Handbook of Developmental Systems Theory and Methodology

Edited by Peter C. M. Molenaar, Richard M. Lerner, and Karl M. Newell

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December 18, 2013
ISBN 9781609185091
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517 Pages
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Developmental systems theory provides powerful tools for predicting complex, dynamic interactions among biological and environmental processes in human behavior and health. This groundbreaking handbook provides a roadmap for integrating key concepts of developmental systems theory (such as self-organization, reciprocal dynamic interaction, and probabilistic epigenesis) and simulation models (connectionist and agent-based models) with advanced dynamic modeling approaches for testing these theories and models. Internationally renowned developmental science scholars present innovations in research design, measurement, and analysis that offer new means of generating evidence-based decisions to optimize the course of health and positive functioning across the life span. Topics include epigenetic development and evolution; the relationship between neural systems growth and psychological development; the role of family environments in shaping children's cognitive skills and associated adult outcomes, and more.

“This handbook covers topics at the leading edge of the developmental sciences. If the study of development over the last century has taught us anything, it's that development is enormously complicated—and disentangling it requires methodological and analytic approaches that mirror its complexity. This volume will serve researchers and students of development for years to come.”

—John Colombo, PhD, Department of Psychology and Director, Life Span Institute, University of Kansas


“This volume makes good on a promise of developmental systems theory that has long gone unfulfilled: real confluence of the many scientific streams that flow into the developmental analysis of behavior. All of the great dichotomies that once characterized nature and nurture—biological and quantitative genetics, individual differences and species-typical characteristics, experimental and nonexperimental approaches, the lab bench and purely virtual simulations of quantitative models—are allowed here to flourish side by side without intellectual rancor. The result is an enriching synthesis that provides a model for the next generation of developmental scientists.”

—Eric Turkheimer, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia


“Development is complex and extends over the entire life course, but early developmental scholarship tended to focus on narrow constructs and restricted portions of the life span. In contrast, this volume offers integrative, relational approaches to human development, assembling cutting-edge work on dynamic systems theory. The contributors identify and solve methodological challenges posed by systems theory, illuminate how new methodologies are grounded in metatheoretical concepts, and illustrate how new methods may be applied to understand and optimize human development. This is an excellent resource for faculty, staff researchers, and doctoral students who wish to study development in all its complexity.”

—Lynn S. Liben, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University.


“Developmental systems theory provides an integrative theoretical foundation for the future of developmental science in a postgenomic world. This handbook provides key lessons about relevant cutting-edge methods along with a multitude of examples of how these methods can be applied. It is an invaluable resource for established developmental systems researchers as well as those seeking to apply this approach to their own work.”

—Peter J. Marshall, PhD, Department of Psychology, Temple University

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

1. Developmental Systems Theory and Methodology: A View of the Issues, Peter C. M. Molenaar, Richard M. Lerner, and Karl M. Newell

II. Relational Developmental Systems Theory

2. Relational Developmental Systems and Developmental Science: A Focus on Methodology, Willis F. Overton

3. Relational Developmental Systems Theories of Positive Youth Development: Methodological Issues and Implications, G. John Geldhof, Edmond P. Bowers, Sara K. Johnson, Rachel Hershberg, Lacey Hilliard, Jacqueline V. Lerner, and Richard M. Lerner

4. Developmental Systems Science: Extending Developmental Science with Systems Science Methodologies, Jennifer Brown Urban, Nathaniel Osgood, Janet Okamoto, Patricia Mabry, and Kristen Hassmiller Lich

III. Epigenetic Development and Evolution

5. Epigenetics and Generative Dynamics: How Development Directs Evolution, Mae-Wan Ho

6. Dynamical Systems, the Epigenetic Landscape, and Punctuated Equilibria, Peter T. Saunders    

IV. Neural Networks and Development

7. Nonlinear Epigenetic Variance in Developmental Processes, Maartje E. J. Raijmakers, Kees Jan Kan, Annemie Ploeger, and Han L. J. van der Maas

8. Dynamical Systems Thinking: From Metaphor to Neural Theory, Gregor Schöner

V. Dynamics of Development

9. Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation: The Linear Case, Flavio Cunha and James J. Heckman

10. Dynamics of Development: A Complex Systems Approach, Han L. J. van der Maas, Kees Jan Kan, Abe Hofman, and Maartje E. J. Raijmakers

