Guides for the Budding Student Researcher

Teachers are revving up for the start of the school year, and this year many will be teaching students how to conduct their first research project. APA’s new book series, Concise Guides to Conducting Behavioral, Health, and Social Science Research, features short, practical, introductory books that lead undergraduates through the process of developing and conducting a research project, from start to finish. These guides can be used individually or in combination with each other to complement course objectives.

Titles in this growing series include:

Designing and Proposing Your Research Project (by Jennifer Brown Urban and Bradley Matheus van Eeden-Moorefield).  This book helps students develop a compelling and suitably narrow research question, and then choose the research designs, sampling strategies, and measurements that best address that question. By the time students work their way through this brief book, they will have written a rough draft of their research proposal!

 

Writing Your Psychology Research Paper (by Scott A. Baldwin) gives students everything they need to organize and write a clear, convincing research paper.  From deciding on a topic, to digesting the pertinent literature, presenting ideas, developing a thesis, and editing for clarity and concision, each step is made easy and illustrated with clear examples. A bonus chapter on combating procrastination vividly demonstrates how the best writing is done in chunks, over long periods of time, and that writing is a skill that improves with practice.

 

Coming soon, in November: Kathy Berenson’s Managing Your Research Data and Documentation will present a straightforward approach to managing and documenting one’s data so that other researchers can repeat the study. Since major research funders now require recipients to meet strict standards for data handling, this book will foster a vital career skill for students, while promoting transparency and replicability of research.

 

 

 

 

August Releases From APA Books!

APA Handbook of Giftedness and Talent

Edited by Steven I. Pfeiffer

The APA Handbook of Giftedness and Talent incorporates the most recent thinking and cutting-edge research from numerous fields related to gifted education, including developmental and social psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, and education. It consists of six sections: history and global perspectives; theories and conceptions of giftedness and talent development; gifted identification and assessment; gifted education; psychological considerations in understanding the gifted (e.g., family, friendships, emotional considerations); and special issues facing the gifted (e.g., policy and legal issues, perfectionism, bullying).

 

A Telepsychology Casebook

Using Technology Ethically and Effectively in Your Professional Practice

Edited by Linda F. Campbell, PhD, Fred Millán, and Jana N. Martin

This casebook provides practical recommendations on a range of issues associated with electronic-based mental health care. From technologies as simple as the telephone to more advanced webcams and mobile device applications, psychologists are increasingly using technology in their work—a practice known as telepsychology. The book’s recommendations draw from the Guidelines for the Practice of Telepsychology, which were created jointly by the American Psychological Association, the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, and the American Insurance Trust. Each chapter presents a guideline, explains how it relates to professional ethics and standards of care, and applies it to case examples.

 

Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement

Mental Training for Athletes and Coaches

By Keith A. Kaufman, Carol R. Glass, and Timothy R. Pineau

This book serves as a comprehensive resource on the history, theory, and practice of mindfulness in sport. The authors present mindful sport performance enhancement (MSPE), an empirically-supported, six-session program that can be adapted for specific athletic populations.  Each MSPE session includes educational, experiential, and discussion components, as well as instructions for home practice.

Includes handy scripts for mindfulness teachers, athletes, and coaches, and handouts summarizing each session that can be downloaded from APA’s website.

 

Woman’s Embodied Self

Feminist Perspectives on Identity and Image By Joan C. Chrisler, PhD, and Ingrid Johnston-Robledo

This compelling book examines how women relate to their bodies and how attitudes toward the body affect women’s sense of self. In particular, it documents the disturbing, never-ending barrage of standards used to judge women’s bodies. These standards prompt women to pursue life-long body improvement projects, which lead to self-objectification or a negative embodied self. Chrisler and Johnston-Robledo analyze these phenomena using various psychological theories, including objectification theory, stigma theory, terror management theory, and stereotype embodiment theory. Importantly, they also suggest ways to help women and girls achieve a positive embodied self, which includes challenging and resisting pressures to alter and discipline their bodies in unhealthy ways.

 

125 Years of the American Psychological Association

Edited by Wade E. Pickren and Alexandra Rutherford

This 125th anniversary volume describes the history of the American Psychological Association. From its origins in the late nineteenth century, through the two World Wars and the turbulence of the 1960s, to the economic uncertainties of the 1970s and 1980s, the APA’s development has mirrored the growth of psychology as a discipline in the United States.

This special 125th anniversary edition describes the challenges and triumphs that have marked the association’s early years in the twenty-first century.

