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HD FS 229: Infant and Child Development

Lauren Altenburger

Choosing a Topic

Before you begin searching for books or journal articles on your topic, you need to narrow your HD FS topic by considering these three questions:

1. Who is the focus of my research topic?

    Example: adolescents, pre-teens, teens, etc.

2. What is the status, illness, or phenomenon I am searching for?

    Example: eating disorders, alcoholism, drug usage, memory skills, etc

3. What do I want to focus on within this subject?

    Example: treatment options, socio-economic factors, prevalence, etc.


Why is it important to narrow my topic?

  If you can answer the above questions, then you will have the concepts (or terms) which you will use to search the databases.  Because there are nearly hundreds of thousands of articles on nearly every topic, you need to be specific in your searches so that your are not bombarded with too many results.

LionSearch Basics

For full text items, click the "full text online" link to go to the full text of the article.

  • If you see the Penn State "GetIt" menu and you need to click the word "article" to get to the full text. 
  • If there is no "article" link, click the word "journal" to get to the journal page and look for the correct year, volume, issue and pages for the article you need.
Tip: Save the relevant sources into the LionSearch temporary folder by clicking on the small folder icon to right side of the item.  When you are finished compiling your sources, click on the folder icon at the top of the screen and email or print (which allows you to copy into your clipboard) the references so you can easily add them to your project. 
CAVEAT: computer systems make mistakes when auto-formatting.  
Don’t lose your work!  Unless you sign up for Refworks, items are saved in LionSearch ONLY for your current session.  You won’t be able to go back later and see a list of saved items.


HD FS Websites

Mental Health Boards
State Education Information

Citations — Manage Your Personal Library

When working on extensive research projects, you will need to collect, organize and format all those citations!

The following tools are appropriate to use at Penn State. They all allow you to store and search for your references, as well as link with MS Word to easily create in-text citations and bibliographies.