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Doctoral students often ask, “How do I decide what theory to use in my dissertation or DSW capstone study?” Sometimes, researchers select their theory based on the study population. For example, if a researcher is studying middle-age adults, it may make sense to use a life span development theory. Or perhaps the researcher is studying characteristics inherent to a particular stage of life; then it may also make sense to use a life span development theory.
Before you choose a theory to apply to your study population, consider whether the theoretical concepts or constructs reflect a Western perspective and are insensitive to the needs of the target population. Some scholars, for example, have questioned whether theories developed by theorists who hold White European or Anglo-American cultural perspectives respect the values from other cultures that may be more collectivist.
As you read the articles for this Assignment, pay attention to how Wheeler, Ampadu, and Wangari critique the life span theories, especially as they apply to African Americans. Then compare that to Hargrove’s article about how the theory shapes and guides social work interventions.
Review the following articles from the Learning Resources:
*Wheeler, E. A., Ampadu, L. M., & Wangari, E. (2002). Lifespan development revisited: African-centered spirituality throughout the life cycle. Journal of Adult Development, 9(1), 71–78. doi:10.1023/A:1013881302284
*Hargrow, A. M. (2001). Racial identity development: The case of Mr. X, an African American. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 23(3), 222–237. Retrieved from http://amhcajournal.org/
Using your potential doctoral capstone topic as a guide, identify a specific topic with which you can incorporate Levinson’s theory on midlife development or Neugarten’s theory on aging and one of the three diverse populations (Asian immigrants, Latino immigrants, or Native Americans). For example, if your topic is domestic violence, a specific topic that incorporates the above elements might be domestic violence among Latino immigrant elders.
Submit a 2-page analysis that addresses the following:
*Identify your topic and its connection to a diverse population group.
*In 2–3 sentences, briefly summarize the assumptions of the life span development theory you selected.
*Describe the cultural values and belief systems of the group you chose, using literature to ground your claims.
*Analyze the extent to which the assumptions of Levinson’s theory or Neugarten’s theory are culturally relevant to the group you selected.
*Relative to the topic and population, describe one social work practice recommendation from each of the micro, meso, and macro levels when working with the population in relation to your topic or problem.
**Remember that the social work practice recommendations need to be informed by the life span theory you selected.
*Evaluate how the life span theory you selected is consistent with social work ethics.
Be sure to:
Use literature to support your claims.
Use APA formatting and style, including double-spacing.
Potential doctoral capstone topic: Reducing Recidivism of people on parole and probation.