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CDV 420 — Methods and Analysis in Child Study-- Fall 2009

ATTENTION: This research guide was last modified on October 10, 2009, before the January 2012 redesign of the library's home page. Information on how to access journal articles, databases, and other library resources may be inaccurate or outdated.

For up-to-date instructions on accessing materials, please visit our tutorial pages instead.

Sociology 321

Contact Information

Carol Dales


Getting Started

Basic Library Information

Finding Journal Articles at CSUDH

Off-Campus Access

Useful Books & Ebooks

Useful Databases

Is this a review article or an empirical article?

Seed Article Links

Research Tips


APA Citation Style

Scholarly Internet Research

General Research Tips

Getting Started

Start your research by going to the library home page.

Site Organization:

  • Main - contains the most frequently used links and information
  • Use the Library - links to pages that help you use the library
  • Help - basic Library Information and Help pages
  • Services & Depts. - services the library offers and departmental web pages

Checking out books: You can see what books are available in the Torofind Library Catalog. Once you have found the books you want from the shelves on the 3rd or 4th floor, bring them downstairs to the Circulation Counter to check them out. Click here for a tutorial on how to use the Torofind online catalog.

Library's Book Borrowing Policies

If the library does not have a book you need, you can request it via Inter-Library Loan!

Basic Library Information

Finding Journal Articles at CSUDH

You can get journal articles by going to the library home page and clicking the Journal Articles & Electronic Resources link under the "Find Journal Articles Now" heading. Click the heading that sounds the most like your situation.

  • If you only know what subject you're looking for (e.g. Child Development), click by Subject under Electronic databases in the LH column.
  • If you know which database you want to use (e.g. ERIC) click A-Z LIst
  • If you are looking for an article from a specific journal (e.g. Journal of Child & Family Studies) click Search Journals under Journal List in the LH column.
  • If you aren't sure where to start, click how to find an article for help.

Once you are in a database, you can start to search for your article. Different databases offer different search options, but usually include several search boxes you can fill out.
Most databases will also let you search only for peer-reviewed or scholarly journals. If you're writing a research paper,  make sure you check this option!

Articles that you can read in that database will have a link to the PDF full text or the HTML full text. Click on that text link to read the article. Some databases also let you e-mail articles to yourself by clicking on an e-mail link.

Some articles will say "Find it @CSUDH Lib" instead of providing links to the full text. If you see this, it means the text of that article is not in the database you are searching. But don't worry! If you click the red and white "Find it @CSUDH Lib" button, you can see a list of which databases do have the full text. If there are no databases containing the article you want, you can request it via Interlibrary Loan.

Off-Campus Access

If you are using a computer that is on campus, you can access all of our electronic databases and ebooks without any further steps. Just click on the database name in the Database List and you will be sent immediately to the search screen.

If you are off campus, you will need to log in using your user name and password (this is exactly the same information you use to log in to MyCSUDH and Blackboard). When you click on a database name from off-campus, you will see a screen asking you for this information.

After you enter your user name and password, you will be able to access any of our electronic databases and ebooks just like you would on campus.

Useful Books & Ebooks

There are plenty of books in the library on Child Development topics. Try the following search in the library's online catalog and you will see a list of books on Child Development.

  • Go to the library's online catalog
  • In the drop-down menu to the left, select "Search by Subject"
  • In the text area to the right, type in Child Development
  • For a list of other similar subjects, click the  Child Development -- 10 Related Subjects link
  • For a list of general Child development books, click the  Child Development link
  • Once you have a list of books on the screen, you can sort your results with the drop-down menu at the right.
  • ***Select "Sort by year - newest to oldest" to see a list of books with the most recent books first.

The library also has several collections of ebooks: books that have been scanned in and which you can access from home using the library website. The main collection of ebooks is called ebrary. You can find it by clicking the "Find Journal Articles Now" header on the main library page, then selecting "E" for ebrary.

Ebrary does require you to download and install their software before you can read books on their site. The computers in the library already have this software installed, but at home you will have to install it yourself before you can read any of the ebooks they have.

Links to useful ebooks:

To find more, log in to ebrary and do a subject search for Child Development.

Useful Databases

ERIC (Education EBSCO) - the Educational Resource Information Center is a national  information system supported by the U.S. Department of Education; provides citations and abstracts from over 1000 educational and education-related journals as well as miscellaneous education-related documents.

Education Full Text (Wilson) - a bibliographic database that indexes and abstracts articles from English-language periodicals and yearbooks published in the U.S. and elsewhere. English-language books relating to education published in 1995 or later are also indexed.

Project Muse - offers nearly 200 quality journal titles from over 30 scholarly publishers; covers history, cultural studies, education, gender studies, and many other academic areas.

