Developmental Contextualism and the Developmental Systems Perspective
Developmental contextualism (Lerner, 1986, 1991, 1995, 1998b) is an instance of a theoretical orientation to human development termed “developmental systems theory” (Ford & Lerner, 1992; Sameroff, 1983; Thelen & Smith, 1998). Developmental contextualism has its roots in the multidisciplinary and multiprofessional field of home economics (Lerner & Miller, 1993; Miller & Lerner, 1994), a field now labeled family and consumer sciences. In addition, developmental systems theory, generally, and developmental contextualism, more specifically, have emerged within the current study of human development as representing important, and arguably key, theoretical orientations within the field because of their “co-evolution” with the life-span view of human development (Baltes, 1987; Baltes, Lindenberger, & Staudinger, 1998), the life-course study of human development (Elder, 1974, 1980, 1998), and the ecological view of human development (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Bronfenbrenner & Crouter, 1983; Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 1998).
KeywordsHuman Development Developmental System Family Diversity Family Policy Contemporary Theory
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