International Journal of Developmental Science - Volume 4, 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 concept of maternal affect attunement has evoked considerable theoretical interest, but attempts at empirical validation have been scarce. The aim of this study was to refine the coding scheme for assessment of maternal affect attunement and to establish the internal validity of the measure. Forty dyads with seven-month-old infants and their mothers were recorded in two face-to-face play situations. Mother-child interactions were coded by four raters on the dimensions of Maintaining Attention and Warm Sensitivity, the latter comprising the subscales of Positive Affect, Social Responsiveness, and Warm Concern. Inter-rater agreements for all scales and subscales were high. Scale reliabilities…and construct stabilities as estimated by test-retest correlations were satisfactory. We conclude that the Maternal Affect Attunement Scale (MAAS) reliably captures individual differences in Maintaining Attention and Warm Sensitivity.
Abstract: It is hypothesized that the fact whether female and male students were socialized in East or West Germany influences their development of spatial ability differently. In this study 357 students from a West German University (Koblenz) and an East German University (Magdeburg) majoring either in computational visualization (CV) or in non-technical fields (NTF) were examined with the Mental-Rotation Test (MRT). In addition they completed questionnaires on experiences and attitudes related to spatial abilities. At both universities males scored higher on MRT than females and CV students higher than NTF students. However, there were significant interactions between major and gender, and…major and university. Males and females, students of different majors and from both universities also differed in their ability-related self-concept, in relevant experiences, in attitudes towards math and physics, and in gender-role attitudes. Linear regression analyses revealed that different attitudinal and experiential variables predict MRT performance in male and female students and that the variance explained by them is higher in females than in males. Our results support the “biological-environmental-interactionist” approach of gender differences in spatial abilities.
Abstract: Most studies of infant cognition focus on group data from single domains. Yet, without the multi-domain testing of the same infants longitudinally, such data cannot be used to evaluate whether the timing of cognitive change occurs in a domain-general or a domain-specific way. We present the results of a longitudinal study pooling data from three European laboratories set up identically. Over 100 healthy, monolingual infants each underwent multi-domain testing at 6 and again at 10 months in six experimental tasks (speech processing, face processing, and action/event processing), as well as a videotaped 3-minute recording of mother/infant dyads in a play…session with an identical set of toys. Previous research examined the effects of maternal sensitivity only on general intelligence measures, but our approach is novel in that it assessed dyadic effects on specific cognitive domains, attempting to pinpoint in finer detail the effects of mother-infant dyadic interaction on the timing of cognitive change. Our findings highlight the importance of a multi-domain approach, in that unlike the assumptions drawn from cross-sectional data, our longitudinal study yielded different developmental timing across domains within the same infants. Our results also highlight a crucial difference: at the group level 6- and 10-month-olds display the expected effects found in previous research, but when re-analysed according to mother-child interaction ratings, the quality of dyadic interaction style turned out to subtly foster or delay development in domain-specific and age-specific ways, contributing to the range of individual differences in timing that we observe in cognitive development over the first year of life.
Abstract: Previous research showed that drawing facilitates memory (Bruck, Melnyk, & Ceci, 2000; Butler, Gross, & Hayne, 1995; Gross & Hayne, 1999). The current study investigated whether drawing strategies could predict spatial memory. Children show a developmental change from drawing object-place binding (object-based coding) to object-region binding (space-based coding) when constructing spatial boundaries around matching Wertheimer stimuli (Common Region Test [CRT], Lange-Küttner, 2006). In the present sample, girls showed the predicted age difference—from object-place to object-region binding—in the CRT. However, a U-shaped development for object-region binding was revealed in boys, with already most of the 6-year-old boys showing this type of…spatial binding. Object-place binding was mainly used by boys from low socio-economic (SES) background. Boys' spatial memory was more improved when they showed object-region binding than girls' spatial memory. However, girls had closed the gap between object and place memory already at age 8, while this was the case in boys only at age 10. Multiple regression analyses revealed that socio-economic status (SES) was a more powerful predictor for spatial memory than age in boys, but not in girls. There were no gender differences in spatial encoding and memory in the group of 10-year-olds. It is suggested that gender-specific preferences for object-place and object-region binding were absent at age 10 because unit-based and region based spatial coding may merge like the parallel discrete and continuous number systems which become integrated with age (Feigenson, Dehaene, & Spelke, 2004).
Keywords: object and place memory, spatial binding, gender differences, drawing, Spatial Memory Development Index (SMDI)
Abstract: This study investigated the relation between motor development, intelligence and mental rotation ability in 5 to 6-year-old children. 80 children performed a standardized motor test (MOT 4-6), a paper-pencil mental rotation test (BIRT) and a non-verbal reasoning test (CPM). A multiple regression analysis revealed that intelligence and motor control abilities were significant and independent predictors of mental rotation performance.
Keywords: motor behavior, spatial performance, mental rotation, children