International Journal of Developmental Science - Volume 3, 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: This study investigated whether peer victimization and gender nonconformity are connected for both pre- and early adolescent boys and girls. 462 predominantly white, middle-class students from Grade 5-9 provided self-reports of victimization (physical, verbal, and relational) and gender nonconformity, as well as peer nominations of gender nonconformity and victimization. Multiple regression analyses showed that for both boys and girls peer-reported gender nonconformity was uniquely predictive of peer-reported victimization. The relationship between peer- and self-reported gender nonconformity and physical and relational victimization was moderated by sex, however, in reverse patterns. The association between gender nonconformity and peer victimization varied as a…function of the type of victimization being experienced (physical, verbal, relational) and the source of ratings of victimization and gender nonconformity (self or peers).
Abstract: This research examined the longitudinal contributions of body dissatisfaction and peer appearance teasing to changes in the global self-worth for middle-school students. 81 girls and 60 boys from two public middle schools were assessed initially in the spring of 7th grade and one year later. The results indicated that body dissatisfaction and peer appearance teasing were negatively related to T2 global esteem after controlling for initial esteem. Gender differences were noted. For the boys, higher levels of both body dissatisfaction and appearance teasing detracted equally from global esteem. Among the girls, the contribution of body dissatisfaction to T2 global…esteem was partially mediated by appearance teasing. Findings are discussed in terms of the importance of critical evaluations by self and others for early adolescents' self-esteem. The need to consider negative appearance teasing as a form of peer harassment with the potential to affect adjustment through self-esteem is also discussed.
Keywords: Self-esteem, body dissatisfaction, peer appearance teasing, early adolescents
Abstract: This study examined whether peer groups can indirectly affect children's academic development in sixth grade (ages 11 to 13) by influencing their engagement in the classroom. From the entire cohort of 366 sixth graders in a town, 87% provided information at the beginning and end of the school year. Peer groups were assessed using Socio-Cognitive Mapping; as an indicator of motivation, teachers reported on students' classroom engagement. Achievement scores were averages of students' grades (summed across performance and effort scores in reading, writing, and mathematics) and achievement scores. Levels of classroom engagement within children's peer groups in the fall predicted…children's own motivation at the same time, and, in turn, children's individual motivation scores predicted changes in their achievement over the school year. Implications are discussed for the cumulative effects of children's peer groups on their academic development during middle school.
Abstract: This study investigated age and ethnicity variations in the association between patterns of perceived emotional support from family, friends, and teachers and depression in early and late adolescents during their transition to junior high school and college. Eighty-seven early and 106 late adolescents participated. Cluster analyses revealed four patterns: Youth who received emotional support only from friends and teachers were distinguishable from youth who received support from all three domains, only from their family, or only from teachers. Perceiving support from all three domains was associated with the lowest depressive symptoms. However, ethnic majority adolescents benefited more from this pattern…than ethnic minority adolescents. To some degree, high emotional support in one domain cross-buffered low emotional support in another. Contrary to predictions, high family support protected ethnic minority adolescents only when other sources of support were not available.
Keywords: Social support, school transitions, adolescence, minority groups, depression-emotion
Abstract: Likeability was examined as an attribute of aggression and withdrawal and as a separate dimension of children's peer relations to determine its influence on psychiatric status in maturity. The sample consisted of 145 men and 177 women who had been assessed with a peer sociometric on the dimensions of aggression, withdrawal, and likeability during childhood, assessed for life stresses and positive resources in early adulthood, and evaluated for psychiatric status at age 35. The results indicated that (1) likeability was separate from aggression, but a moderating attribute of withdrawal as a protective source of influence on psychiatric status in maturity;…(2) life stresses particularly in the men increased, and positive resources particularly in the women, reduced psychiatric vulnerability; and (3) men who had been the more aggressive and the better-liked among their childhood peers remained at psychiatric risk when stress and personal resources were taken into account.
Abstract: In this study, we investigated the relationships between school context and heterosexual adolescents' social reasoning regarding same-sex sexuality and sexual prejudice. One thousand seventy-six adolescents (Female, n=648; Male, n=428) attending two high schools that differed in the degree to which they implemented practices to increase the safety and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT students) responded to a questionnaire regarding their attitudes and beliefs about homosexuality and their judgments regarding excluding and teasing lesbian, gay, and gender non-conforming peers. The results of the study suggest that safe schools practices are related to more tolerant and less stereotypical attitudes…among heterosexual students; particularly regarding gay male sexuality. This study provides additional evidence that adolescents' social reasoning about sexual prejudice is complex and multidimensional.
Keywords: Sexual prejudice, homophobia, adolescents, social reasoning, school context
Abstract: This paper examines the quality of attachment to father, mother and close others in early adolescence and associations with adolescents' later self-perceived peer competence. Early adolescents (n=205) reported their anxious and avoidant attachment (Brennan, Clark, & Shaver, 1998) to mother, father and close others twice, one year apart. Perceived competence with same-sex peers and general self-esteem were assessed two years later. Adolescents were more anxious about close others' availability than mothers' and fathers' availability; moreover, overall anxious attachment decreased over time. Girls were more avoidant of fathers than of mothers or of others; girls were as avoidant of fathers as…boys were of all three attachment figures. Avoidant attachment with father was associated much less strongly with mother avoidance for girls than for boys. Avoidant attachment with father was associated negatively with adolescents' perceived same-sex peer competence two years later, controlling for self-esteem, whereas mother attachment was not. These findings indicate the unique and important role of adolescents' attachment to father, despite his low position in the hierarchy of attachment figures.