A Dynamic Systems Approach to Adolescent Development
Edited by Saskia Elske Kunnen
Psychology Press – 2012 – 192 pages
The dynamic systems approach is a rapidly expanding advancement in the study of developmental research, particularly in the domain of adolescent development. It provides a unique way of examining the subject, and this innovative study of developmental processes helps social scientists to translate dynamic systems conceptualizations into clear empirical research that readers will be able to implement themselves.
The first part of this edited book discusses techniques that describe and assess specific process characteristics such as variability, sudden jumps and attractor states. The second part explores the different techniques for building a dynamic systems model, which can simulate the behaviour of a system to investigate the mechanisms behind the processes. Each chapter describes one technique and is based on a specific practical example of its application in adolescent development. Step-by-step instructions for model-building and examples of ready-made models are provided on the website that belongs to the book: www.psypress.com/dynamic-systems-approach.
This book provides a clear step-by-step description of theories and techniques that are designed for the study of developmental processes, and is therefore ideal for researchers of developmental psychology who do not specialise in statistics or research methods.
"The major strength of the book is the detailed explanation of the methods provided across the chapters. I would definitely recommend it to students and colleagues interested in studying development from a dynamic systems perspective." - Susan Branje, Associate Professor, Research Centre for Adolescent Development, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
"This book presents a strong case for adopting a dynamic systems approach and accessible explanations of ways to test relevant research questions. The author provides a clear overview of the assumptions underlying the methods described, allowing researchers to make informed decisions about the best methods for their own approach." - Dr Rachel Taylor, Principal Lecturer in Psychology, University of Glamorgan.
S. Kunnen. Introduction. S. Kunnen & P. van Geert. A Dynamic Systems Approach of Adolescent Development. Part 1. S. Kunnen. The Search for Process Characteristics. P. van Geert, H. Steenbeek & S. Kunnen. Monte Carlo Techniques: Statistical Simulation for Developmental Data. S. Kunnen, M. van Dijk, A. Lichtwarck-Aschoff, M. Visser, P. van Geert. The Search for Variability and Change. T. Hollenstein. Using State Space Grids for Understanding Processes of Change and Stability in Adolescence. Part 2. S. Kunnen. Toy Models and the Search for Mechanisms. S. Kunnen. The Art of Building Dynamic Systems Models. S. Kunnen & H. Bosma. A Logistic Growth Model: Stage-Wise Development of Meaning Making. P. van Geert, H. Steenbeek & S. Kunnen. Agent-Based Modeling in Developmental Psychology. S. Kunnen, A. Lichtwarck-Aschoff & P. van Geert. The Search for the Relations between Micro and Macro Development. S. Kunnen. Overview, Conclusions and Future Perspectives.
Saskia Kunnen is Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Groningen where she researches and teaches dynamic systems modelling and the application of dynamic systems theory in the field of identity development in adolescence and emerging adulthood.