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The Developmental Science of Adolescence : History Through Autobiography

This accounting fits no delicious countries. How can I Be my students? Stanley Hall, John Dewey, and philosophical discussions of adolescence and the emer- numerous other European and American philosophers gence within the twentieth century of the scientific and scientists. Nevertheless, the stories he told of the study of this period of life, dated by the publication in genesis of the contributions of these scholars very much of G.

The subsequent at this writing year history their lives and their work. Lerner and Steinberg , and Steinberg and In more recent accounts of the basis of change — at Lerner One inference that is possible to draw either individual or contextual levels or, especially, in from their historical reviews is that the developmental regard to the relations among person, time, and place — science of adolescence may be recounted accurately by another influence has emerged: Serendipity. As both describing the contributions of the set of scholars whose Bandura , and Lewis have explained, theoretically predicated empirical work and professional chance encounters, or serendipitous relations between leadership shaped the field.

In discussing the nature of historiography, Barber , and Barber and Fox have discussed Boring reviewed several theories of history, bringing atten- the conditions under which personological characteristics tion within social and behavioral science to the concepts of of the scientist for instance, self-regulatory processes, zeitgeist spirit of the times and ortgeist spirit of the place proclivity for risk-taking behaviors , and unexpected as ideas that speak to the role of the context in shaping the encounters with life or social events, anomalous laboratory conduct of the scientists contributing to a given field.

Both life-course sociology and life span that shapes the person. In turn, Boring contrasted such ideas developmental psychology have also discussed such influ- with a view that suggests that it is the characteristics of the ences on individual and institutional history through the individual scientist that may create the ortgeist and may fos- concepts of non-normative life or historical events Baltes ter changes that contribute to the zeitgeist. In this view, it is et al. Boring implies that these two views of the basis of Integrating Person, Time, and Place in Recounting historical change — the contextual and the personological — the History of the Developmental Science of may not be mutually exclusive and, in so doing, forwards Adolescence an idea that reflects contemporary ideas about human development.

These are ideas that suggest that mutually Accordingly, we believe that it is useful to integrate influential relations between individuals and contexts the historiography approaches of Boring , , provide the basis for systematic change across the life Bandura , , and others Baltes et al. This publication occurs accounts. The confluence of person, time, and place can at a point in history when some major scholars who made of course also be assessed by independent historians. The field and, of course, this book, are diminished complete objectivity.

A complete historical overview of a by the absence of their work, vision, voice. Although we field might, then, involve an approach that possesses the cannot include their autobiographical essays in this work, charm of authenticity that is tempered by independent we have provided in an appendix brief synopses of the life analyses that contextualize the autobiographer within the and scholarship of several of the scholars who have passed broader stream of scientific progress.

Clearly, then, our away.

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In turn by focusing on senior scholars of the devel- focus on autobiography does not involve the latter, tem- opmental science of adolescence we provide a baseline pering approach, and we therefore leave it to the reader for possible future volumes containing the autobiographi- or to other historiographers to supplement the approach cal essays of the now still earlier-career scholars whose we take in this book. The chapters provide repeated evi- dence about the ideographic character of the life course Conclusions and the scientific careers of the colleagues who, across the past four decades, have created as a separate field within By presenting in this volume the autobiographies of lead- the study of human ontogeny the developmental science ing scholars from around the world whose lives have been of adolescence.

We see how these colleagues interweave devoted to the developmental science of adolescence, we time and place, and often point to serendipitous relations, believe that we offer an important and rich account of how in accounting for the arc of their careers. These chapters person, time, and place combine to propel individuals reveal individual motivation and individual reflection, across their lives and to shape what they do as scholars and often as responses to serendipity. Together, the chapters as people.

In taking this approach to presenting the his- underscore the varied paths that led these individuals to tory of this field, we believe that this book is unique within focus their scientific careers on the developmental science developmental science, generally, and certainly the devel- of adolescence. For example, in Chapter 41, by Rainer K. Silbereisen, To the extent that scholars and students in the field of we learn that, had there not been a problem with teenage adolescence wish to appreciate its past, understand the heroin users in Berlin at the time that he was searching breadth and depth of its present, and get purchase on direc- for his first professorial position, he probably would not tions for future scholarship, having top-tier scientists from have entered into research on adolescence.

In turn, with- around the world provide such specifications is a singular out his personal relationships and interactions with people approach to this field of scholarship. We believe as well, at the Max-Planck-Institute in Berlin he would not have that it is an important approach, in regard to both the level subsequently met and established international collabora- of authority of this work and the degree of authenticity it tions with other scholars studying adolescent development, presents about how science is conducted within the actual relationships that resulted in research grants and publica- lives of active scientists.

These latter collaborations and achievements are part of the objective record available to independent scholars. However, the personal voice of Rainer Silbereisen grounds References these features of his life and career in time and place as he experienced them. Baltes, P. Life span the- Of course, just as person and context are embedded ory in developmental psychology. Lerner Ed. As illustrated by the example R. Lerner Eds. The psychology of chance encounters and life paths.

Accordingly, we bring together in this Bandura, A. Exploration of serendipitous determinants of life paths. Psychological Inquiry, 9, 95— The case of the floppy-eared rabbits: both to provide important sample cases of the interna- An instance of serendipity gained and serendipity lost. American tional character of our field and, as well, to illustrate Journal of Sociology, 64, — A history of experimental psychology.

New York: Lewis, M. Altering fate: Why the past does not predict the future. New York: Guilford Press. Boring, E. A history of experimental psychology 2nd ed. Social theory and social structure. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. New York: Free Press. Brown, B. Encyclopedia of adolescence. Merton, R. The travels and adventures of New York: Academic Press. Dubas, J.

