraph and you should be using multiple citations to support that argument.

Example: Children need supportive relationships with caring adults to help them negotiate childhood, adolescence, and a successful transition to adulthood (Eccles, & Gootman, 2002; Roth, & Brooks-Gunn, 2003). Although parents and non-parental adults both play a role in providing youth with a variety of supports and opportunities that facilitate healthy outcomes and ameliorate negative influences (Bowers, et al., 2014), the presence of parents is particularly impactful (Bean, Bush, McKenry, & Wilson, 2003; Bowers, et al., 2011; Hart, Newell, & Olson, 2003). Normative parenting is predictive of child well-being in the domains of social competence, academic performance, psychosocial development, and problem behavior (Darling, 1999).

Notice that in this one paragraph alone, the author cites 7 studies. Each statement or claim is supported by one or more citations. The key argument is that supportive, or normative parenting, has positive outcomes. What they did not do is summarize a list of studies and assume the reader would get the point.

The literature review assignment should emphasize the importance of the research findings of other studies, not just the methods or variables studied.

Example: Through a contemporary analysis of the parenting dimensions and typologies to date, Hart, et al., (2003) proposed three distinguishing dimensions of normative parenting, including: (a) warmth and support shown to a child to facilitate an emotional connection (e.g., acceptance, affection, involvement, nurturance), (b) behavioral control of the child to foster mature behavior (e.g., limit setting, supervision, reasoning about consequences), and (c) autonomy granting (e.g., independence, self-governance) to promote emotional and psychological self-reliance. There has been renewed interest in understanding the role of control and autonomy granting as part of the “recent trend in parenting research toward disaggregating parenting typologies to better understand the unique effects of their constituent components” (p. 3).

At the beginning of this paragraph, the authors seem to be summarizing the distinguishing dimensions of normative parenting that Hart proposed. But the highlighted sentence shows that the authors are emphasizing an important aspect of this typology, notably renewed interest in understanding the role of control and autonomy granting since those are relevant to the topic of overparenting that they will elaborate on later in the paper.

Point out trends and themes in the literature.

Example: Non-normative, yet effortful parenting has been described using a variety of terms, including: helicopter parenting (Padilla-Walker, & Nelson, 2012; Segrin, et al., 2012;), intrusive parenting (Taylor, Eisenberg, Spinrad, & Widaman, 2013), over-protective parenting (Spokas, & Heimberg, 2009; Thomasgard, & Metz, 1993; Ungar, 2009), oversolicitous parenting (Rubin, Hastings, Stewart, Henderson, & Chen, 1997), lawnmower parenting (Locke, Campbell, & Kavanagh, 2012; Segin, et al., 2012), overly effortful parenting (Locke, et al., 2012), and overparenting (Locke, et al., 2012; Munich, & Munich, 2009). Although similar, these terms are often used in conceptually different ways and researchers have noted that the meanings of these non-normative parenting approaches is unclear (Segrin, et al., 2012; Taylor, et al., 2013).

In this passage, the authors help the reader see how different definitions are distinct but meanings have been unclear.

Point out gaps in the literature.

Example: The influence of overparenting on the implementation of youth development programs is unclear, but anecdotal evidence (American Camp Association, 2013) suggests that overparents influence the programs in which their children participate. What we do know is that children of overparents are more likely to have children who show childhood anxiety and maladaptive, challenging behaviors, and these behaviors may manifest during the youth program in which those children participate. In a youth program setting the influence of overparents may be experienced not only by parents’ own children, but also by other program participants. Furthermore, overparents may influence youth program providers’ operational, managerial, or programmatic planning that may have broad impacts on all program participants.

Here the authors suggest that the gap is in research on youth development programs as it relates to overparenting. They argue that most of the research has focused on overparenting in emerging adulthood (with college students).

Consider pointing out number and percentage of people who are affected by the problem you are studying.

Example: The 1999 National Survey of America’s Families found that 81% of 6-11 year olds and 83% of 12-17 year olds participated in one or more sports, lessons, or clubs during the past year (Ehrle, & Moore, 1999). With approximately 8.4 million children enrolled in after-school programs (Afterschool Alliance, 2014), and millions more participating in community-based programs and youth organizations, there are many programs and contexts in which to examine possible influences of overparenting on program quality.

Statistics are typically used as evidence to support claims.