11. Dynamic Development of Brain and Behavior, Kurt W. Fischer and Paul van Geert

12. Dynamics of Motor Learning and Development across the Life Span, Karl M. Newell and Yeou-Teh Liu

VI. Dynamics of Social Interaction

13. Differential Equations for Evaluating Theoretical Models of Dyadic Interactions, Emilio Ferrer and Joel Steele

14. A Differential Equations Model for the Ovarian Hormone Cycle, Steven M. Boker, Michael C. Neale, and Kelly L. Klump

VII. Nonlinear Dynamical Models of Development

15. A Regimen-Switching Longitudinal Model of Alcohol Lapse-Relapse, Sy-Miin Chow, Katie Witkiewitz, Raoul Grasman, R. Shane Hutton, and Stephen A. Maisto

VIII. Nonergodic Developmental Systems

16. Idiographic Applications: Issues of Ergodicity and Generalizability, Wayne F. Velicer, Steven F. Babbin, and Richard Palumbo

17. New Trends in the Inductive Use of Relational Developmental Systems Theory: Ergodicity, Nonstationarity, and Heterogeneity, Peter C. M. Molenaar and John R. Nesselroade

IX. Complex Systems Model in Human Development: Reevaluation and Future Directions

18. The Landscape of Inductive Developmental Systems, Phillip K. Wood


About the Editors

Peter C. M. Molenaar, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Human Development and Psychology at The Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on the development, testing, and application of person-centered analysis techniques; psychophysiological research; and psychological process modeling. The recipient of the 2013 Sells Award for Distinguished Multivariate Research from the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology, Dr. Molenaar has also received the Pauline Schmitt Russell Distinguished Research Career Award from Penn State and the Aston-Gottesman Award from the University of Virginia.
 
Richard M. Lerner, PhD, is the Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science and Director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University. Dr. Lerner's research focuses on the relations between life-span human development and social change, and the relations between adolescents and their peers, families, schools, and communities. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association (APA), and the Association for Psychological Science, and is a recipient of the Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society from Division 7 of the APA.
 
Karl M. Newell, PhD, is the Marie Underhill Noll Chair of Human Performance and Professor of Kinesiology and Biobehavioral Health at Penn State. His research focuses on the coordination, control, and skill of normal and abnormal human movement across the life span; developmental disabilities and motor skills; and the influence of drugs and exercise on movement control. Dr. Newell was named an Alliance Scholar by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, and is a recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award from the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity.

Contributors

Steven F. Babbin, MA, Department of Psychology, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island

Steven M. Boker, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Edmond P. Bowers, PhD, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts

Sy-Miin Chow, PhD, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

Flavio Cunha, PhD, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Emilio Ferrer, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, Davis, California

Kurt W. Fischer, PhD, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, Massachusetts

G. John Geldhof, PhD, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts

Raoul Grasman, PhD, Department of Psychological Methods, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

James J. Heckman, PhD, Department of Economics, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Rachel Hershberg, PhD, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts

Lacey Hilliard, PhD, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts

Mae-Wan Ho, PhD, Institute of Science in Society, London, United Kingdom

Abe Hofman, MSc, Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

R. Shane Hutton, MA, Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Sara K. Johnson, PhD, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts

Kees Jan Kan, PhD, Department of Biological Psychology, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Kelly L. Klump, PhD, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

Jacqueline V. Lerner, PhD, Department of Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology, Boston College, Boston, Massachusetts

Richard M. Lerner, PhD, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts

Kristen Hassmiller Lich, PhD, Department of Health Policy and Management, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Yeou-Teh Liu, PhD, Department of Athletic Performance, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei City, Taiwan

Patricia Mabry, PhD, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

Stephen A. Maisto, PhD, Department of Psychology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York

Peter C. M. Molenaar, PhD, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

Michael C. Neale, PhD, Departments of Psychiatry and Human Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia

John R. Nesselroade, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Karl M. Newell, PhD, Department of Kinesiology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

Janet Okamoto, PhD, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona

Nathaniel Osgood, PhD, Departments of Computer Science and Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Willis F. Overton, PhD, Department of Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Richard Palumbo, MA, Department of Psychology, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island

Annemie Ploeger, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Maartje E. J. Raijmakers, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Peter T. Saunders, PhD, Department of Mathematics, King’s College London, and Institute of Science in Society, London, United Kingdom

Gregor Schöner, PhD, Institut für Neuroinformatik, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, Germany

Joel Steele, PhD, Department of Psychology, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon

Jennifer Brown Urban, PhD, Department of Family and Child Studies, Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey

Han L. J. van der Maas, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Paul van Geert, PhD, Department of Developmental Psychology and Heijmans Institute, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

Wayne F. Velicer, PhD, Cancer Prevention Research Center, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island

Katie Witkiewitz, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Phillip K. Wood, PhD, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri

Audience

Researchers and graduate students in developmental and clinical psychology, family studies, neuroscience, education, social work, sociology, and public health.

Course Use

May serve as a required or recommended book for graduate-level courses in developmental research methods, developmental psychology, family research, or advanced research methodology.