International Journal of Developmental Science - Volume 1, issue 1
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Individual human development is influenced by a multitude of systems, ranging from cultural processes, genetic and physiological incidents up to social interactions. How do these systems cooperate and interact during the course of human development? One of the main goals of Developmental Science is finding an answer to this question.
Since it exceeds the means of researchers from individual scientific disciplines to investigate the simultaneous biopsychosocial changes of systems and how they jointly contribute to the social and adaptive functions of human individuals, a new scientific approach is necessary that links the various traditional scientific disciplines under a biopsychosocial approach to describe individual human development: Developmental Science.
Developmental Science combines concepts and insights from scientific disciplines which hitherto used to independently tackle the research of human and non-human development. As an interdisciplinary approach it examines individuals across the lifespan with the objective of comprehending the development of individuals with different cultural and ethnic as well as biological background, different economic and cognitive potentials and under diverse living conditions. To facilitate the understanding of developmental processes it is also necessary to overcome the disadvantageous separation of “normal” from “abnormal” human development. Thus, the interdisciplinary field of Developmental Science comprises a holistic approach to understanding how different systems interact and influence development throughout life from genetic and physiological processes to social interactions and cultural processes.
International Journal of Developmental Science is especially devoted to research from the fields of Psychology, Genetics, Neuroscience and Biology and provides an interdisciplinary and international forum for basic research and professional application in the field of Developmental Science. The reader will find original empirical or theoretical contributions, methodological and review papers, giving a systematic overview or evaluation of research and theories of Developmental Science and dealing with typical human development and developmental psychopathology during infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood. All manuscripts pass through a multilevel peer-review process.
In 2007-2010 (Vol. 1-4) this journal was named
European Journal of Developmental Science. In 2011 its name was changed to
International Journal of Developmental Science.
Abstract: The aim of Developmental Science is to understand the complex interacting biopsychosocial mechanisms in the development of living organisms. Thus, Developmental Science has roots in both the biological and social disciplines and can bee seen as a meta-theory rooted in developmental principles to guide work and thinking on biology and social behaviour and their interactions over ontogeny. In this article, we depict the entwined core-elements of Developmental Science which are all more or less subject to two dimensions: a biopsychosocial and a developmental perspective. Within a biopsychosocial frame, we argue, that development is resulting of a nonlinear combination of various…factors, a process that is not restricted to an organism but happens within a complex organism-environment system. On the base of the Transactional Model of Development we argue, that it is necessary to combine a biopsychosocial view of development, considering the reciprocal relationship of environment, phenotype and genotype, with an interactionistic view of human development over time. Some of the fundamental assumptions of the Transactional Model of Development can be assigned to the so called Nature-Nurture debate and lead us from predetermined to probabilistic epigenesis. Next, we give examples to explain how genes and gene products lead to behaviour, introducing Gottlieb's (1992) model of ontogenetic development that depicts the completely bidirectional nature of genetic, neural behaviour, and environmental influences over the course of development. Finally, we refer to models of self-organization to clarify that ontogenetic development is a constructive process of qualitative reorganization within and between systems.
Abstract: Developmental Science aims to generate a new body of knowledge that encompasses and integrates findings from various well-defined academic disciplines concerned with developmental processes of human and non-human organisms. Although all development related research traditions surely have their own distinct history, certain theoretical ideas formulated by James Mark Baldwin, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, and Albert Bandura among others can be considered intellectual cornerstones in the history of Developmental Science. However, the claim for interdisciplinary developmental research put forth by theses theorists and more recently by scientists such as Clarence Luther Herrick and Zing-Yang Kuo did not receive much attention. It…has only been in the past few decades that through the establishment of several interdisciplinary research centres and through the increasing number of publications—in the form of compendia, textbooks, and journals—the long standing endeavour to promote Developmental Science as independent research tradition slowly begin to take an effect.
Abstract: Some arguments are presented why Developmental Science should be seen as integrative part of a general anthropology. This is the reason that developmental science is a boundary opening framework for anthropology, history, cultural sciences and philosophy. The relation between a more culturalistic and naturalistic orientation of developmental science is sketched by referring to the fact that the distinction between nature and culture is drawn within culture, by stating some philosophical problems like the emergence of thought and the problem of developmental change. Emphasis is laid on the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic, relational change, because the latter should be seen…as especially relevant for studying cultural change. Finally, it is argued that the explanatory structure of developmental change needs extensive theorizing and scrutiny in developmental science. An important step towards this direction should be that cultural and natural sciences work together to create a common conceptual framework for developmental science.
Abstract: Both the polyvalent notions of culture and development have been central for building psychological theories. In the present paper, both notions are discussed within the framework of general developmental science and thus from a necessarily systemic perspective. Development is surely culturally informed, yet the process of cultivation is largely unknown until today. One reason for this is the fact that a vast amount of empirical work is conducted quite independently from the construction of adequate theoretical models. The present paper aims at working out the basis of a theoretical model of culture-inclusive development. Cultivation takes mainly place in the semiotic…sphere of personal sign construction and reconstruction under cultural guidance. Sign construction is dynamically organized and canalized on different related levels of organization: micro-, meso- and ontogenesis. The radical methodological implications for investigating cultural developmental phenomena on the basis of this model are outlined.
Keywords: culture and development, developmental science, culturally informed development, aktualgenese
Abstract: Developmental science integrates concepts from developmental medicine, human genetics, developmental and clinical psychology to understand behavioural adjustment and maladjustment in children, adolescents and adults as a product of the transactions between the child, its biological organization and its social experience. Put into such a biopsychosocial perspective, children with intellectual disabilities in general as well as children with single or multiple gene disorders present challenging examples to examine possible relationships between phenotype, environtype and genotype. To illustrate this approach, first an overview over prevalence and type of mental health problems in children with intellectual disabilities is given and some aspects of…their vulnuerability are discussed. Second, the behavioural phenotype of four mental retardation syndromes with well documented and specific behavioural features is described: Fragile-X-syndrome, Williams syndrome, Down syndrome, Cornelia-de-Lange syndrome. Investigations in these groups support the value of analyzing early developmental patterns in combination with neuroimaging approaches in order to promote the understanding of disorders and to design preventive interventions focused on their core features.
Abstract: Is human ontogenesis a product of evolution or a result of individual decisions and actions? In the present paper we aim at solving this apparent conflict between a behavioral genetics approach and an action-theoretical perspective to human development. After a discussion of the idea of active and intentional self-development and the role of genes in development we argue for adequate conceptualizations of development, evolution, and self-determination that allow to understand human development as a joint product of evolution and intention. The paper concludes by proposing an evolutionary developmental psychology that integrates the two positions in that it “adapts” the concept…of evolution to the development of the individual.
Keywords: Human evolution and ontogenesis, intentional self-development, role of genes in development, evolutionary developmental psychology