Wilson 1983 reported on mental development tests administered on nine occasions to infants and young children from 3 months to 6 years. The authors underline that stability and continuity are two separate concepts, thereby making an important and, often overlooked, point. Most attention has been focused on differences among families in the opportunities they provide for their children. A good illustration is the recent advances in research in endocrinology, pharmacology, and neuropsychology, which have contributed much to the understanding of the interplay of biological and mental factors in individual functioning. These phenomena are inter-related and will very often result in circular patterns of long-term and short-term stressors. To study the haemodynamic effects of captopril in patients with severe heart problems, serial right heart catheterizations were performed in 51 patients who were treated over a period of 2 to 8 weeks Packer et al. Trying to predict one or another of these kinds of personal traits or behaviours will have great influence on the level of genetic and environmental characteristics one should choose to include in the prediction.
As a background to her presentation on genes and environments in individual development, Scarr discusses the reciprocal character of parent-child influences. The human brain and longitudinal research in human development P. Individual development from an interactional perspective. Thus, elementary perceptual or motor functions may be expected to survive such injury but higher order functions may be substantially degraded. Let us look at a developmental curve for a somatic variable that can be studied objectively, namely the weight of the thymus. Time is not equivalent to development, but development always has a time dimension.
Development is a process that, in itself, is entangled and intertwined. Personality in nature, Genes, experience and development 49 society, and culture. This theory looks upon development as a process construed from both social and personal perspectives in various action contexts over the life-time. Often a necessary condition for a significant event to have this dramatic effect is that the individual is in a state of disequilibrium at the time of its occurrence, and the event serves to restore the balance of the total system and give new direction to the life course. This example illustrates the role of individual differences in female growth rate at a crucial age period. Such non-shared events will have additive effects and can eventually result in substantial interindividual variation over the years. The dynamic, temporal character of the change processes involved in individual development is in itself the self-evident reason for the need for longitudinal research.
Human brain growth can be described as the increase in weight and volume of the brain in pre-natal and post-natal life. The extent to which different aspects of individual functioning are influenced by environmental factors in this process varies. Breast milk and subsequent intelligence quotient in children born preterm. Michael Rutter and Paul Casaer, eds. On the other hand, other aspects of individual functioning, such as choice of peers and types of sexual relations, may be strongly open to experiential influences Cairns, 1991.
The developing brain The interrelationship between neuropathological process and disruption of neural systems supporting algorithms of information processing may be expected to be less determinant for the developmental period of life. Experiences the person constructs from exposures to various environments are uniquely correlated to that person's perceptions, cognition, emotions, and more enduring characteristics of intelligence and personality. Table of Contents provided by Publisher. However, the processes that are our Human ontogeny: a longitudinal perspective 21 concern are lawful and regular, and the scientific challenge of uncovering them is of the utmost importance cf. Vulnerable organisms are said to develop well in facilitative environments. In a pattern analysis, the individuals are grouped on the basis of similarities with respect to patterns of values for variables relevant to the problem under investigation see Bergman, Chapter 10. The laws of physics, it is believed, are the same everywhere in the universe.
Much is known of the modulating effect of neural circuit function upon the development of the brain. The presentation of these theories has had a tremendous influence on theory development over many scientific domains. For example, if the rank order from a certain age to a later age remains largely unaltered, stability of that specific variable, e. The methods best suited to the former are not necessarily also appropriate for the latter. Garmezy strongly suggests a change of focus from the traditional one on people with an already diagnosed disorder to include also those who do not, sometimes unexpectedly and contra-intuitively, develop psychiatric disorders.
History and rationale of longitudinal research. Alec Kalverboer, Brian Hopkins and Reint Geuze, eds. Sources of life satisfactions of the Terman gifted men. . Thirdly, each person makes choices about what environments to experience. For example, girls maturing very early reported much stronger alcohol use than later maturing girls. Let us focus on genetically identical pairs reared together and apart, and on adopted pairs of siblings reared together since infancy.
A consequence of this is that biological age and what might be designated functional age, in some cases should be used as a complement to chronological age as a marker of individual development. A striking example of genotype-environment interaction has been reported by Gottesman and Bertelsen 1989 in their follow-up study of offspring of identical and fraternal twins discordant for schizophrenia. David Magnusson and Lars R. Thus, developmental models must be distinguished from models that are restricted to current perspectives which analyse and explain why individuals function as they do in terms of their current psychological and biological dispositions. Map 1: The numbered architectonic subdivisions according to the system of Brodmann. Longitudinal research on individual development Longitudinal research is an essential element in the investigation of human development over time, with considerable advantages over more widely used cross-sectional research designs. Motor development in early and later childhood: longitudinal approaches.
If we were so vulnerable as to be led off the normal developmental track by slight variations in our parenting, we should not long have survived. An error in a longitudinal project may result in wasted years of work, and in errors that are often irreparable. The development of the blood—brain barrier is the result of a fine structural development between blood vessels, glial cells and neurons. The interest in longitudinal research has been promoted by strong arguments presented by Baltes and Nesselroade 1979 , Block 1971 , Cairns, 1979 , Gruenberg and Le Resche 1981 , Livson and Peskin 1980 , McCall 1977 , Robins 1966 , Rutter 1981 , and Wohlwill 1973 , among many others. Patterns of boys' social adjustment in two cultures and at different ages: a longitudinal perspective.
Still more transitory behaviours are situation specific. On one hand, studies of young children up to preschool age children in 'at risk' groups as indicated by obstetrical or neurological complications, such as hypoxia or anoxia at birth, preterm birth, or early grown retardation, present equivocal findings. A major consequence of what has just been said is that, without careful consideration, mathematical models that were developed for the treatment of data in empirical research on non-human dynamic processes, e. Although each pair had a different pattern of spurts and lags in mental growth, the similarity between co-twins was very high within each pair. A redundancy in synaptic connections would be the rule during early brain development, securing the many complex short and long distance connections. Such knowledge contributes to our understanding of individual functioning in a variety of respects that change over time and that can be seen developmentally throughout the whole life-cycle.