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International Journal of Behavioral Development, Volume 24 No. 4, 2000

International Journal of Behavioral Development, Volume 24 No. 4, 2000

Esther Thelen
Motor development as foundation and future of developmental psychology
International Journal of Behavioral Development 2000 24: 385-397.
The study of how infants and children come to control their bodies is perhaps the oldest topic in scientific developmental psychology. Yet, for many years the study of motor development lay dormant. In the last two decades, however, there has been an enormous resurgence of interest. As at the time of the very beginnings of our field, the contemporary study of motor development is contributing both empirically and theoretically to the larger questions in development and especially to our understanding of developmental change. In this essay, I trace the course of the changing fortunes of motor development, evaluate where we have been, what we are doing, and speculate on some critical issues for the future. The purpose of this essay is to comment on the general themes and influences that have been a part of motor development’s "rise-fall-and-rise-again" history. For a more comprehensive review of substantive topic areas in motor development, readers are referred to the authoritative treatment recently published by Bertenthal and Clifton (1998) and to the excellent monograph by Goldfield (1995).



Eleanor E. Maccoby
Perspectives on gender development
International Journal of Behavioral Development 2000 24: 398-406.
Two traditional perspectives on gender development—the socialisation and cognitive perspectives— are reviewed. It is noted that although they deal quite well with individual differences within each sex with regard to degree of sex-typing, they do not offer satisfactory explanations for some of the most robust gender dimorphisms: namely, gender segregation and the divergent patterns of interaction within all-male as compared with all-female dyads or groups. These patterns are briefly summarised, and their similarity to those found in nonhuman primates and other mammals is noted. It is argued that an ethological perspective, and its modern successor the psychobiological perspective, are needed, along with the more traditional perspectives, to provide a comprehensive account of gender development as it occurs in dyads and groups as well as within individual children.



Wolfgang Schneider
Research on memory development: Historical trends and current themes
International Journal of Behavioral Development 2000 24: 407-420.
This article presents a survey of research on memory development conducted within the last 120 years. It begins with an examination of historical trends and then focuses on developmental trends over the last three decades. The article concludes with some predictions of future research activities and trends in this classic domain of cognitive development.



Michael J. Shanahan, Frank J. Sulloway, and Scott M. Hofer
Change and constancy in developmental contexts
International Journal of Behavioral Development 2000 24: 421-427.
As the 21st century begins, social forces are creating substantial diversity in developmental settings through the child’s early life course. Aconsiderable proportion of youth will experience disruptions in family structure, fluctuations in levels of economic resources, and residential moves that may involve changes in peer groups and schools. This pa-per reviews a set of conceptual distinctions that are well suited to the study of the dynamic properties of context. The pa-per also underscores the importance of integrating the life course with behavioural genetics to determine more accurately the joint contributions of environments like the family and genotypes to development. Because both person and context exhibit change and stability through time, an understanding of these complex interactions will require generative collaborations among developmentalists from diverse disciplinary backgrounds.



Pierre R. Dasen and Ramesh C. Mishra
Cross-cultural views on human development in the third millennium
International Journal of Behavioral Development 2000 24: 428-434.
The authors examine the prospects of a cross-cultural approach for research in human development. They first examine the apparent conflict between the positivistic and the constructionist paradigms, and examine their methodological implications. They argue for a midline position, seeing the seemingly opposed paradigms as complementary rather than antithetical. The major part of the pa-per lists the further developments needed in the field, in particular taking new theories to the cross-cultural test more quickly, and working out culturally appropriate applications to social issues. Shorter sections are devoted to the choice of appropriate theoretical frameworks, to the development of "indigenous psychologies" and to the working conditions of researchers in different contexts. The authors conclude that the situation of a cross-cultural approach to human development has improved significantly in the last two decades, but that there is still a lot to be done to completely disengage developmental psychology from its inherent ethnocentrism by "taking culture seriously".



Theodore D. Wachs
Nutritional deficits and behavioural development
International Journal of Behavioral Development 2000 24: 435-441.
Despite a high incidence level the study of relations between nutritional deficits and children’s behavioural development is a topic that has been relatively neglected by developmental researchers. Such neglect has implications for the generalisability of developmental theories, especially to less developed countries where the majority of the world’s children live and where nutritional deficits are more likely to occur. This pa-per reviews evidence on the role played by nutritional deficits in children’s development and the mechanisms underlying nutrition  development links. Future directions for collaborative research between clinical, developmental, and nutritional scientists are proposed.



Anna Rönkä, Ulla Kinnunen, and Lea Pulkkinen
The accumulation of problems of social functioning as a long-term process: Women and men compared
International Journal of Behavioral Development 2000 24: 442-450.
Structural equation modelling was used to analyse the developmental processes involved in the accumulation of problems of social functioning from age 8 to age 36 in men (n = 152) and women (n = 145). The accumulation of risk factors in childhood and adolescence, including low control of emotions (aggressiveness and anxiety), school problems (poor adjustment, success, and motivation), and problems in the family (parental drinking and low socioeconomic status), predicted career instability, early timing of parenthood, and a sense of failure at age 27 in both sexes. Similarly, the accumulation of problems of social functioning (e.g. poor financial standing, poor intimate relationships, and drinking problems) tended to continue from age 27 to 36, and be reciprocally associated with career instability at a corresponding age in both men and women. Risk factors in childhood and adolescence directly explained the accumulation of problems of social functioning at age 27 only in men. For women, the relationship was indirect: Asense of failure and the early timing of motherhood mediated risk factors to problems of social functioning at age 36.



