PSY 104: Child and Adolescent Development

Week 3 - Instructor Guidance


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health is defined as:

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

This week in the class examines some of the major challenges to childhood and adolescent health.

Learning Outcomes

This week students will:

  • Research current statistics on safety regulations for children and adolescents.
  • Interpret statistics on safety regulations and how they have changed over time.
  • Describe the influences and effects of childhood obesity.
  • Explain the importance of child and adolescent physical health and well-being.
  • Collect information on appropriate activities, classes, and games/toys for children’s and adolescents’ recreational center activity rooms.


In this section you will find my own thoughts and teaching on the subject matter. This does not substitute for the assigned and suggested course readings and other materials.

Safety Regulations

My brother works as a Loss Prevention Engineer. In this capacity he evaluates a lot of different public places including playgrounds.

Remember the days when it didn't matter if you lost a finger or long as it was fun!!

Click HERE to download the Public Playground Safety Handbook. (Note that the history of this handbook dates to 1981 and then there is a time line that documents safety changes to playgrounds over time)

Click HERE to visit the website for the National Program for Playground Safety website...there are lots of interesting links on this page.

Toy Safety Regulations

Another area of deep regulation is that of toy manufacturing...including bicycles and snowboards (to capture those teens as well!)

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is dedicated toward the safety of ALL consumer products. Click HERE to view their website on Toy Safety.

Regulations such as these are not usually spontaneously generated, they often result tests or from tragic accidents. Click HERE for a page describing all the statistics captured by the US CPSC. On this page you will find statistics for items including:

  • Amusement Rides
  • ATVs
  • Nursery Products
  • Sports
  • Toys


This summer I will be participating in the largest fund raiser for the American Lung Association in the US. The Annual Trek Across Maine event! I love to ride my bike, but safety on roads is very important.

Click HERE to visit my pledge page! (If you want to donate money it has nothing to do with your class at Ashford!)


Trek Across Maine Safety Video


As I write this lesson the US Snowboarding Team is in Sochi, Russia to compete in the Olympics.

Shaun White getting some of that air...

Click HERE to review the safety tips available for snowboarding on (in addition to snowboarding, this site also contains information on

  • Snow and Cold
  • Ice Hockey
  • Skiing
  • Sledding
  • Cold Weather Sports

Childhood Obesity

A good tip for finding current information about Child Obesity is to do a Google search using the term "Childhood Obesity" and select "News"

These search results bring up interesting articles such as:

  • A mom who has created a health club to battle childhood obesity
  • A relationship between childhood obesity and weight as teenagers
  • The impact of culture before kindergarten on childhood obesity
  • The discovery that most parents of obese children underestimate their child's weight

Healthy Active Children

Click HERE to World Health Organizations page on Physical Activity and Youth

Click HERE to visit the American Heart Association's page on Activities for Kids

Click HERE to visit


In this section you will find any specific instructions or ideas I may have for you to support your graded work. Please read the instructions for each task in the course as well as the information I have here.

Discussion - Child and Adolescent Safety Statistics

This discussion is pretty straight forward. For the sake of making your posts easy to understand and read, you might consider using bullets or organizing your post in brief paragraphs, one for each statistic.

The example in the course itself is excellent. Don't get too wordy, just post the statistic.

For the REPLY posts I would like as many of you as possible to ask your parents (or grandparents) about safety when they were kids. What kinds of activities and play did THEY do at different ages? Is it different than today? Are we so concerned with safety that some of the fun is gone (at least for the parents)?

Discussion (and so much more!) - Childhood Obesity Public Service Announcement

This "discussion" has many parts. Be sure to read the instructions in the course very carefully as I need to grade these precisely by the provided rubric. Here is a summary:

  • Create a visual presentation using one of the online multimedia tools. In the presentation you must do the following:
    • Analyze how at least one of the major themes of Health and Well-Being, Family and Parenting, Education, Culture and Gender, influences the developmental physical, cognitive and psychosocial outcomes related to childhood obesity.
    • Describe the role of parents and schools
    • Address two practical ways to address the problem
  • Write a 60-second public service announcement script
    • You need to do this in MS Word and save it as a PDF - ideally - so when you post it in the discussion board everyone can read it
    • Make sure it contains the following at the top of the page (no title page is required):
      • your name
      • title of your PSA
      • course number and title
      • your instructor’s name
  • Do a voice-over for your visual presentation
    • Fact is, you should design your presentation to go along with your script. Your presentation should tell a story.
    • Include a link to the version of your project that has the voice over
    • Include your script as an attached file (preferably PDF)

Assignment - Final Project Draft

You have a pretty significant Final Project in this class. This week you are submitting your first draft of the script for your final presentation on a proposed Recreation and Family Center.

To prepare for this, read the assignment information for Week 3 and for Week 5 (the description of the final project). This is a complex assignment so you need to set aside time to get each part done. If you procrastinate it will overwhelm you, so please try to focus on the details of the assignment.