Course Description

Ethnic minority and immigrant children constitute a fast growing segment of the population today, yet there is limited research on their psychosocial adjustment and development. This course will provide an overview of the theories, methods, and research conducted on children and their families of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds from a developmental perspective. These topics will include an integrated cultural-developmental theoretical perspective, and a review of a number of issues including diversity in ethnic minority and immigrant families, children’s psychosocial adjustment in relation to minority status and immigration, ethnic/racial identity and developmental psychopathology, and so forth. The course will also review extant literature on ethnic minority and immigrant children, particularity Asian-Pacific Islander children living in Hawaii, and will provide a theoretical framework for conducting research and analyzing data that involve children and adolescents of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Course requirement

• Student-generated questions and participation in discussion. Students will prepare at least one thought-provoking question or critical comment about each reading and e-mail it to the instructor by 6:00pm on Sundays. We will use these questions as springboards for the discussions each week.  Everyone is expected to participate in the discussion, those who do not, will be called upon and will be asked to contribute in a meaningful way (30% of grade).

• Mini-presentations.  Each mini-presentation should be a summary and a critical analysis of an empirical article (e.g., Can you identify sources of bias?; Can you trust the results?; Do the conclusions logically follow the results?  Are there alternative explanations for the evidence?), and an evaluation of its significance for theories of culture and social and emotional development. This will be followed by a brief discussion led by the student-presenter (30% of grade).

• Final Presentation on a special topic of your choice. You should decide on this topic early in the semester.  You are free to come up with your own topic but should confirm the topic in a brief meeting with me. The presentation should be accompanied by a handout with suggested readings and references and a representative article made available to other students. Your presentation should be in the form of a grant/dissertation proposal to address a significant question in the literature. (40% of grade).

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