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Developmental Continuity and Stability

Across the life span, or parts of it, some characteristics change but others are constant. Although development is often identified with change and transformation over time, not all individual or group characteristics alter in development, and development equally includes consistency over time. Consistency in development is tracked at the group average level (continuity) and at the individual order level (stability). Group average and individual order consistencies are both developmentally informative, and consistency is found in characteristics of child, adult, dyad, and environment. This entry distinguishes the two types of consistency, their measurement, importance, moderation, sources, and implications and challenges to interpretation.

Continuity and Stability

Continuity is consistency in the group average level of a characteristic through time (Figure 1) and conventionally indexed by similarity in the ...

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