International Journal of Developmental Science - Volume 2, issue 1-2
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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: This article provides a review and synthesis of concepts, research programs, and measures in the infant and child temperament area. First, the authors present an overview of five classical approaches to the study of child temperament that continue to stimulate research today. Subsequently, the authors carve out key definitional criteria for temperament (i.e., inclusion criteria) and the traits that qualify as temperamental according to the overview and defined criteria. The article then reviews leading programs of research that are concerned with the ways in which early childhood temperament affects psychosocial development, both normal and abnormal. After touching on measurement issues…and tools, the authors conclude with an outlook on child temperament research.
Keywords: infant and child temperament, emotionality, personality, development, childhood
Abstract: This paper considers first the concepts of temperament and emotion and then describes some of the genetic and neurochemical correlates of varied temperamental biases and their contribution to emotions. This discussion is followed by a detailed description of the infant temperamental biases called high- and low-reactive to unfamiliarity and their derivatives across the first 15 years of life. The essay ends with a discussion of the possibility of temperamental differences among reproductively isolated populations.
Keywords: temperament, reactivity, fear, amygdala, social anxiety
Abstract: Impulsivity and inattention are key constructs at the interface of temperament and domains of childhood behavioral problems, such as ADHD and ODD. A multi-method, multi-source assessment of impulsivity and inattention was conducted with 256 families of twins at a mean age of 8-9 years from an epidemiologically defined community sample. Analysis of 20 impulsivity, inattention, and related behavior-problem measures yielded a single principal component, which could also be decomposed into five narrower factors. These narrower factors distinguished inattention and impulsivity content from more defiant content, and split the domain by method of assessment. Males scored significantly higher on factors related…directly to impulsivity and inattention. Lower socioeconomic status also predicted impulsivity and inattention, as well as defiance and aggression, and lower IQ modestly predicted impulsivity and inattention. Biometric analyses showed that these multi-source measures of childhood impulsivity and inattention were highly heritable, with genetic variance accounting for 70-80% of the phenotypic variance in many of the models. Shared environmental factors were generally not influential, and nonshared environmental effects were stronger for males than for females for inattention/impulsivity These results suggest that impulsivity and inattention during this period of childhood are (1) clearly related to concurrent aggressive/defiant symptoms; (2) multidimensional, with influences of method of assessment on outcome; and (3) highly heritable, with possible gender differences in the strength of genetic effects.
Abstract: The last decades, an increasing literature on prenatal influences on child behaviour, including temperament, has emerged. This review will give an overview of animal and human studies that have focused specifically on the relation between prenatal stress exposure and offspring behaviour or temperament in early life. The concept and assessment of prenatal stress in animal and human studies is described, and biological responses to stress exposure in humans are discussed. Furthermore, potential mechanisms related to prenatal stress exposure and offspring behaviour are summarized. Findings of both animal and human studies suggest that adaptation to novelty, altered attention, and increased emotionality…may be the result of in utero exposure to stress. Although the effect sizes of most studies are rather small, these variations in behaviour could be a risk factor for later psychopathology.
Abstract: Longitudinal studies have found associations between parenting and the development of conduct problems, and have found that resistant to control temperament moderates these associations. Intervention studies have found associations between intervention-induced changes in parenting and subsequent reductions in children's conduct problems. However, no study to date has evaluated whether parents' self-initiated efforts to change their parenting practices affect children's conduct problems and whether effects depend on children's temperament. The current study asked whether parents' concerted efforts, or campaigns, to increase their involvement and limit-setting were effective in reducing growth in conduct problems from late childhood to early adolescence. It also…asked whether the effects of campaigns varied according to children's levels of temperamental resistance to control. Analyses statistically controlled for parenting practices and conduct problems before the campaigns, socioeconomic status, gender, and ethnicity. Results indicated that campaigns that included increased involvement and limit-setting were beneficial only for youths who were rated in early childhood as temperamentally resistant to control.
Keywords: conduct problems, temperament, parenting, moderator effects, family change
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to discuss how recent advances in the temperament field have contributed to the scientific foundation of temperament-based intervention. A presentation of the historical origins of temperament-based intervention is followed by examples of recent studies that add to its empirical support. Guidelines for developing and adapting temperament-based interventions are offered. The goodness of fit model, frequently used as a basis for temperament-based intervention, is re-examined through the lens of self-regulation.
Keywords: temperament, intervention, Goodness of Fit
Abstract: This study explores parental ethnotheories of children's temperament through mothers' responses to McDevitt and Carey's Behavioral Style Questionnaire (1978) for 299 children aged 3 to 8 years and interviews with their parents, in Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the United States. We first established a standardized, “derived etic” version of the questionnaire with adequate reliability for 8 of the original 9 scales. Cross-cultural comparisons of the scales' means showed generally similar perceptions of children's behavior. However, intercorrelations of the mean ratings with each other and with global “difficulty,” as presented through multidimensional scaling, showed both general tendencies…and culture-specific patterns, which are further illustrated by parental discourse about “difficult” children in each sample. The findings underline the importance of parental ethnotheories for shaping the expression of temperament in development.
Abstract: In this paper, we review findings from Project Competence on the nature of personality development from middle childhood through the early adult years and place these findings in the context of current research on temperament and personality traits. In a series of studies using data drawn from the Project Competence longitudinal project, we have addressed a set of fundamental questions about personality development: What form or structure do personality differences take in middle childhood? To what extent is there continuity or change in youths' personalities over time? Do children's personality differences predict their mastery of developmental tasks in childhood and…adulthood? In this paper, we review the findings for four middle childhood traits with significant overlap with four of the Big Five traits—Mastery Motivation (Openness), Academic Conscientiousness, Surgency (Extraversion), and Agreea-bleness. Adopting a “personality perspective” on children's traits has yielded important insights into the patterns of individual lives over time and should prove helpful in future work bridging the gap between early childhood temperament and adult personality.
Keywords: personality development, Big Five traits, temperament, competence, childhood development
Abstract: It has been suggested in many studies and reviews that the form of aggressive behaviour displayed differs between the two genders. Studies that take on a developmental focus argue that the prevalence of aggression in general and relational/indirect aggression in particular varies over the developmental course of boys and girls with regard to its different function in children's and adolescents' biopsychosocial development. A closer look at the results on gender-specific expression of aggression reveals an ambiguous picture, however. Thus, the aim of this present paper is to discuss first results of a meta-analysis on studies that deal with questions regarding…gender and age differences in relational and indirect aggression. Our results on 30 effect sizes from 23 primary studies on relational and indirect aggression revealed that there is sparse evidence for gender differences and for age differences in relational/indirect aggression, supporting a gender similarities hypothesis as opposed to a gender differences hypothesis. Further analyses are needed to investigate whether these differences are expression of developmental variances or the results of an underlying moderator effect of information source or other moderators.
Keywords: relational aggression, indirect aggression, meta-analysis, gender differences, age differences
Abstract: Gender differences in a psychometrical and in a chronometrical mental rotation test and in a standardized math test were investigated with a sample size of 109 boys and girls aged 7 or 8 years. The results revealed gender differences in all accuracy-based measures, i.e., in the paper-pencil mental rotation test, in the math test, and in the error rate of the chronometrical test. In line with the literature for adults, however, no gender difference was found in the speed of mental rotation itself. Moreover, no evidence for a speed-accuracy tradeoff was found. Thus, gender differences in tasks of math and…visual-spatial cognition are present well before puberty but they seem to be restricted to accuracy-based measures.
Keywords: gender differences, math performance, visual-spatial cognition, mental rotation