Point out how your study differs from previous studies.

Example: The majority of overparenting-related research has been confined to clinical settings (Locke, et al., 2012) or higher education settings (Padilla-Walker, & Nelson, 2012). These studies often focus on early adulthood (Segrin, et al., 2012; 2013), but there is evidence that overparenting may also be prevalent among parents of middle and high-school aged youth. As previously noted, Kingery, et al’s (2012) study of homesickness and parent anxiety suggests the influence of non-normative parenting. Given that the majority of research into child and parental anxiety is conducted in clinical settings (Chavira, Stein, Bailey, & Stein, 2004); it is important to investigate these concepts in a more naturalistic setting, for example in an after-school program, summer camp, or other out-of-school time youth program where homesickness may be a common issue requiring staff management and the allocation of organizational resources.

Feel free to express opinions about the quality and importance of the research being cited.

Example: A richer understanding of overparenting within youth programs will also require development of measures of overparenting. While parenting measures have been informed by decades of research, as noted earlier the examination of overparenting has much less history (Locke, et al., 2012; Padilla-Walker, & Nelson, 2012; Segrin, et al., 2012; 2013). Existing measures of parenting behavior have been largely retrospective and limited by the homogenous nature of the populations being investigated. We propose parenting measures that examine behaviors at the parent-child level and also within the context of youth programs. These measures could help program providers identify overparents prior to program implementation and assist program providers in addressing or redirecting parental concerns.

The highlighted text shows the authors’ opinion about previous research, which justifies their proposal.

Use direct quotations sparingly.

Example: In 1945, the New York Times published an article titled, “The Teen-Age Bill of Rights,” which become symbolic of the emergence of youth culture and a benchmark in the recognition of adolescence as a unique period of life (Savage, 2007). Included in this list of ten rights was the theme, “The right to make mistakes, to find out for oneself.” Sixty years later, the relevance of allowing a child to fail, and to learn the lessons that accompany failure, has never been more poignant in the face of modern hyper-involved parenting (Tough, 2012). From unfounded concerns with child safety to an obsession with academic achievement, today’s overparents shape the experiences of childhood in ways that are often antithetical to healthy development. As Stearns (2004) suggested, “The 20th century, once rated as the “century of the child,” became rather a century of anxiety about parents’ own adequacy. And children did not necessarily benefit from this process of adult debate and self-doubt” (p. 1).

In empirical research, usually quotes are in the introduction of the paper and point to a particularly illuminating insight. They are NOT used to describe research findings. You should put those findings into your own words (but still cite where they came from).

One additional time you might see a quotation is for definitions. Here is an example from the article by Garst and Gagnon (2015):

Segrin, et al., (2013), offering what may be the most cogent definition of an overparent, suggested that “individuals who enact this form of parenting appear hyper-involved in their children’s lives, risk averse, and preoccupied with their children’s emotional well-being” (p. 570-571). Put simply, overparenting suggests “behaviors beyond what most parents would do” (Thomasgard, & Metz, 1993, p. 67).

Report sparingly on the details of the literature being cited.

Example: Family enmeshment theory and attachment theory have informed the construct of overparenting. Family enmeshment theory, which posits that parents use their children to satisfy their own incomplete goals, regrets, or anxieties, provides a motivational basis for overparenting. From the enmeshment perspective, parents project their own goals onto their child, excessively control their child’s life, and vicariously experience their child’s successes and failures (Segrin, et al., 2013). Attachment theory posits that insecure parenting behavior, for example becoming overly-involved or overly-controlling in a child’s life, is associated with negative outcomes for children including increased anxiety, stress regulation, and low self-efficacy (Sideridis, & Kafetsios, 2008). Indeed, Padilla-Walker and Nelson (2012) noted that helicopter parenting shares characteristics of control driven by parental separation anxiety. In these situations, parents may be more concerned with their own experience of separation than they are about the experiences of their child.

Notice how the authors talk about the different theories and refer to findings from research on these theories but don’t go into detail about how the studies were conducted, how many research participants were included, what statistics were computed, etc. That is because they are citing published research so the reader can presumably look up those details. The only exception would be if the authors wanted to prove a point that previous research focused on only certain populations (like college students) or certain methods (e.g., survey research). If they wanted to argue that future research needed to examine children, for instance, or use experimental methods, they could show more details from those studies.

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