Intended as supplemental reading in courses on theories of development, this book augments traditional core texts by providing students with more depth on about two dozen recent and emerging theories that have appeared over the past 20 years. This period has seen a decline of the traditional "grand" theories that attempt to apply to all people all the time in favor of "micro theories" that focus more on individual differences, so a book like this actually points the way toward the future rather than dryly reviewing the past. In addition, the author inspects the changing ways in which the concept of "theory" itself has been interpreted during this period, and he concludes with a chapter suggesting future directions.

Models of Interaction

Models of interaction

As noted in Chapter 1, the term theory is used throughout this book to identity any proposal about (a) which components or variables are important for understanding human development and (b) how those components interact to account for why development occurs as it does. Although the matter of interaction has always been of concern to developmental psychologists, it attracted particular interest during the closing decades of the 20th century, with theorists offering multiple versions of interaction in their explanations of how and why people grow up as they do. The introduction to Part I summarized some main lines of thought about interaction as viewed through the lens of an Altman and Rogoff typology (Altman & Rogoff, 1987). The purpose of ...

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