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Current Trends in Research on Behavioral Development in the Federal Republic of Germany

Silbereisen, Rainer K.; Schuhler, Petra

The state and perspective of developmental psychology in the Federal Republic of Germany is analyzed with respect to (a) professional education, (b) resources for research, (c) actual fields of research, and (d) media of professional communication. Current trends of research were investigated by a combination of multi-category content analyses of national (and international) journal publications, and survey data with respect to research interests and planned studies of German developmentalists. Included among the main trends are: (a) an increasing emphasis on longitudinal studies, sometimes combined with short-term interventions; (b) a growing interest in studies representative of natural conditions; (c) although still relatively rare, some of the studies employ a developmental perspective not only for persons but also for relations between persons and changes in environmental factors; (d) areas of heaviest concentration are cognitive development, social as well as personality development, with a trend towards more molar concepts of action-regulating systems instead of small-range models; (e) a growing number of studies on youth and adolescence; (f) new efforts towards a systematic elaboration of the application perspectives of developmental psychology. Professional education as well as research in developmental psychology was highly influenced by a 6-year program from the Volkswagen foundation. As a result, one could observe an increase in quantity as well as an improvement in quality both of teaching and research. Two further steps are now being planned: (a) a post-graduate program, the first one in German psychology, will start in 1983; (b) further efforts to broaden symmetric international communication and cooperation will be undertaken.
Published in: International Journal of Behavioral Development, 10.1177/016502548200500301, SAGE Publications
  • Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.
  • This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.