PsycINFO (Ebsco) - contains over one million citations and summaries of journal articles, book chapters, books, dissertations and technical reports, all in the field of psychology; covers journals from 1887 to present; includes international material from more than 1,700 periodicals in over 35 languages; also includes information about psychological aspects of related disciplines such as education, linguistics, medicine, psychiatry, nursing, anthropology and more!

Is this a review article or an empirical article?

When deciding whether a journal article is or is not an empirical study, ask yourself these questions:

1. Does it review other studies that have been published?

     If yes, that is all the evidence that is used to reach the conclusion presented in the article, the

     article is a review article and NOT an empirical study.

     If no, go to further questions.

2. Does the article use data from another source, e.g. government bodies or other researchers, and analyze that data?

If yes, was additional new data gathered by the authors after the analysis was done?
If no, this is not
usually considered to be an empirical study.

If yes, go to further questions.

3. Does the article have most of  the following sections (some sections may be combined or may have slightly different titles)?

  • Objectives/Theory - is there a statement of what the author(s) wanted to investigate or find out?
  • Literature review - is there an overview of significant articles and research relevant to the authors’ area of research or theory, including a description, summary and critical evaluation of each work?
  • Methodology – did the authors do a study? If yes:

Does the article include the number (e.g. n=180) and type of population studied (e.g. children in classrooms)

Are terms such as: case study, survey, observation, questionnaire, assessment used?

  • Results - does the article analyze results found in the study, through observation or by experiment?
  • Conclusion – do the authors bring together the results to form a logical conclusion?  This could be that the treatment or intervention succeeded or failed, or that the premise of the study was correct.
  • References or works cited – does the article end with an alphabetical list of citations for books, articles and other resources to which the authors referred while presenting their research?

If you said yes to most of the above questions, this is an empirical study. 

Seed Article Links
  • Stipek, D., & Miles, S. (2008) Effects of aggression on achievement: Does conflict with the teacher make it worse? Child Development, 79(6), 1721–1735.
    (Full Text available online)
  • Kostanski, M., & Gullone, E. (2007). The impact of teasing on children’s body image. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 16, 307–319. 
    (Full Text available online)
  • Stroh, J., Frankenberger, W., Cornell-Swanson, L., Wood, C., & Pahl, S. (2008). The use of stimulant medication and behavioral interventions for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A survey of parents’ knowledge, attitudes, and experiences. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 17, 385–401.
    (Full Text available online)
  • Sherr, L., Senior, R., & Nazareth, I. (2008). Associations between paternal depression and behavior problems in children of 4–6 years. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 17, 306–315. 
    (Full Text available online)
  • Diener, M., Isabella, R., Behunin, M., & Wong, M. (2008). Attachment to mothers and fathers during middle childhood: Associations with child gender, grade, and competence. Social Development, 17(1), 84-101.
    (Full Text available online)
  • Paulson, S. (1994). Relations of parenting style and parental involvement with ninth-grade students' Achievement. Journal of Early Adolescence, 14(2), 250-267.
    (Not available online, print version available.)
  • Chamberlain, B., Kasari, C., & Rotheram-Fuller, E. (2007). Involvement or isolation? The social networks of children with autism in regular classrooms. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders, 37, 230–242.
    (Full Text available online)
  • Hollis-Sawyer, L., & Sawyer, T. (2008). Potential stereotype threat and face validity effects on cognitive-based test performance in the classroom. Educational Psychology, 28(3), 291–304. 
    (Citation only, Full Text not available from CSUDH)
  • Hargrave, A., & Senechal, M. (2000). A book reading intervention with preschool children who have limited vocabularies: The benefits of regular reading and dialogic reading. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 15(1), 75–90.
    (Full Text available online)
  • Laakso, M., Poikkeus, A., Eklund, K., & Lyytinen, P. (2004). Interest in early shared reading: Its relation to later language and letter knowledge in children with and without risk for reading difficulties. First Language, 24(3), 323-345.
    (Full Text available online)
  • Furnham, A., & Strback, L. (2002). Music is as distracting as noise: the differential distraction of background music and noise on the cognitive test performance of introverts and extraverts. Ergonomics, 45(3), 203-217.
    (Full Text available online)
  • Hallam, S., Price, J., & Katsarou, G. (2002). The effects of background music on primary school pupils’ task performance. Educational Studies, 28(2), 111-122.
    (Full Text available online)

Research Tips

Selecting a topic - When choosing a topic or a research project, make sure your scope is not too broad or too narrow. A scope that is too broad will give you far too many search results, which will make it hard to pick out useful articles. It will also mean that your paper will not be very effective, as it will be too general. Too narrow a scope will make it hard to find relevant articles, and will mean that your paper will be too specific to be effective. Try to define your topic succinctly and make sure that you can find information about it before you start to write your paper!

