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Critique Assignment (20%)
A good critique identifies both strengths and weaknesses. The task is not just to find the
“hidden flaw” in a study, but also to provide a balanced review.
(1) Pick the article that interests you the most out of the three choices provided.
(2) Summarize the article in your own words. Remember that summarize does not mean
plagiarize. You need to have citations throughout, in APA style. Please refer to the
documents posted on APA to ensure minimal errors. This summary will provide key
information related to the introduction, literature review: what the author has already
been found on the topic, research purpose/questions/hypotheses, design and method
chosen to carry out the study, results and discussion. Ensure that your summary includes
the title and author(s) of the article. Maximum one page!
(3) The second section of the critique will focus on the strengths of the study. Wherever
possible, describe what makes this a good research project and why. Focus on the actual
study/methodology, etc., and not on the writing style. Ensure that you find your own
strengths of the study, and not the ones that may be mentioned in the article by the
authors. Aim to find at least three strengths.
(4) The third section of the critique will address the weaknesses of the study, explaining
your justification. If you did not like an aspect of the study, indicate why and tell how it
could have been better. Try to be specific and give a clear rationale for all your praise and
criticisms. Your paper should demonstrate that you understand the material in the article
and can think critically about it. No article is perfect, you may have to think “outside of
the box” (critically) to come up with several limitations. (The more weaknesses the
better!) Focus on the actual study/methodology, etc., and not on the writing style.
Ensure that you find your own weaknesses of the study, and not the ones that may be
mentioned in the article by the authors. Aim to find at least four weaknesses.
(5) The fourth section of the critique will comment on the writing style. Here is where
you can discuss clarity, etc., or lack thereof. Here is where you can comment on the
strengths and weaknesses of the writing style itself. The length of this section should be
less than half a page.
(7) The final section will compare and contrast what is in your textbook, as a second
contemporary, general, and theoretical view on the topic. This section of the paper should
be roughly three quarters to one page long.
(8) Lastly, you should include your overall opinion on the article itself, and closing
comments. This should be roughly one paragraph (approx. one third of the page)
(9) A reference page is needed in APA format (and don’t forget your in-text citations!)
Ensure this is written out in a clear, and concise report. You are NOT merely answering
questions, but forming paragraphs for ideas. To increase clarity, you should organize
your thoughts into sections: Summary, Strengths, Weaknesses, Writing Style,
Contemporary Views in Literature, Compare and Contrast to our Text, and Conclusion.
Each section should have separate paragraphs for each idea.
The whole critique report should be approximately 5-6 pages (double spaced) with no
more than 1 page for the summary and no more than one paragraph for the final
Summary of the study
Main critique (strengths, weaknesses, comments on writing style, etc.)
Comparison/Contrast to text
Opinion and conclusion
APA in text/end reference page
Clarity, organization, grammar, spelling
Attaching the grading scheme to your work
Attaching the article you have found to compare/contrast
Critique Assignment 1
Professor Jessica Chambers
Critique Assignment 2
In the journal article “Association Between Puberty and Disordered Eating, Body
Image, and Other Psychological Variables”, Ackard and Peterson studied the relationship
between current body image and disordered eating, and two variables; these were, the age
of onset of puberty and perception of pre-pubertal weight (Ackard & Peterson, 1999). To
research these two variables the authors chose to do two separate studies; ‘Study 1’
researched the age of onset of puberty variable and ‘Study 2’ the perception of pre-pubertal
weight variable (Ackard & Peterson, 1999). These studies were composed of female
university students between the ages of 18-48 years and were mostly Caucasion (78%)
(Ackard & Peterson, 1999). Study 1 had 267 students of an average age of 20 and Study 2
had 222 students with an average age of 21 (Ackard & Peterson, 1999). Ackard and
Peterson used a cross-sectional design and a number of surveys were used in both studies.
These surveys were the EDI-2, BULIT-R, BIA instrument, CES-D, RESES, and a short
survey assessing age at onset of puberty, perception of pre-pubertal weight and a self-report
eating disorder history (Ackard & Peterson, 1999). (Ackard & Peterson, 1999). They found
that the age at onset of puberty is not “a consistent risk factor for disordered eating or body
dissatisfaction” (Ackard & Peterson, 1999, p.191) and that perception of pre-pubertal
weight may later influence the risk of negative body image and disordered eating (Ackard
& Peterson, 1999).
In the literature review, the authors discussed previous studies that researched the
relationship between puberty and disordered eating/negative body image. They have
provided examples that indicate that there is not any significant correlation and several that
Critique Assignment 3
have (Ackard & Peterson, 1999). These latter studies have researched different aspects of
puberty; such as, the age at onset of puberty, perception of pre-pubertal weight, comparing
pre- and post-pubertal adolescents, and recency of menarche (Ackard & Peterson, 1999).
The authors acknowledge that the breadth of topics do not directly inform readers on the
direct cause of this association and provide a possible explanation (Ackard & Peterson,
One of the strengths of the article is the documentation of several participant
descriptors; such as, relationship status, current body mass indent, ethnicity, and religious
beliefs (Ackard & Peterson, 1999). Including this information allows readers to compare
the sample to the population being studied (the female students of the university).
