Maternal stress during pregnancy


Developmental psychology attempts to understand cognitive, physical, and social-emotional development throughout the lifespan. In order to understand, for example, how maternal stress during pregnancy might impact the child later in life, pregnant women and children could be studied. Vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women, newborns, children, cognitively impaired individuals, incarcerated individuals, or older adults, require additional consideration and protection when planning to conduct research with them.

When conducting research in the field of human development, particularly with vulnerable populations, it is important to keep in mind that a unique set of ethical considerations should be taken into account. These populations need extra care to ensure their rights because some individuals may lack the mental capacity to give informed consent, may have decreased free will, or may be vulnerable in terms of their physical or mental welfare. As you approach this Discussion, keep in mind how ethical considerations might have affected the type of research that could be conducted.

For this Discussion, you will examine the role of ethics in developmental psychology research as it relates to vulnerable populations.

Based on the population you selected, post an explanation of the role of ethics in developmental psychology research with attention to the characteristics of this vulnerable population. Be specific in your post and use the Learning Resources to support your post. Use proper APA format and citations to support your explanation.



  • Berk, L. E. (2023). Development through the lifespan (7th ed.). Sage.
    • Chapter 1, “History, Theory, and Research Strategies” (beginning of chapter to “Scientific Beginnings”; and “Studying Development” to end of chapter)
  • American Psychological Association. (2020). Scholarly writing and publishing principles. In Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).
    • Read only (p. 10–23)
  • Fisher, C. B., & Vacanti-Shova, K. (2012). The responsible conduct of psychological research: An overview of ethical principles, APA ethics code standards, and federal regulations Links to an external site.. In S. J. Knapp, M. C. Gottlieb, M. M. Handelsman, & L. D. VandeCreek (Eds.), APA handbook of ethics in psychology, Vol. 2: Practice, teaching, and research (pp. 335–369). American Psychological Association.
  • Pinker, S. (2004). Why nature and nurture won’t go away Links to an external site.Daedalus, 133(4), 5–17.
  • Meyer, D., Wood, S., & Stanley, B. (2013). Nurture is nature: Integrating brain development, systems theory, and attachment theory Links to an external site.The Family Journal, 21(2), 162–169. doi:10.1177/1066480712466808
  • Vaillancourt, T., Hymel, S., & McDougall, P. (2013). The biological underpinnings of peer victimization: Understanding why and how the effects of bullying can last a lifetime Links to an external site.Theory Into Practice, 52(4), 241–248. doi:10.1080/00405841.2013.829726
  • American Psychological Association. (2016b). Developmental psychology Links to an external site.. Retrieved from
  • American Psychological Association. (2010a). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct with the 2010 amendments Links to an external site.. Retrieved from
    Note: As you review this website, focus your reading on the Introduction and Applicability section, the Preamble section, and the General Principles section.
  • Society for Research in Child Development Links to an external site.. (2012a). Retrieved from
  • Society for Research in Child Development. (2012b). Ethical standards in research Links to an external site.. Retrieved from
  • Walden Writing Center Links to an external site.. (2015). Retrieved from
  • Document: Final Project Assignment Overview document (PDF)Download Final Project Assignment Overview document (PDF)
  • Document: Example of Discussion Post and Response (PDF)Download Example of Discussion Post and Response (PDF)

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