turning points and in the settings the person enters subsequently. It requires examining the chain of events, or "series of contingencies" ( Rutter, 1989), that build on each other in the developmental process, producing distinctive life paths. For example, attending poor schools appears to affect later job success indirectly -- by leading to poor school attendance, which, in turn, increases the probability of early school leaving and a failure to acquire key academic credentials. The lack of academic credentials then increases the probability of erratic employment and of working in unskilled jobs ( Gray, Smith, & Rutter, 1980). Such findings suggest that, in order to understand developmental pathways, the sequence of "key decisions" needs to be identified for groups of individuals, and the contingencies operating between them need to be elucidated. Although it may be useful to focus initially on small segments of time, examining the processes operating at particular turning points, ultimately the task is to place these smaller segments into the broader context of the adolescents' emerging life course.
Bandura A. ( 1982). "The psychology of chance encounters and life paths". American Psychologist, 37, 747-755.
Bronfenbrenner U. ( 1989, April). The developing ecology of human development: Paradigm lost or paradigm regained? Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development, Kansas City, MO.
Caspi A., Bem D. J., & Elder G. H., Jr. ( 1989). "Continuities and consequences of interactional styles across the life course". Journal of Personality, 57, 375-406.
Clasen D. R., & Brown B. B. ( 1985). "The multidimensionality of peer pressure in adolescence". Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 14, 451-468.
Dunn J., & Plomin R. ( 1990). Separate lives: Why siblings are so different. New York: Basic Books.
Eccles J. S., Midgley C., Wigfield A., Buchanan C. M., Reuman D., Flanagan C., & Maclver D. ( 1993). "The impact of stage-environment fit on young adolescents' experiences in schools and families". American Psychologist, 48, 90-101.
Eckert P. ( 1989). Jocks and burnouts: Social categories and identity in the high school. New York: Teachers College Press.
Gray G., Smith A., & Rutter M. ( 1980). "School attendance and the first year of employment". In L. Hersov & I. Berg (Eds.), Out of school: Modern perspectives in truancy and school refusal (pp. 343-370). Chichester, England: Wiley.
Hogan D. P., & Astone N. M. ( 1986). "The transition to adulthood". Annual Review of Sociology, 12, 109-130.
Kagan J., Kearsley R. B., & Zelazo P. R. ( 1978). Infancy: Its place in human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Magnusson D. ( 1988). Individual development from an interactional perspective: A longitudinal study. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Magnusson D. ( 1990). "Personality development from an interactional perspective". In L. A. Pervin (Ed.), Handbook of personality theory and research (pp. 193-222). New York: Guilford.
Random House ( 1973). College dictionary. L. Urdang (Ed. in Chief). New York: Random House.