Secondly, the study was designed to test the hypothesis and there seems to be no
researcher bias in the design of the experiment. The questions are either simply phrased
and do not favour any answer (Ackard & Peterson, 1999). The participants were randomly
selected and therefore there is no evidence that the researchers sought a non-representative
sample that may have skewed their results (Ackard & Peterson, 1999).
Lastly, the discussion was well-rounded; it discussed all of the results, those that
provided evidence for a correlation between the variable and those that didn’t (Ackard &
Peterson, 1999). This is a strength because it deters bias conclusions.
The study began with a sample of 560 students, when the first section of the study
began there were 267 students left in the sample and by the second section there were 222
(Ackard & Peterson, 1999). The authors do not account for this decrease nor do they
Critique Assignment 4
provide any explanations. Furthermore, they do not provide the criteria used to choose the
participants from the original group of 560 (Ackard & Peterson, 1999).
Secondly, the organization of the study is confusing. The researchers decided to
separate it into two different studies and it did not have any practical use. They lost
participants moving transitioning between the two studies, potentially spent more money
organizing it this way, and it does not seem an efficient system overall (Ackard & Peterson,
Thirdly, although the authors of the study did not intentionally seek out participants
of a certain nature, they did select a sample from the applicants (Ackard & Peterson, 1999).
Since they did not include any criteria or offer further explanation into how this was done,
the reader can’t be certain that it done without bias (Ackard & Peterson, 1999). This means
that there is a greater risk that the sample does not represent the population.
Lastly, the authors did not acknowledge that there may have been other variables
during the participant’s life that may have affected their body image and eating disorder
status (Ackard & Peterson, 1999). This is a weakness because the relationship between the
variables can’t be considered causal and the conclusions can’t be necessarily trusted.
The article was written with little typographical errors. The headings were clear and
sub-headings made the necessary information easy to find. This level of organization
makes the content easier to understand as well. The explanation of the different categories
however, is difficult to understand and the usage of certain words may lead to some
confusion. For example, when discussing the participants of “Study 2”, the word
“selected”, is used. There is no mention of the possibility that some chose not to answer,
Critique Assignment 5
did the authors mistakenly use the word selected to describe this? Or was there simply
nobody who chose no to continue? This makes the article difficult to decipher.
Compare and Contrast to the Text
The text book describes puberty as a period where the mind and brain, as well as the
body are undergoing serious changes. As the body matures into that of an adult,
adolescents begin to struggle with body image and self-perception (sdfsdf). The article
accepts this fact and studies what possible risk factors for the development of eating
disorders and negative body image.
The textbook mentions numerous possible factors that can increase the likelihood of
any of these behaviours from developing. It spends a lengthy paragraph discussing social
support systems, such as family. This focus is different than the article’s focus, age at
menarche and perception of pre-pubertal weight.
These factors are mentioned in the text to some extent however. According to the
text, girls who mature earlier are more prone to symptoms of anxiety and depression
(haskjd). Interestingly enough however, these negative effects fade away into early
adulthood (sdfs). Ackard and Peterson studied university-aged women and still reported
that there was an increased risk for women that age; this contradicts what the textbook
has summarized (asfd).
As a whole I did not think the article was written as well as it could have been. The
creation of two separate studies did not seem like an efficient method and the sample size
was considerable smaller than the contemporary studies done on the subject. The structure
of the article was organized however and made information easy to access.
care, health and development
The impact of maternal post-partum depression on
the language development of children at 12 months
L. A. Quevedo, R. A. Silva, R. Godoy, K. Jansen, M. B. Matos, K. A. Tavares Pinheiro and
R. T. Pinheiro
Catholic University of Pelotas, Postgraduate Programme in Health and Behaviour, Pelotas, RS, Brazil
Accepted for publication 15 April 2011
Ricardo Pinheiro, Catholic
University of Pelotas,
in Health and Behaviour,
Avenue Ferreira Viana
1635, Pelotas, RS
Background Language is one of the most important acquisitions made during childhood. Before
verbal language, a child develops a range of skills and behaviours that allow the child to acquire all
communication skills. Factors such as environmental factors, socio-economic status and interaction
with parents can affect the acquisition of vocabulary in children. Post-partum depression can
negatively affect the first interactions with the child and, consequently, the emotional, social and
cognitive development of the child.
Objective To analyse the effect of the duration of the mother’s depression on the language
development of children at 12 months old.
Methods This was a longitudinal study. The participants of this study were mothers who had
received prenatal care from the Brazilian National System of Public Health in Pelotas city, State of
Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The mothers were interviewed at two different time points: from 30 to 90
days after delivery and at 12 months after delivery; the children were also evaluated at this later
time point. To diagnose maternal depression, we used the Mini International Neuropsychiatric
Interview, and to assess child development, we used the language scale of the Bayley Scales of
Infant Development III.
Results We followed 296 dyads. Maternal depression at both time points (post partum and at 12
months) was significantly associated with the language development of infants at 12 months of age.