Keiko Takahashi and Akira Sakamoto
Assessing social relationships in adolescents and adults: Constructing and validating the Affective Relationships Scale
International Journal of Behavioral Development 2000 24: 451-463.
We propose an Affective Relationships Scale (ARS), specifically constructed to describe core and relatively stable social relationships among people of both genders and of a wide range of ages, from adolescents to adults. The ARS assesses the personal frameworks within which individuals organise their multiple social relationships, by assigning psychological functions to significant others. In Study 1, the ARS among 279 female college students was examined for its factorial validity, to confirm that it reflected normative trends of social relationships that had been documented by previous research(e.g. affective needs toward friends would be stronger than towards parents; "Giving nurture" would be sought more strongly than "Seeking proximity"); and to classify individual patterns of personal frameworks. Study 2 examined the ARS’s convergent and discriminant validity by correlating its scores with those of other psychological measures for 142 female college students. In Study 3, the examination of ARS among a total of 1399 participants of both genders from adolescence to middle-age showed its applicability to males and over a wide age range. Two salient characteristics of the ARS, the delineation of individual patterns of social relationships, and the applicability to different cultures, are discussed.



Brett Laursen, Peter Noack, David Wilder, and Vickie Williams
Adolescent perceptions of reciprocity, authority, and closeness in relationships with mothers, fathers, and friends
International Journal of Behavioral Development 2000 24: 464-471.
Adolescents in Germany and the United States completed questionnaires describing reciprocity, authority, and closeness in relationships with mothers, fathers, and friends. Reciprocity was linked to authority within and across friendships and parent-child relationships; reciprocity and authority were linked to closeness within and across parent-child relationships, but neither within friendships nor across friendships and parent-child relationships. Median splits divided adolescents into high and low closeness groups for each relationship to determine differences in reciprocity and authority. Patterns of reciprocity varied as a function of relationship closeness and nationality, as well as by age and gender. Patterns of authority differed by nationality only.



Xinyin Chen and Bo-shu Li
Depressed mood in Chinese children: Development significance for social and school adjustment
International Journal of Behavioral Development 2000 24: 472-479.
Children’s socioemotional problems have been largely neglected in Chinese collectivistic cultures. The purpose of the study was to examine contributions of depressed mood to social and school adjustment in Chinese children. A sample of children in the People’s Republic of China, initially aged 12 years, participated in this two-year longitudinal study. Data concerning depressed mood, and social and academic performance were obtained from multiple sources including self-reports, peer assessments, teacher ratings, and school records. It was found that depressed mood was stable over the two years. Moreover, depression contributed negatively to later social and school achievement and positively to the development of adjustment difficulties. These results suggest that depressed mood is a significant phenomenon in social and psychological development in Chinese children and thus deserves attention from parents, teachers and professionals.



P. A. George, G. J. Hole, and M. Scaife
Factors influencing young children’s ability to discriminate unfamiliar faces by age
International Journal of Behavioral Development 2000 24: 480-491.
Three experiments examined young children’s ability to discriminate between pairs of unfamiliar faces which differed in age. Apre-test found that 99% of 6-year-olds, but only 36%of 4-year-olds, could reliably decide which of two faces was the oldest. Experiment 1 attempted to identify the nature of the information used for age-processing faces. Face-pairs were presented in four different versions: Original (unmodified image); Features-only (containing only the internal face features); Skin-blur (in which the skin regions of the face were subjected to Gaussian blurring); or Overall-blur (in which the entire image was blurred). The last three versions selectively reduced specific cues to age. No significant differences in age-discrimination performance were found between these different versions, suggesting that, as with adults, children are capable of adaptively using a variety of cues in order to discriminate between faces on the basis of age.

Experiments 2 and 3 investigated in more detail a phenomenon suggested by Experiment 1: That children found it easier to discriminate between faces by age that were similar in age to themselves, than between adult faces. The results suggest that children as young as 6 years can use age to discriminate between faces of all ages with a relatively high degree of accuracy, but experience most difficulty with adult faces.



Valdimar Briem and Hans Bengtsson
Cognition and character traits as determinants of young children’s behaviour in traffic situations
International Journal of Behavioral Development 2000 24: 492-505.
Young children, 3 to 6 years’ old, were observed in two situations: (1) a traffic model, where they used dolls to enact the movements of two children on the way to and from day care; and (2) as they crossed a lightly trafficked, minor road in a situation analogous to that in the model. Atotal of 131 children participated. All were tested in the model situation (a), both on understanding of safety and safety devices and on road-crossing behaviour. The latter was seen as a task consisting of three components (i) using a zebra crossing, (ii) stopping at the curb, and (iii) looking for cars. Asubgroup of 47 children was tested on three character traits, activity, distraction, and impulsivity. Another subgroup of 45 children participated in the roadside situation (b). The results show that although both age and understanding were important predictors of appropriate behaviour in both traffic situations, the behaviour components were differentially related to these factors. Of the character traits, impulsivity was found to be reliably related to traffic behaviour.

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Volume 24, No. 4.rar (3.58 MB)

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