 

 

Writing Your Psychology Research Paper

By Scott A. Baldwin

This encouraging primer for undergraduates explains how to write a clear, compelling, well-organized research paper. From picking a promising topic, to finding and digesting the pertinent literature, to developing a thesis, to outlining and presenting ideas, to editing for clarity and concision—each step is broken down and illustrated with examples. A bonus chapter discusses how to combat procrastination. Students learn that the best writing is done in chunks over long periods of time, and that writing is a skill that improves with practice.

 

 

 

Designing and Proposing Your Research Project

By Jennifer Brown Urban and Bradley Matheus van Eeden-Moorefield

Designing your own study and writing your research proposal takes time, often more so than conducting the study. This practical, accessible guide walks you through the entire process. You will learn to identify and narrow your research topic, develop your research question, design your study, and choose appropriate sampling and measurement strategies. The figures, tables, and exhibits offer a wealth of relatable examples and tools to apply concepts, including activities and worksheets to practice alone or in groups with other students.

 

 

 

Graduate Study in Psychology, 2018 Edition

Graduate Study in Psychology is the best source of information related to graduate programs in psychology and provides information related to approximately 600 graduate programs in psychology in the U.S. and Canada.

Graduate Study in Psychology, 2018 Edition contains information about the number of applications received by a program; the number of individuals accepted in each program; dates for applications and admission; types of information required for an application (GRE scores, letters of recommendation, documentation concerning volunteer or clinical experience, etc.); in-state and out-of-state tuition costs; availability of internships and scholarships; employment information of graduates; orientation and emphasis of departments and programs; plus other relevant information.

The Mid-Semester Blues: No Student is an Island

by Kristen Knight

This fall more than 20 million people will attend American colleges and universities, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. They will likely experience the satisfaction of learning new things and getting to know peers, among many highlights.

But students also can face a range of challenges, from financial and academic pressure to social and emotional stresses. In fact, the American College Health Association reported in 2014 that about 44% of college students surveyed said they felt above-average stress within the last 12-month period, about 47% said their coursework had been very difficult to handle, and about 86% felt overwhelmed by their responsibilities at some point in the past year.

Even without looking at the statistics, anyone who has ever attended university or helped someone prepare for college recognizes that the beginning of the school year can be exhilarating, but stressful. I know from experience that it is easy to feel rudderless at times. In the midst of the confusion, you may not realize that you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. It’s important to remember that there are many resources to help along the way.

APA author Donald Foss has supplied one such source. After decades spent teaching and in administration at the university level, Dr. Foss took a closer look at the factors that determine success in college. His evidence-based book, Your Complete Guide to College Success: How to Study Smart, Achieve Your Goals, and Enjoy Campus Life (2013), provides students with up-to-date information and insights about how to flourish in school and post-graduation.

Dr. Foss draws on research and the knowledge of professionals in the field—including his own—to address topics across the student-life spectrum, from academic success to career interests. The Guide begins with an “orientation,” covering the basics about the book and college life in general as well as personal space and time management, and it moves on to include sections on acing academics; managing goals, attitudes, and planning; using university resources, such as tutoring and staff expertise; dealing with challenging courses; and addressing specific facets of campus and commuting life.

I wish I’d had access to this book as a new college student. About studying, for example, Dr. Foss writes, “There is no need . . . to rely on trial and error to discover what works best. I’ll provide those pointers in this chapter and the following ones. The good news is that studying smarter is much better than studying longer.” Good news, indeed.

Later on in the book, Dr. Foss tackles attitudes and emotions and how they affect college life and academics. Wisely, he notes that “academic and personal issues can lead to restless nights and worse. Even positive emotions—especially affairs of the heart—can result in loss of focus to the point that class work suffers . . . we’ll take a closer look at your feelings and attitudes, and examine how you can make them work for you, even the feelings that start off being unpleasant.”

In fact, I feel I could still benefit from the book’s advice in my life as a “grown up.” Depending on where you are along the way in your educational journey, you may find one of APA’s many other student-oriented publications just as useful.

References

American College Health Association. (2014). American College Health Association National College Health Assessment II: Reference Group Executive Summary Spring 2014. Retrieved from http://www.acha-ncha.org/docs/ACHA-NCHA-II_ReferenceGroup_ExecutiveSummary_Spring2014.pdf

Foss, D. J. (2013). Your complete guide to college success: How to study smart, achieve your goals, and enjoy campus life. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics. (2015). Fast facts: Back to school statistics. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372