  • Too Broad - Music and Children
  • Too Narrow - The Effect of The Beatles' White Album on Fifth Grade African-American Childrens' Study Habits for Astronomy Tests
  • Neither too Broad or too Narrow - The Effects of Music on Children's Study Habits

Doing the Research - Check the other sections of this guide for information on where to start researching your topic. For tips on how to research, see the "General Research Tips" section of the guide towards the bottom.

Writing the Literature Review - After you have all your research done, create a basic outline of how you want to present the literature you've researched. This will really help to make sure your paper flows from one subject to another. It can also help you see whether you need to do more research or whether you have enough material. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to write! Starting on the day before the paper isn't a good idea, as it can make your work rushed and not as effective.

Cite your Sources - Be sure to properly cite anything you quote from books or articles! Citing lets your professor know that you've done your research, and it also stops you from accidentally committing plagiarism. For more information on citations and plagiarism, read those sections of this guide below.

Proofreading the Paper - Proofreading is an important step that could mean the difference between an average grade and an excellent one. Check for spelling or grammar errors and make sure you are using the APA style correctly. Go back over the assignment description in your syllabus and make sure your paper has evreything in it that your professor wants. Proof-reading is another reason to start early: It's hard to proofread effectively when you finish writing the paper 10 minutes before class starts!


What is plagiarism? - Plagiarism is "The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft." (OED)

When you quote  from or paraphrase somebody else's work without citing it, you are plagiarizing their work. Plagiarism is a serious matter, and could result in a lower or failing grade and even in expulsion from university. Just rewording your work isn't enough to avoid plagiarism. Since you are borrowing information heavily from another writer, you still need to include a citation.

But I didn't know! - Ignorance of the law is unfortunately no excuse. You can commit plagiarism without meaning to, and it's just as serious a problem if you do.

How can I avoid it? - You can avoid plagiarism by always citing your sources. Whenever you put a quotation or borrow information heavily from a source, be sure you include a citation in the proper APA style. This will let your professor know you aren't trying to pass the idea off as your own. Taking detailed notes on where you get your information helps a lot with this, since it prevents you from forgetting which is your own work and which is borrowed from others.

For more information, see your student handbook and this handout by Sheela Pawar at CSUDH

APA Citation Style

Every formal research paper includes a list of bibliographic citations describing the books, articles and other sources consulted. This list gives credit to those whose ideas you have referred to or quoted, presents information your readers can use to find further information and gives your paper scholarly authority. To avoid having to track down at the last minute any missing information needed for your bibliography or list of works cited, be sure to record the necessary information (on file cards or in a computer file) about every source you consult as you are doing your research.

You should cite a book or article whenever you directly quote from it, but you should also cite it when you are just paraphrasing. You should also cite interviews.

Scholarly Internet Research

Remember, not all web sites are created equally. Some sites can be valid sources of information, but others are filled with opinion represented as fact. While there isn't a 100% effective way to figure out what kind of site you're looking at, here are some guidelines to follow when using the Internet for research:

  • Check Credibility - Is it easy to figure out who's behind the information? Does whomever it is know what they're talking about? Do they have qualifications in the field or some other reason to be trust-worthy in it?
  • Check Accuracy - Are the sources cited well? Is the information up-to-date? Are there any broad, sweeping generalisations that are impossible to verify?
  • Check Reasonableness - What is the page's point-of-view? Is it a corporate page trying to sell you a product? Is it a government or educational site where the main purpose is to educate people?
  • Check Support - Is it possible to double-check the information in another location?

Useful Scholarly Websites:

INFOMINE is a virtual library of Internet resources relevant to faculty, students, and research staff at the university level. It contains useful Internet resources such as databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, directories of researchers, and many other types of information.

The Librarians' Internet Index aims to provide a well-organized point of access for reliable, trustworthy, librarian-selected websites, serving California, the nation, and the world. All links on the Index are selected and approved by librarians before inclusion.

For more information, check out our guide on Evaluating Web Resources.

General Research Tips

Use multiple search terms - Remember, not every database or article uses exactly the same words to describe the same thing. Make sure you try several synonyms for the term you're trying to find. Most databases have a link titled "thesaurus" or "subject terms" which you can use to find out what words to search for.

Search in multiple places - The more places you look for information, the more information you're likely to find. Don't just search in one database and assume it's all you'll be able to find! Take a look at the list of Useful Databases earlier on in this page for ideas about where to start your search.

Ask for help - Don't be afraid to ask for help! Research can be an exhausting process, and sometimes a fresh perspective will make your task much easier. You can stop by the reference desk in the library and ask any of the reference librarians for help with your research. You can also submit an online help request which a librarian will answer within a day or two.

Don't leave it until the last minute - The earlier you start, the better your paper will be. Starting early gives you plenty of time to read and absorb the information so that you'll be properly informed when writing your paper.