International Journal of Developmental Science - Volume 3, issue 4
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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 examined naturally occurring toddler peer interactions by means of assessing formal attributes as well as their content. We specifically investigated meanings or topics that toddlers can share in interactions. Twenty-three target children (17-23 months, 11 female) were videotaped for one hour in free-play situations in their daycare groups in Berlin, Germany. An observational coding-system identified 825 dyadic interaction units and determined the duration, the contexts, object involvement, reach of a shared meaning, and the specific themes. Twenty-four shared meanings or themes could be identified and were condensed to three social topics in early peer interaction: play, socializing and…conflict. Associations between interaction frequencies, formal aspects of the interactions, social topics and characteristics of the interacting children (age, sex, duration of peer group membership, friendship status and readiness to start interaction) are reported. Results showed that not only characteristics of the target children, but also characteristics of the interacting dyads accounted for differences in the interaction process and content.
Keywords: peer interaction, peer relations, early childcare, toddlers, social competence
Abstract: According to a relation-theoretical approach, the construction of reciprocal relationships is an important aspect of social competence. The relevance of intraindividual adaptation of interaction behavior towards different partners for the development of social competence with peers in early childhood has rarely been studied. Three main questions represent the focus of this study: (1) When do children start displaying partner-dependent interaction behavior? (2) When do they develop close reciprocal relationships? (3) Do relationship schemes acquired during early childhood within the peer group predict adaptation to peer groups in kindergarten and school. A longitudinal study was carried out with 13 children in…two different age groups (M = 15 months for group A and M = 24 months for group B). Children and their mothers met twice a week in a playroom at a university. Children's interactions were videotaped about 40 minutes weekly and coded. Two follow-ups in the kindergarten and first grade were carried out in order to obtain information about the children's peer status. The Social Relation Model (Kenny & LaVoie, 1984) was applied to analyze peer relationships by differentiating between individual characteristics and partner-specific dependence at the interaction level. The results showed partner-specific dependency for both age groups. However, the dependency as well as close relationships only developed during the second time period within the younger group. Long-term effects of the interaction competence on later peer status in kindergarten and first grade occurred for the younger but not for the older group.
Keywords: peer interaction, friendship, peer status, social competence, Social Relation Model
Abstract: This study examined whether 19-month-old infants' social understanding was related to their interaction behavior during dyadic cooperation with a peer. Toddlers' ability to predict others' action intentions was examined using a computerized experimental task. The children watched a series of stimulus movies in which an actor expressed her liking or disliking towards two different objects and then announced that she was going to grasp one of them. Toddlers' eye movements were registered, and it was examined whether they showed anticipatory looks to the object the model was going to grasp. During the dyadic cooperation task the toddlers interacted with an…unfamiliar peer. Toddlers' interaction performance during cooperation was observed, and affiliative and antagonistic behaviors were coded. Intention understanding was positively correlated with affiliative behaviors, and negatively with antagonistic behaviors during the cooperation task. Measures of cooperation success were not related to toddlers' intention understanding. Toddlers' capability to understand others' intentions was thus closely associated with their peer interaction behavior, but not with their task performance.
Abstract: In this paper we present a cross-cultural study of toddler interactions with other juveniles (1-15 years of age) in two small-scale societies, the Bofi farmers and foragers of Central Africa. This paper provides a unique perspective because child development studies have predominantly been conducted in Western industrialized settings. Most studies of juvenile interactions among non-Western small-scale cultures have focused either on sibling caretaking or the functional value of juvenile play-groups, while little attention has been given to various types of juvenile interactions. In this study we utilized naturalistic observations of 21 Bofi farmer and 22 Bofi forager toddlers to examine…the role of cultural group and age in how toddlers interact with other juveniles, specifically with respect to caretaking, social, and conflict interactions. Toddler-juvenile caretaking interactions were quite similar among the Bofi foragers and farmers despite differing parental ethno-theories about juvenile caretaking, and age effects were apparent only among the farmers. Toddler-juvenile social interactions were predicted by both age and cultural group: Toddlers engaged socially with juveniles more as they grew older in both groups, but farmer toddlers interacted with juveniles more than did forager toddlers overall. Bofi farmer and forager toddler conflicts appeared quite infrequent by Western standards, although cultural group differences were apparent: Farmer toddlers engaged in more conflict with juveniles than forager toddlers did. Lastly, the topics of conflicts varied according to cultural group, but not age: Farmer toddler conflicts were more often related to disagreements over objects and responses to physical aggression than were forager toddler conflicts.
Keywords: toddlers, conflict, social interaction, caretaking, culture, Central Africa
Abstract: The present study aimed to explore social origins of peer interactions from the perspective of attachment theory. After five months of experience in child care, 34 infants averaging 15 months of age were videotaped with their peers during free play in the group without care providers involved. Four types of interactional tendencies, i.e. contact seeking, possession conflicts, object exchanges, and play were registered for the target infant as being most prevalent in interpersonal activities with peers. Furthermore, the security of infants' attachments to their mothers was assessed prior to child-care entry and those to primary care providers, five months later.…Associations of infants’ attachments and infants' interactional tendencies were stronger for infant-care provider attachments than for infant-mother attachments. Especially long play times with a few peers were typical for infants with secure attachments to care providers, whereas lower rates of possession conflicts and object exchanges were found to be linked to infants' attachment security to their mothers.
Keywords: attachment security, contact seeking, possession conflicts, object changes, play