This impact was accentuated when related to the duration of the disorder. Older women and women
with more than two children were more likely to have children with poorer language development,
while women who were the primary caregiver had children with higher scores on the language test.
Conclusion The findings indicate that maternal age, parity, primary caregiver status and duration
of post-partum depression are associated with the language development of the child.
The first year of life is an important time period in a child’s
development. During this time, the child makes great acquisitions in terms of language, locomotion and environmental
exploration. The development of language is one of the most
complex developmental challenges, and many children do not
develop language easily (Reilly et al. 2006).
Many factors have been implicated in a child’s acquisition of
vocabulary, such as the environment, socio-economic status
and the relationship with the parents (Pan et al. 2005). Among
the parental interaction factors, post-partum depression has
been addressed because the mother’s depression can negatively
affect the establishment of the first interactions with the child
(Grace et al. 2003). The impact on child development can be
differentiated by the amount of time the child is exposed to the
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Depression post partum and language development of children 421
disorder, the severity of maternal symptoms and the time of
exposure (Brennan et al. 2000; Preston & Scaramella 2006).
We hypothesized that a child exposed to maternal chronic
depression would have a lower performance than a child whose
mother presented no depression or only brief depression.
Our objective was to determine which factors related to
maternal depression during the first year of a child’s life affect
the child’s language development process.
This was a longitudinal study with 296 mothers whose child was
born between September 2007 and September 2008 in one of
the maternity wards in the city of Pelotas and who had received
prenatal care from the Brazilian National System of Public
Health. The mother’s first assessment was between 30 and 60
days post partum, and the second was 12 months after the birth
of the child; the child was also assessed at 12 months. The
exclusion criteria included not living in the urban area and not
understanding the ethical consent form.
Maternal depression was assessed by the Mini International
Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI; Amorim 2000). The MINI
is a short, structured interview with high validity and reliability
(sensitivity of 86% and specificity of 84%).
The duration of maternal depression was assessed based on
the following categories: mothers who were not depressed in
either of the evaluations, mothers who were depressed only
during the post-partum period, mothers who were depressed at
12 months, and mothers who were depressed at both time
points (post partum and 12 months).
The children were assessed using the language scale of the
Bayley Scales of Infant Development III (Bayley 2006). This
scale is composed of items related to receptive and expressive
communication. The Bayley-III Receptive Communication
subtest begins with items that assess auditory acuity, including
the ability to respond to the sound of a person’s voice, to
respond to and discriminate between sounds in the environment, and to localize sound. The Expressive Communication
subtest includes items that assess the young infant’s ability to
vocalize. The Bayley Scale has not been validated for the Brazilian population, and no cut-off values for the receptive and
expressive language subscales have been determined. Thus, for
methodological purposes related to statistical power, we used
the composite score total of the two subscales (receptive and
expressive communication) as the outcome.
In addition to the diagnostic interview and the assessment of
the child, the mothers filled out a questionnaire about their
socio-economic status, delivery and the health of the baby. Chil-
dren who were born before 36th week of pregnancy and who
weighed less than 2499 g were considered premature. The
baby’s caretaker was categorized as follows: children spent all
day with their mothers, children spent part of the day with their
mothers and part with other people, and children spent all day
in day-care centres or with other people (without the mother’s
In the gross analysis, we used a t-test to compare means. All
variables with P-values <0.2 in the gross analysis were included in the adjusted analysis. A linear regression analysis was performed, which was adjusted to check for effects remaining between variables to ensure that, after adjusting for the first level, variables that did not retain P-values <0.2 were not included in the analysis of the second hierarchical level. The same procedure was carried out for the variables of the second level to set the third hierarchical level. After the adjusted analysis, the statistical significance was consistently evaluated using the level of 0.05 (two-tailed) as indicative of statistical significance. The statistical analysis was performed using spss 10.0 for Windows. The Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons was used, and we performed a correlation analysis between variables that were related to the outcome in the crude analysis. To verify the multicollinearity in the regression analyses between the variables that remain in the regression model, we realized the detection tolerance. We considered values below 0.1 as the existence of collinearity among the variables. All subjects gave written informed consent for the analysis and anonymous publication of research findings. The study was approved by the committee on research ethics at the Catholic University of Pelotas in accordance with existing regulations (CONEP-Res196/96). Results We identified 342 post-partum mothers. Of these mothers, 5.5% (19) refused to participate or moved during the postpartum period. There was a 7.95% (27) loss or refusal to participate in the second evaluation. We obtained a final sample of 296 dyads, with a total loss of 13.45% (46). Table 1 shows the sample distribution. Language development was associated with the duration of maternal depression in the raw analysis (P = 0.007). The variables of maternal age, sex of the child, parity, primary caregiver and duration of maternal depression were used in the multivariate analysis because these variables had P ⱕ 0.20. In Table 2, after adjusting for possible confounding variables, the result for the scale of language remained associated with maternal age (P = 0.051), parity (P = 0.018 ... Purchase answer to see full attachment