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   2011, Vol. 19 Issue (11) : 1563-1571     DOI:
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Person-oriented Theory and Methods in Developmental Research
JI Lin-Qin;ZHANG Wen-Xin
School of Psychology, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250014, China
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Abstract  Variable-oriented approach has been dominating in developmental research. However, over the past two decades, with the theoretical perspectives portraying development as a holistic, highly interactional, and individualized process, and the empirical research indicating there were individual differences in development, the person-oriented approach emerged and gained popularity in developmental research. The focus in on individuals in a person-oriented approach and the goal is to group homogenous individuals into the theoretically or practically meaningful categories or subgroups. The basic tenets of person-oriented approach are presented, and the data analyzing methods including the traditional clustering, model-based clustering, and configural frequency analysis are reviewed. Important issues in conducting a person-oriented research including the validity of categories or subgroups obtained and the match between the theoretical tenets and the concrete methods are discussed, and the researchers are suggested to integrate the person-oriented and variable-oriented approaches in developmental research.
Keywords variable-oriented, person-oriented, theory, method     
Corresponding Authors: ZHANG Wen-Xin   
Issue Date: 15 November 2011
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JI Lin-Qin,ZHANG Wen-Xin. Person-oriented Theory and Methods in Developmental Research[J]. , 2011, 19(11): 1563-1571.
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