International Journal of Developmental Science - Volume 7, issue 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: The emerging field of molecular epigenetics studies relatively stable changes in genetic activity that are not due to changes in the DNA sequence. Initial research results indicate a functional role for epigenetic mechanisms in neuron development and neuronal cell function. However, concepts that integrate these findings in an overall theory of psychobiological development have yet to be developed. Gilbert Gottlieb's probabilistic epigenesis and his scheme of psychobiological development provide an ideal starting point for this effort. Based on a modified version of Gottlieb's scheme of psychobiological development, this study conceptualizes epigenetic mechanisms as molecular underpinnings mediating interactions between neural and…genetic activity levels. Three different functional contexts of epigenetic mechanisms in neuronal cells are identified: genomic, developmental, and synaptic. Finally, consequences for a model of psychobiological development and implications for future research in molecular epigenetics are discussed.
Abstract: The present study was designed to examine cross-cultural differences in longitudinal links between infant temperament toddler behavior problems in the U.S. (N = 250) and Russia (N = 129). Profiles of risk/protective temperament factors varied across the two countries, with fewer significant temperament effects observed for the Russian, relative to the U.S. children. Regression analyses indicated important contributions for high levels of infant Negative Affectivity, and low levels of Falling Reactivity and Soothability, to Internalizing type difficulties for U.S., but not Russian, youngsters. Falling Reactivity also lowered the risk for Externalizing problems in the U.S., with Vocal Reactivity emerging as…a marginal risk factor for Externalizing difficulties in Russia only. In addition, a number of mean differences between Russia and U.S. with respect to temperament and behavior problem scores, as well as significant interactions between culture and gender for Fear and Low Intensity Pleasure, emerged. Overall, this pattern of results may be indicative of greater importance of early self-regulation of negative emotions for children in the U.S.
Keywords: Temperament, cross-cultural developmental psychology, behavior problems, early childhood
Abstract: It is important to account for timing of puberty when studying the adolescent brain and cognition. The use of classical methods for assessing pubertal status may not be feasible in some studies, especially in male adolescents. Using data from a sample of 478 males from a longitudinal birth cohort, we describe the calculations of three independent height-based markers of pubertal timing: Age at Peak Height Velocity (APHV), Height Difference in Standard Deviations (HDSDS), and Percent Achieved of Adult Stature (PAAS). These markers correlate well with each other. In a separate cross-sectional study, we show that the PAAS marker correlates well…with testosterone levels and self-reported pubertal-stage scores. We conclude by discussing key considerations for investigators when drawing upon these methods of assessing pubertal timing.