Affiliations: Department of Psychology, University of Stockholm, Stockholm
Note:  Address for correspondence: Lars R. Bergman, Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm. E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Developmental science (DS) is defined somewhat differently by different researchers. In the present essay DS is defined as (1) it concerns understanding individual development, partly in contrast to group development, (2) DS is cross-disciplinary, and (3) the individual is regarded as a “functioning whole”, engaged in a developmental process in context, characterized by interactions. Empirical research carried out within a DS framework must pay attention to many issues such as: (1) The translation of a specific DS theory into informative hypotheses. (2) The integration of DS findings with the research literature. (3) Making the findings interpretable as addressing individual development. Finally, it was pointed out that to maximally advance DS research a shared general theoretical framework and set of central concepts are necessary.