Substance Abuse and Adolescence

Assignment Purpose: “Substance Abuse and Adolescence”



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  1. Explain the developmental event or issue of “Substance Abuse and Adolescence” experienced during adolescence.
  2. Apply the concepts and major theoretical approaches to the assigned case in analyzing the assigned experience, i.e., cognitive or physical challenge, psychosocial change or trauma, or a moral dilemma;
  3. Use research to evaluate and distinguish the influences of heredity, environmental context and cultural values in the case scenario;
  4. Apply ethical principles to “best” resolve or alleviate or cope with the situation in the assigned case;
  5. Use information literacy skills to locate appropriate research and other relevant community resources and materials to create an informative paper.




Individual Paper

In the paper you will address the issue in “your adolescent’s life “Substance Abuse and Adolescence”.  The paper involves presenting the issue and identifying the psychological theories, developmental concepts and issues that are relevant, summarizing the current research (both sides of the arguments) about the topic, identifying why the issue is important. You must also discuss how you would explain and deal with this experience It is a problem that needs to be alleviate or issue of adolescent development.  The paper is not to merely answer these questions but is to be an integrated essay. IT IS NOT A RESEARCH PAPER BUT A LONG ESSAY, TOLD FROM YOUR OWN POINT OF VIEW, SUPPORTED WITH REASEARCH. This is important to make this essay from your own point of view and not from the point of view of resources. Use the resources just to support your essay and point of view.



In your paper be sure to (1) synthesize (Make a Thesis Statement/analyze psychological concepts and apply them to your speculations concerning your adolescent’s experience. In the essay, you will need to clearly (2) define your adolescent’s development and any issues that the individual is described as dealing with.  (3) Explain how what you have learned in psychology could help enhance your understanding of the adolescent’s physical, cognitive and/or psychosocial experience.  (4) Provide background about your adolescent’s condition; consider incorporating some ideas from your discussion responses into your paper to create background or history for the reader.


This essay will require you to use your critical thinking skills and your writing ability to address a question of primary importance: (5) How can psychology help understand your adolescent’s experience? In order to be able to successfully answer this question, you must be able to analyze and synthesize psychological concepts and be able to apply them to your case.

While this course is focused on adolescent psychology (i.e., brain and behavior), it is understood that experience during younger years can have an (6) influence on future development, project how this experience could affect your individual at a later stages of development positively or negatively. Consider how their life path will be influenced by what they do or do not do today.


Your paper will make (7) use of THREE sources.

  • The first source: Parenting Styles, and Adolescents Responsibilities and Maturity. You will select PSYCHOLOGY concepts/theories from this two sources to include in your paper.
    • In discussing information from this, you must , identify and define each relevant concept, and explain why the psychological concepts you focused on are or will be relevant to your adolescent as well as your child’s current and future life. You will be expected to use specific examples of how the concepts will be relevant to your adolescent’s experience. Merely saying a concept is important is not sufficient.
    • The other sources are TWO articles from peer-reviewed journals(preferably an American Psychological Association journal published within the last TEN years) which addresses one of the psychological concepts or topics relevant to your topic. You will want to find an article which is research based (data-driven) and uses the experimental or correlational methods.  The article must have the traditional sections associated with a research study (abstract, introduction (literature review), methods, results, discussion, and references).  That means reviews of literature or other types of articles will not satisfy your required sources, however they can be used and cited as additional references.  If you are not sure, check with your instructorFor the journal article, you will be integrating the article and its content into your paper to highlight its significance to your adolescent’s experience rather than merely citing it. You will be using the journal article to discuss its relationship to your adolescent’s developmental experience. Note that you will be discussing the article and the implication of its findings in some detail, not merely mentioning it in passing.


(8)Your paper must be done using APA formatting style which includes:


  1. APA styled Title page (no author’s note/ no abstract)
  2. In-text citations in APA format
  3. A reference page at the end (called References) in APAformat


All papers should be written in essay format with an APA style title page and reference page.  The paper should be 3-5 pages in content length plus cover and reference page. Double spaced, 1 inch margins, 12 point font, Times New Roman, and APA style citations.  Points will be taken off if you do not follow the above guidelines. Points will also be taken off for grammar so please proofread your papers aloud and consider having someone else read the paper (i.e., your classmate or school colleague). If you need assistance with this paper please seek help early. You are encouraged to utilize the Writing Reading Language Center Tutors and Library Resources.


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