Relationships as Developmental Contexts

Relationships as Developmental Contexts

Relationships as Developmental Contexts

Relationships as Developmental Contexts

Synopsis

The volume's topic was chosen in part because of the rapidly growing salience of dyadic research perspectives in developmental psychology, but also in social psychology and in fields such as communication and family studies. It provides the most complete representation now available on current theory and research on the significance of personal relationships in child and adolescent development. This volume addresses the ways in which the study of social development has been altered by an emphasis on research questions and techniques for studying children and adolescents in the context of their significant dyadic relationships. Leading scholars--many of them pioneers in the concepts and methods of dyadic research--have contributed chapters in which they both report findings from recent research and reflect on the implications for developmental psychology. Their work encompasses studies of relationships with parents, siblings, friends, and romantic partners. Opening chapters set the stage by describing the key characteristics of social-development research from a dyadic perspective and outlining key themes and contemporary issues in the field. It concludes with commentaries from distinguished senior scholars identifying important directions for future research.

Excerpt

This volume contains chapters based on papers presented at the 30th Minnesota Symposium on Child Psychology, held October 24-26, 1996, at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. As has been the tradition for this series, the faculty of the Institute of Child Development invited internationally eminent researchers to present their work and to consider problems of mutual concern.

This rich tradition also provided the backdrop for a tribute to Willard W. Hartup, Regents' Professor of Child Development and director of the Institute from 1971 to 1982, on the occasion of his retirement in June 1997. The contributors are former students and former and current colleagues of Willard Hartup, all of whom are active scholars in the study of relationships as developmental contexts. As the first and the final chapters of this volume make clear, Professor Hartup has been both a pioneering scholar in this area and a significant influence on other scholars through his compelling writing, stimulating teaching and mentorship, and distinguished work as editor of the journal, Child Development. This volume honors his legacy by advancing the conceptual underpinnings of research on relationships in developmental perspective and presenting new research findings that advance knowledge in the area.

In this volume the chapters on which the symposium presentations were based are arranged into four sections. The first section includes three chapters addressing historical and conceptual perspectives on the study of relationships and development. This section contains a chapter in which Willard Hartup himself, writing with Brett Laursen, distills his view of the origins and pressing issues of research in the area. The second section . . .

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