A Dynamic Systems Approach to Adolescent Development

Edited by Saskia Elske Kunnen

© 2012 – Psychology Press

192 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9781848720374
pub: 2011-11-03
US Dollars$85.00

About the Book

The dynamic systems approach is a rapidly expanding advancement in the study of developmental research, particularly in the domain of adolescent development. It provides a unique way of examining the subject, and this innovative study of developmental processes helps social scientists to translate dynamic systems conceptualizations into clear empirical research that readers will be able to implement themselves.

The first part of this edited book discusses techniques that describe and assess specific process characteristics such as variability, sudden jumps and attractor states. The second part explores the different techniques for building a dynamic systems model, which can simulate the behaviour of a system to investigate the mechanisms behind the processes. Each chapter describes one technique and is based on a specific practical example of its application in adolescent development. Step-by-step instructions for model-building and examples of ready-made models are provided on the website that belongs to the book: www.psypress.com/dynamic-systems-approach.

This book provides a clear step-by-step description of theories and techniques that are designed for the study of developmental processes, and is therefore ideal for researchers of developmental psychology who do not specialise in statistics or research methods.


"The major strength of the book is the detailed explanation of the methods provided across the chapters. I would definitely recommend it to students and colleagues interested in studying development from a dynamic systems perspective." - Susan Branje, Associate Professor, Research Centre for Adolescent Development, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

"This book presents a strong case for adopting a dynamic systems approach and accessible explanations of ways to test relevant research questions. The author provides a clear overview of the assumptions underlying the methods described, allowing researchers to make informed decisions about the best methods for their own approach." - Dr Rachel Taylor, Principal Lecturer in Psychology, University of Glamorgan.

Table of Contents

S. Kunnen. Introduction. S. Kunnen & P. van Geert. A Dynamic Systems Approach of Adolescent Development. Part 1. S. Kunnen. The Search for Process Characteristics. P. van Geert, H. Steenbeek & S. Kunnen. Monte Carlo Techniques: Statistical Simulation for Developmental Data. S. Kunnen, M. van Dijk, A. Lichtwarck-Aschoff, M. Visser, P. van Geert. The Search for Variability and Change. T. Hollenstein. Using State Space Grids for Understanding Processes of Change and Stability in Adolescence. Part 2. S. Kunnen. Toy Models and the Search for Mechanisms. S. Kunnen. The Art of Building Dynamic Systems Models. S. Kunnen & H. Bosma. A Logistic Growth Model: Stage-Wise Development of Meaning Making. P. van Geert, H. Steenbeek & S. Kunnen. Agent-Based Modeling in Developmental Psychology. S. Kunnen, A. Lichtwarck-Aschoff & P. van Geert. The Search for the Relations between Micro and Macro Development. S. Kunnen. Overview, Conclusions and Future Perspectives.

About the Editor

Saskia Kunnen is Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Groningen where she researches and teaches dynamic systems modelling and the application of dynamic systems theory in the field of identity development in adolescence and emerging adulthood.

About the Series

Studies in Adolescent Development

The Studies in Adolescent Development series is published in conjunction with the European Association for Research on Adolescence and is committed to publishing and promoting the highest quality of writing in the field of adolescent development.

The series aims to respond to the recent shifts in the social and ecological environment of adolescents and in the new theoretical perspectives within the social science by providing a range of books, each of which deals in-depth with an aspect of current interest within the field of adolescent development.

Each book focuses on a specific aspect of adolescence and provides either a clear picture of the research endeavours which are currently serving to extend the boundaries of our knowledge and understanding of the field, or an insightful theoretical perspective of adolescent development. The editors encourage publications which represent original contributions to the field.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Adolescent

Free Resources

Appendices for A Dynamic Systems Approach to Adolescent Development

Appendix chapter 5

Explanation of the techniques in "Searching for discontinuity"

Appendix chapter 6

Applying the state space techniques

Appendix chapter 8 (1)

Building simple growth models

Appendix chapter 8 (2)

Explanation of the model

Appendix chapter 9

Explanation of the model

Appendix chapter 10

How to use the agent model

Excel Demos

Most probably, in some cells of the file will appear the error notification #NAME or a comparable notification in your own language. This can be solved easily. In the poptools menu is an option: update poptool links. Click on this option, confirm, and the problem is solved. (Note that you should have installed poptools according to the instructions in the appendix.)

PopTools is a versatile add-in for PC versions of Microsoft Excel (97, 2000 or XP) so there may be compatibily issues in later and Mac versions of Excel.

Demo chapter 4 resampling path new

Demo chapter 5_1 peak

Demo chapter 5_2 membership new

Demo chapter 5_2 membership new

Demo Model chapter 10 adolescent autonomy

Demo model chapter 11 micro-macro

Demo Model chapter 8 logistic growth