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Theoretical Contributions from Developmental Psychology

  • Inge Bretherton

Abstract

Like psychology at large, developmental psychology does not offer an explicit theory about family structure or functioning. Nevertheless, it has much to say about family relationships, especially about parent-child relationships. The focus on parent-child relationships is hardly surprising because the development of young children cannot be understood without considering those who nurture and socialize them. Hence, students of human development have, from the beginning, acknowledged the basic importance of the family environment for the growing child. Fewer have acknowledged the influence of children on the development of their parents. In this chapter, I will first summarize ideas about parent-child relations that emerged from developmental theories prevalent during the first half of this century. I will then show how many of these ideas were further elaborated within two developmental theories that build on the earlier work. I will then consider the contributions these developmental theories can make to the further development of family theories.

Keywords

Child Development Marital Satisfaction Attachment Security Attachment Theory Theoretical Contribution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inge Bretherton
    • 1
  1. 1.Child and Family StudiesUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadison

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