Advancing Developmental Science: Philosophy, Theory, and Method, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Advancing Developmental Science

Philosophy, Theory, and Method, 1st Edition

Edited by Anthony S. Dick, Ulrich Müller


258 pages

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Paperback: 9781138960046
pub: 2017-06-28
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pub: 2017-06-22
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Developmental science is an interdisciplinary scientific field dedicated to describing, understanding, and explaining change in behavior across the lifespan and the psychological, environmental, and biological processes that co-determine this change during the organism’s development. Developmental science is thus a broad discipline that lies at the intersection of psychology, biology, sociology, anthropology and other allied disciplines. Advancing Developmental Science: Philosophy, Theory, and Method reflects this broad view of developmental science, and reviews the philosophical, theoretical, and methodological issues facing the field. It does so within the Process-Relational paradigm, as described by developmentalist Willis Overton over the course of his career. Within that framework, this book explores development in a number of specific cognitive, neurobiological, and social domains, and provides students and researchers with a comprehensive suite of conceptual and methodological tools to describe, explain, and optimize intraindividual change across the lifespan.


'This superb collection of essays builds a bridge from the great developmental theories of the past to the new insights and methods shaping the developmental science of today. It is no accident that the volume is framed as a tribute to Willis Overton, who has long modeled theoretical wisdom for the field. The volume belongs on the bookshelf of all scholars interested in the future of developmental science.' -William Damon, Stanford University

'Willis Overton’s metatheoretical contributions provided scientists with a new lens for viewing development, one that shifts attention away from reductionist splits of nature vs nurture to approaches marked by holism, process, and relational analyses. This volume is essential reading for students of developmental science seeking to understand how these ideas motivated thinking across a wide range of topics, from the nature of development, gender, health, to resilience in adolescence.' - Carol Martin, Arizona State University

Table of Contents

Foreword Richard M. Lerner

1. Integrating, Philosophy, Theory, and Method in Contemporary Developmental Science: An Overview of the Issues Anthony Steven Dick and Ulrich Müller

Section I. Theoretical and Methodological Issues in Development: A Relational Perspective

2. What is Development? Ulrich Müller and Abigail Graves

3. Embodiment Peter J. Marshall

4. Dynamic Systems Theory David C. Witherington

5. Biological Processes and Psychological Development Robert Lickliter

6. The Ontogenesis of Neural Networks from a Network Science Perspective Anthony Steven Dick

7. The Contribution of Statistical Modeling to Developmental Theory Alexander Von Eye

Section II: The Relational Perspective: Cognitive And Social-Emotional Development in Context

8. Moral Development in Contexts Larry Nucci and Elliot Turiel

9. Embracing Complexity in the Study of Executive Function and its Development Philip David Zelazo and Stephanie M. Carlson

10. A Contextually and Developmentally Sensitive View of Children’s Memory Development: Between the Laboratory and the Field Deirdre Brown and Michael E. Lamb

11. Language Development: Motion Verb and Spatial-Relational Term Acquisition from a Developmental Systems Perspective Shannon M. Pruden and Rosalie Odean

12. Communication as the Coordination of Activity: The Implications of Philosophical Preconceptions for Theories of the Development of Communication Jeremy I. M. Carpendale

13. Development of Deductive Reasoning Robert B. Ricco

14. Positive Youth Development: Applying Relational Developmental Systems Metatheory to Promote Thriving Lynn S. Liben and Emily F. Coyle

15. Positive Youth Development Jacqueline V. Lerner and Kristina Schmid Callina

16. Development of Relational Wisdom and Happiness in Late Adulthood Masami Takahashi

17. Environmental Context and Social Relationships: A Relational Perspective on Health Disparities Noah J. Webster, Kristine J. Ajrouch, Wylie H. Wan, and Toni C. Antonucci

18. Developing Persons and Clashing Cultures Jeanette A. Lawrence

19. The "Spaces In-Between": Applying Relational Developmental Systems to Identity and Moral Character Bryan W. Sokal, Michael J. Chandler, Stuart Hammond, Kelly McEnerney, and Peter Marle

Afterword: Developmental Science, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, Willis F. Overton

About the Editors

Anthony Steven Dick is Associate Professor of Developmental Science and Director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Program in the Department of Psychology at Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA. His research focus is on the developmental cognitive neuroscience of language and executive function.

Ulrich Müller is Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. His research focuses on cognitive and social development in early childhood.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / General