Systems and Development

Systems and Development

Systems and Development

Systems and Development


This volume covers the 22nd Annual Minnesota Symposia on Child Psychology. The theme of the conference was the use of a systematic approach to the study of development. An analysis of systems theory, its applications to the study of development, its benefits, and its drawbacks are considered. The contributors, among the leaders in this field, discuss the application of systems concepts to the analysis of core issues in areas as diverse as motor and social development.


This volume contains chapters based on papers presented at the 22nd Minnesota Symposium on Child Psychology, held October 29-31, 1987, at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. As has been the tradition for this annual series, the faculty of the Institute of Child Development invited internationally eminent researchers to present their work and to consider problems of mutual concern.

The theme of this volume is systemic approaches to the study of development. The contributors each examined the question of what systemic approaches, generally, and general systems theory, more specifically, can and cannot do to help us in our examination of the ontogeny of human behavior. Systemic approaches to the study of development have had a large impact, at least on our rhetoric, since the late 1970s. The goal of this volume is to assemble a group of scholars with diverse perspectives on systems analyses to examine whether these approaches have had or might have an equally impressive impact on our understanding of development.

We are fortunate to have as contributors to this volume some of the most outstanding current scholars in this area. The contributors are John Fentress; Susan Oyama; Jay Belsky, Michael Rovine, Margaret Fish; and Gerald Patterson and Lew Bank. In addition, Esther Thelan, who served as the co-editor for this volume and co-organizer of the 1987 symposium, also served as one of the contributors. Two distinguished scholars, Francas Horowitz and Arnold Sameroff, have added discussions of these chapters.

Traditionally, each in Minnesota Symposia on Child Psychology the Institute of Child Development faculty have attempted to organize the symposium around issues that are on the cutting edge of the field. This 22nd . . .

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