International Journal of Developmental Science - Volume 7, issue 3-4
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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: In a cross-sectional study with 541 German students (mean age: 12.61 yrs) and (for a subsample of N = 350) one of their parents, developmental conditions for a particular resource of self-regulation (“Flexibility of Goal Adjustment”; Brandtstädter & Renner, 1990) are investigated. Theoretical arguments and empirical results from related fields suggested in particular two sets of variables as possible predictors of adolescents' adaptive competencies. Individual aspects (students' cognitive capacities and earlier developmental stimulations) as well as external conditions (parental coping competences and parent-youth-coorientation) were assessed and included into a path model. Results suggest that both the parental variables and particular…cognitive resources contribute directly to adolescents' adaptive resources, whereas earlier developmental stimulations influenced adolescents' adaptive resources in an indirect way. Suggestions for further studies were discussed with respect both to theoretical and methodological aspects.
Keywords: Accommodation, development of coping, self-regulation, adolescence
Abstract: This longitudinal study analyzed associations of problem behavior with the attainment of developmental tasks in 133 adolescents with visual impairment and 449 sighted peers. Higher levels of initial problem behavior predicted less progress in the attainment of developmental tasks at the one-year follow-up only in sighted adolescents. This association was significantly more negative in sighted adolescents than in adolescents with visual impairment. In addition, we found that a higher initial attainment of developmental tasks was associated with lower levels of problem behavior at follow-up only in the sighted group. Only adolescents with visual impairment who experienced a setback (losing a…romantic partner) showed an increase in problem behavior. Therefore, this group needs more support when facing setbacks.
Abstract: Developmental theories have emphasized that motivational selectivity – focusing on a few goals instead of “wanting it all” – regulates development in individuals, dyads, or groups. We provide first evidence that this motivational strategy predicts an objective, goal-related developmental outcome years later. We followed up on initially childless couples in which both partners had reported the goal of starting a family within the next three and a half years. At baseline, partners reported on their general behavioral tendency to prioritize goals of particular importance in their partnership (i.e., their motivational selectivity). Three and a half years later, 50% of the…couples had realized the goal to have a child. The higher the couples' initial motivational-selectivity scores had been, the more likely they were to have indeed started a family, controlling for other potential predictors of child-bearing. These findings suggest that motivational selectivity meaningfully characterizes social entities like couples, and regulates their development.
Abstract: Little research has explored valence and autonomy in children's imaginary relationships. In the present study, a new interview (modeled after an existing measure for real relationships) was designed to elicit descriptions of both positive and negative interactions with imaginary companions and to provide a measure of relationship valence and autonomy. Children (n = 107) aged 3 to 8 were interviewed about their relationships with real or imaginary friends. Results indicated that (1) the valence of imaginary relationships falls along a continuum, (2) children sometimes view their imaginary companions as autonomous and in control of the imaginary relationship (especially when this…relationship is not positively valenced), and (3) young children and those in less positive relationships (real or imaginary) were more likely to report that they could make their friend be nice to them.
Keywords: Imaginary companions, relationship quality, fantasy/reality, conceptual development
Abstract: Examination of the longitudinal relationship between empathy, social-emotional problems and cyberbullying is still rare and the present study is one of very few. The present study assessed whether low scores of affective and cognitive empathy at wave 1 (t1) can predict involvement in cyberbullying five months later (t2). Furthermore, it was examined whether involvement in cyberbullying at t1 predicts psychopathological symptoms and social withdrawal at t2. Participants were 77 7th and 8th grade students from a control group of a pre-/posttest short-term longitudinal evaluation study of a general anti-bullying program (mean aget1 = 12.53 years, SD =…0.68; gendert1 = 54.5% boys, 45.5% girls). Separate quasi-poisson regression analyses were conducted and traditional bullying and victimization were included as control variables. Low scores of affective, but not cognitive, empathy predicted cyberbullying but not cybervictimization at t2. Neither cyberbullying nor cybervictimization predicted social withdrawal or psychopathological symptoms at t2 as assessed in this study. The research hypotheses were only partly supported, however, this study using short-term longitudinal data revealed evidence for the importance of (affective) empathy in cyberbullying perpetration.