International Journal of Developmental Science - Volume 8, 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: Within contemporary developmental science, models derived from relational developmental systems (RDS) metatheory emphasize that the basic process of human development involves mutually-influential relations, termed developmental regulations, between the developing individual and his or her complex and changing physical, social, and cultural contexts, represented as individual ←→ context relations. When relations are mutually beneficial, they are termed adaptive developmental regulations. Civic engagement develops within the context of adaptive developmental regulations. Individuals' positive engagement with, and contributions to, family, community, and civil society constitutes their contributions to the individual ←→ context exchanges marking positive integration between people and society. We discuss the…development of civic engagement using RDS-based metatheory and review methodological issues raised by studying the development of civic engagement within RDS-based models. We conclude by discussing potential implications of civic engagement development theory for future research and applications aimed at promoting individual thriving and freedom, liberty, and social justice.
Abstract: Young people's civic engagement over the transition to adulthood is often sporadic, interspersed with life transitions, and patterned differently across people. Understanding covariates of patterns of civic engagement, and changes in these patterns, could enhance efforts to promote young adults' civic engagement. Using two time points of data from the Young Entrepreneurs Study (N = 2,364; 61.9% female; 60.9% European American), we identified four profiles of civic engagement: Low Initiative, Moderately Involved, Highly Involved, and Organizers. Profile membership was moderately stable, and stability rates were similar regardless of changes in participants' education status. Participants' initial levels of contribution ideology were…related to stability in profile membership; participants with higher initial levels of contribution ideology were more likely to be classified in the Highly Involved profile at both waves. Implications for future research and applications are discussed.
Abstract: Describing how much and what type(s) of change are evident in civic engagement across adolescence is a fundamental starting point for advancing developmental theory in the civic domain. Using five annual waves of data from a large national U.S. sample spanning 8th–12th grades, our study describes civic engagement typologies and transitions in and out of typologies across adolescence. Four distinct civic typologies were identified across indicators of civic values, behaviors, and future expectations. Two-thirds of youth demonstrated ipsative continuity, i.e., within-class stability over time. Transitions indicated gradual stepwise change in both upward and downward directions and thus provided only modest…support for age-related gains. Our study has the potential to spur theoretical progress regarding civic development by documenting developmental change as a series of transitions that vary across people. Results help to clarify the diverse civic pathways that youth experience across adolescence.
Keywords: Types of civic engagement, longitudinal study of American youth, latent transition analysis, civic development, civic transitions
Abstract: Despite the importance of a democratic school context, little is known about its underling processes. The present research examined in how far a positive social-emotional classroom climate, namely perceptions of community in class and fairness of teachers, furthers students' democratic experiences in school (i.e., open classroom climate for discussion, opportunities to participate in school decisions). The analyses were based on a sample of adolescent high school students from the federal state of Thuringia, Germany (N = 1,286, 52.0% female students, Mage = 13.85). Multilevel structural equation modeling was applied in order to account for individual, class-average, and teacher effects. The…results confirmed the importance of a positive social-emotional climate, both when examining students' individual and class-average perceptions. Significant relationships between students' democratic experiences and teachers' perceptions of the prevailing social-emotional climate, however, were only found among older students.
Abstract: The purpose of this two-wave longitudinal study was to analyze reciprocal associations between identity styles (i.e., socio-cognitive strategies that individuals adopt in processing, structuring, utilizing, and revising self-relevant information) and civic engagement in adolescence. Participants were 1,308 high school students (9–11 grades; 52.9% girls). Findings of cross-lagged models indicated reciprocal associations between identity styles and civic engagement. Specifically, each identity style (i.e., information-oriented, normative, and diffuse-avoidant) predicted changes in later levels of civic engagement, and civic engagement lessened later reliance on one of three identity styles (i.e., the diffuse-avoidant style). Therefore, effects of identity on civic engagement were stronger than…effects of civic engagement on identity. From a practical perspective, these findings underline that interventions aimed at facilitating reliance on various identity styles are likely to have effects also on civic participation and civic experiences are likely to reduce adolescents' avoidance of identity issues.
Abstract: This study investigated age differences in longitudinal effects of volunteering on three facets of subjective well-being (SWB), i.e. positive affect (PA), negative affect (NA), and life satisfaction (LS). Both direct and indirect effects with self-efficacy as mediator were tested. Longitudinal structural equation modeling was used on 5,564 participants of the German Ageing Survey (DEAS) aged 45–54, 55–64, 65–74, and 75–84 years. Volunteering was longitudinally directly related to PA and NA, but not to LS. The mediating role of self-efficacy differed between age groups: While volunteering affected self-efficacy only in the older age groups, self-efficacy affected SWB only in the younger…age groups. Hence, indirect effects of volunteering on SWB with self-efficacy as mediator were found for the two age groups around retirement only (55–64, 65–74 years). Volunteering is beneficial for SWB not only directly, but also indirectly via self-efficacy. This mechanism is strongest for age groups around retirement.
Keywords: Volunteering, subjective well-being, self-efficacy, control beliefs, late adulthood
Abstract: This study examined the effect of community service program-quality on changes in adolescents' intentions to volunteer. Based on the literature, volunteering intentions were expected to increase by programs with high quality community service activities (e.g., instructive activities) and educational activities including reflection. Adolescents (N = 361; M age = 15.67; SD = 0.74) divided in three groups were compared: community service students who were randomly assigned to a reflection intervention (N = 172) or no intervention (N = 142), and students who did not perform community service (N = 47). Data were collected before and after community service, and a…half year after finishing community service. Results showed that adolescents' volunteering intentions increased when performing high quality service activities. When performing low quality service activities, volunteering intentions declined, unless adolescents received the reflection intervention. Thus, high quality activities and reflection are key community service characteristics for stimulating adolescents' volunteering intentions.
Keywords: Volunteering intention, reflection, community service quality, adolescents