Chapter

1 Developmental Science Across the Life Span

An Introduction

Developmental Psychology

I. FOUNDATIONS OF DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN

  1. Richard M. Lerner1,
  2. M. Ann Easterbrooks2,
  3. Jayanthi Mistry3

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop206001

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Lerner, R. M., Easterbrooks, M. A. and Mistry, J. 2012. Developmental Science Across the Life Span . Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 6:I:1.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Tufts University, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development and Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Medford, Massachusetts, USA

  2. 2

    Tufts University, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development, Medford, Massachusetts, USA

  3. 3

    Tufts University, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development, Medford, Massachusetts, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

Abstract

We discuss the historical bases and conceptual features of developmental science, a field that seeks to describe, explain, and optimize intraindividual change and interindividual differences in intraindividual change across the life span. Framed by relational developmental systems theories of human development, developmental science involves the integration of variables from levels of organization ranging from biology through culture, the physical ecology, and history and, because of the plasticity in the human development systems that derives from temporal embeddedness, there is an integration of basic research and applications aimed at promoting positive human development. The chapters in this volume describe the foundations of developmental science, the processes involved in development across infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, and the ways in which developmental science may be applied to enhance thriving and social justice across the life span.

Keywords:

  • developmental science;
  • relational developmental systems theory;
  • plasticity;
  • applied developmental science;
  • infancy;
  • childhood;
  • adolescence;
  • adulthood