Bronfenbrenner, U. and Evans, G.W. (2000), Developmental Science in the 21st Century: Emerging Questions, Theoretical Models, Research Designs and Empirical Findings. Social Development, 9: 115-125. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9507.00114.
Our task in this paper is to speculate about the future of developmental psychologyin general and social development in particular, and we shall do so in the light of pastachievements. The first step in such an enterprise, and perhaps the last as well, istelegraphed in the subtitle. The message thereon refers to the elements of a frameworkthat can be used for describing the nature and status of a particular scientific field. Inrecent years, that field under consideration has been increasingly referred to as devel-opmental science.
Upon carrying out a search of the literature, we discovered that, although theoreti-cal articles in this domain have been appearing for more than two decades, the firstattempts to provide a formal definition of a theoretical model for developmentalscience, and to carry out empirical research focused on its investigation, did not occuruntil the late 1990s (Cairns, Elder, and Costello, 1996).The formal definition of the domain appears in a ‘Collaborative Statement’ by thethree authors:
Developmental science refers to a fresh synthesis that has been generated to guideresearch in the social, psychological, and biobehavioral disciplines. It describes a generalorientation for linking concepts and findings in hitherto disparate areas of developmen-tal inquiry, and it emphasizes the dynamic interplay of processes across time frames,levels of analysis, and contexts. Time and timing are central to this perspective. The timeframes employed are relative to the lifetime of the phenomenon to be understood. Unitsof focus may be as short as milliseconds, or as long as years, decades, and millennia. Inthis perspective, the phenomena of individual functioning are viewed at multiple levels—from the sub-systems of genetics, neurobiology, and hormones to those of families, socialnetworks, communities, and cultures. (Op. cit., p. 1).
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