Early and Middle Childhood Case Intervention Analysis

Create and analyze a 1–2-page simulated case study of a child with developmental challenges, aged 2–5 years old. Then, create a 5–7-page intervention plan based on evidence-based strategies that have proven effective in similar cases and make projections of possible long-term impacts that current challenges may produce across the individual’s lifespan.

Early childhood begins at the end of toddlerhood, at approximately age 2, and continues until middle childhood begins with formal school entry at age 5 or 6. During this period, there are greater changes in cognitive development than any other period of life. At the same time, family relationships provide individuals with their earliest social experiences. Attachment patterns developed during early childhood influence an individual’s ability to successfully develop and maintain peer and adult relationships throughout the lifespan.

Part 1: Create the Case: Early Childhood

Create a simulated case study, relevant to your area of specialization, of a pre-school child, 2–5 years of age, who presents developmental challenges related to factors described by Piaget’s or Vygotsky’s developmental milestones and Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory.

Your case study should be 1–2 pages in length and it should describe:

  • The child’s strengths and challenges.
  • The medical, family, and social context.
  • The developmental challenges evident in the behavior of the child.
  • Individual and cultural factors that theory and/or research indicate could impact the child’s development.
  • Any other factors you deem appropriate based on your understanding of the theory and related research.

To develop this case, you should:

  • Explore theory and research related to early childhood development in the cognitive domain.
  • Use either Piaget or Vygotsky to describe those age- or stage-related milestones expected at the age of your selected child.
  • Develop your case by creating a challenge for the child in the cognitive domain in early childhood. Describe what the child struggles with in not meeting the expected theoretical milestones in the cognitive domain.
  • Explore, through theory and research, Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory of the various systems that can influence development. Describe the typical influences in those systems that would likely be most evident for a child in the preschool years.
  • Develop your case study further by creating an environmental context for the child in specific systems in Bronfenbrenner’s theory. Include any specific issues that you want to explore through research, such as influences of a specific culture or ethnicity, specific socioeconomic status, family structure, attachment issues, and neighborhood context.
  • Maintain a resource list of the materials you consulted to build your case.

Follow current APA guidelines for style and formatting, as well as for citing your resources. Include a reference list of the scholarly resources you use.

Part 2: Case Intervention Analysis: Early Childhood


Complete the following:

  • Research evidence-based interventions that have been effective in meeting the challenges of the child you described in your case study, from the perspective of your own professional specialization (as far as possible).
    • Explain how the deficits in the cognitive and other developmental domains affect development in early childhood.
    • Explain how the environmental contexts impact development and functioning.
    • State the recommended interventions that align with your specialization.
    • Include evidence for those outcomes from the professional literature.
  • Explore briefly the literature on cognitive development over time, considering that early influences can impact development across the lifespan.
    • Explain, from the perspective of your specialization, how the early cognitive challenges could be manifested across the lifespan.
    • Explain how (or whether) this might help in understanding and determining an approach to working with an individual who had early cognitive challenges.

Structure of the Report

Use the following format to structure your report:

  • Title page.
    • A descriptive title of 5–15 words that concisely communicates the purpose of your report and includes the name of the fictional subject. Be sure to follow Capella’s suggested format for title pages on course papers.
  • Introduction.
    • An overview of the paper contents, including a brief summary (approximately half a page) of the background information regarding the case study. (The complete 1–2-page case you developed will be included as an appendix.)
  • Body of the report.
    • The presenting challenges and primary issues.
    • An analysis of how lifespan development theory and research may account for the presenting cognitive challenges. Highlight why the child is developing as described.
    • A description of your selected child with attention to age-expected outcomes in cognitive development, as well as specific challenges the child has in not meeting those milestones.
    • A description of the factors in the child’s environment linked to Bronfenbrenner’s theory that have an impact on his or her overall development.
    • An assessment of the potential impact of individual and cultural differences on development for the current age and context described in the case study.
    • Evidence-based interventions that have been effective in meeting the described challenges of your selected child, from the perspective of your own professional specialization.
    • An explanation of how the deficits in the cognitive domain or environmental contexts impact functioning in other domains, such as social or emotional development (considering that in developing your case, the theoretical emphasis was on the cognitive domain).
    • Recommended interventions that align with your specialization. Include evidence for those outcomes from the professional literature.
    • Projections, based on research and/or theory, of possible long-term impacts that the current challenges may produce across the individual’s lifespan.
  • Conclusion.
    • A summary of what was introduced in the body of the paper with respect to the case study context, challenges, and interventions.
  • Reference page.
    • A minimum of five scholarly sources from current peer-reviewed journals, formatted in current APA style.
  • Appendix.
    • The simulated case study you created in Part 1.

Other Requirements

Your paper should meet the following requirements:

  • Written communication: Write coherently to support central ideas, in appropriate APA format, and with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics.
  • Length of paper: 5–7 typed, double-spaced pages, not including the title page, references page, or case study appendix.
  • References: At least five scholarly resources (peer-reviewed journals).
  • APA format: Follow current APA guidelines for style and formatting, as well as for citing your resources in the body of your paper and in alphabetical order on the references page.
  • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 points.

Note: In graduate-level writing, you should minimize the use of direct quotes. Lengthy quotes do not count toward assessment minimums. It is your interpretation of the material and its application to practice that is assessed.

APA Resources

Because this is a psychology course, you must format this assessment according to APA guidelines, since it is the writing style of the profession. Use the following resources to guide your work. Additional resources about APA can be found in the Research Resources in the left navigation menu of your courseroom.


Suggested Resources

The resources provided here are optional and support the assessment. They provide helpful information about the topics. You may use other resources of your choice to prepare for this assessment; however, you will need to ensure that they are appropriate, credible, and valid. The PSY-FP7210 – Lifespan Development Library Guide can help direct your research. The Supplemental Resources and Research Resources, both linked from the left navigation menu in your courseroom, provide additional resources to help support you.

Child Development Theories

You may use the following resources to learn about how child development theories address cognitive development, attachment, language, and the child’s interaction with the whole environment (systems).

Early Childhood and Individual and Cultural Influences on Development

These resources provide both introductory information and additional depth about individual and cultural influences on early childhood development.

Sample Research on Individual and Cultural Influences on Early Childhood Development

The following articles are examples of current research on individual or cultural influences on development. Search the Capella library to select articles specific to the focus of your topic.

Sample Research on Interventions for Cognitive Development Challenges in Early Childhood

These articles provide a sample of current scholarly research on interventions for cognitive development challenges in early childhood. Search the Capella library to select articles specific to the focus of your topic.