ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

›› 2009, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (04): 736-744.

Previous Articles     Next Articles

Developmental Contextualism: An Instance of Development System Theories

ZHANG Wen-Xin;CHEN Guang-Hui   

  1. School of Psychology, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250014, China
  • Received:2008-11-05 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2009-07-15 Published:2009-07-15
  • Contact: ZHANG Wen-Xin

Abstract: Developmental Contextualism, as an instance of developmental system theories, represents a new and increasingly influential theoretical perspective on human development. The central idea of Developmental Contextualism lies in that changing, reciprocal relations (or dynamic interactions) between individuals and the multiple contexts within which they live comprise the essential process of human development, and that the goodness-of-fit of between the person and the context can foster the positive development of individual. In contrast with the notion of predetermined epigenesis as reflected in many stage theories of human development, theorists of Developmental Contextualism admit greater plasticity in development and believe that developmental changes are probabilistic in respect to normative outcome due to variations in the timing of biological, psychological, and social factors (or levels) that provide integrative base of ontogenetic progression. The circular effects research—a new research approach—has been proposed by Developmental Contextualism to investigate the circulate functions in development.

Key words: context, probabilistic epigenesis, circular effects research, plasticity, the goodness-of-fit model