The study of adolescence Muuss, R. Adolescent behavior and society: A book of during the latter parts of the 20th century. Zuckerman readings 4th ed. Cambridge, MA: Napolitano, C. The Harvard University Press. The study of adoles- Theoretical foundations, research findings, and implications for the cence during the 20th century. The History of the Family, 8, — Advances in Child Development and Behavior, 41, 19— Elder, G.

The life course and human development. In Overton, W. Developmental psychology: Philosophy, R. Lerner Vol. Damon Ed. New York: John Wiley. Editors-in-Chief: W. Children in Lerner. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. New York: Overton, W. Life-span development: Concepts and issues. Cambridge University Press.

Overton Ed. The life course and human develop- lifespan, Vol. Relational developmental systems and quan- ed. Lerner, Editors-in-Chief. New York: Wiley. Hall, G. Adolescence: Its psychology and its relations to psy- Research in Human Development, 8, — Overton, W. Development across the life span: New York: Appleton. Philosophy, concepts, theory. Lerner, M. Easterbrooks, Lerner, R. Mistry Eds. Steinberg psychology Vol. Editor-in-Chief: I. Santayana, G.

Reason in common sense Vol. New York: Lerner, R. Steinberg Eds. The scientific study of adoles- Adolescent Psychology 3rd ed. I would say that the main theme to my home office, I am of my career is this status as an outsider and a dogged grateful for my life as an insistence on going my own unorthodox way.

To me, of all the ways that a Early Years: Other Aspirations person could pass through a lifetime, a career devoted I was born in Detroit, Michigan, in I came to devel- to learning and to teach- opmental psychology relatively late. As a kid, I imagined ing others is surely among becoming a sports star football or basketball and then the best. I think of myself president. Not very original, or very realistic, but some- as fortunate heir to a long thing more related to my actual future is that I was writing and venerable tradition of from an early age.

Like me, both of them seem to have Psychology never crossed my mind in childhood or avoided ever having a normal job. I love psychology as the exploration and I went to college at Michigan State University, a com- creation of ideas about human life and human devel- mon path for someone growing up in suburban Detroit. I love listening to people talk about how they Since I liked to write, I declared journalism as my major understand their development, their relationships, and upon entering MSU.

However, in my very first semester, their beliefs, and integrating what they tell me into my one of my courses was introductory psychology, taught own ideas about who we are and how we develop. I espe- by Bertram Caron. All I knew is that I loved it. This awareness has the unconscious fascinating and illuminating and I still often made me feel like a heretic within psychology. That same semester I was taking a wonderful short have been amply rewarded by the field of psychology, story course, in which we read The Dead by James Joyce, yet I have never really felt like I belong here.

Although among other classics. Meanwhile, I considered what to do next. Somehow these eventually. I investigated the possibilities in psychol- dual epiphanies were exhilarating rather than depress- ogy, by obtaining a book on graduate programs. I looked ing or disorienting. They seemed to be essential keys to half-heartedly at clinical programs, but then I discovered understanding an otherwise baffling world. I immediately something I had never heard of before, called developmen- changed my major to psychology.

As described in the book, this was a branch The rest of my undergraduate psychology experience of psychology that involved research on normal develop- was considerably less exciting. I took great courses in eco- ment, including intervention and prevention programs to nomics, biology, chemistry, and history, but my courses in enhance development. I knew instantly that this was for me. The only ones I remem- It may seem odd that I first learned of developmental ber at all are two I took in my senior year, on humanistic psychology only after graduating with a degree in psychol- psychology and the psychology of religion, both taught ogy.

It certainly seems odd to me now. How did I manage to by Benjamin Beit-Hallami, a visiting professor from Israel get through a whole program in psychology without even and, I later learned, a major scholar in the psychology of knowing that developmental psychology existed? I guess religion. I loved both courses, and maintained an interest the explanation is that this is what can happen when you in both topics for many years afterward. In fact, I still have are a student at a university that has at the time 45, a great interest in the psychology of religion and include other students and you are a psychology major among religious questions in all my interviews although I am thousands of other psychology majors.

I had my first experience with research my senior In any case, having discovered developmental psy- year, and it was not a pleasant one. I thought I might go chology, I eagerly applied to graduate programs. My applica- assistant in a project examining the role of the hypo- tion stated only some vague intentions of understanding thalamus in hunger. My job was to anaesthetize rats, cut the sources of problems by focusing on early develop- off the top of their skulls, insert an electrode, monitor ment. Nevertheless, I was accepted at the University of the signals from the hypothalamus, then toss the rats in the Virginia and soon began the program there with great garbage can.

The poor rats! Whatever we learned from hopes and expectations. That was it for me and neuro- Graduate School and Postgraduate Years: psychology. Still Searching I graduated with no idea what I was going to do. At the time I was there, it had many option seemed to be clinical psychology. The Still, I realize now that it was very conventional in its weight of those sorrows would soon break me. The focus was entirely Instead, I became a musician. During college I had on early development—nothing on adulthood or even on taken up the guitar, and the summer after I graduated adolescence—and on American children.

The cultural I played constantly. I played for the love of it, not with issues that would later become the foundation of my own any idea of making a living off of it, but by the end of views of development were never mentioned and never the summer, with no other job prospects in sight, I real- occurred to me. For the as part of a big longitudinal study of stepfamilies. I was next 2 years I was a solo performer, playing and sing- part of a graduate student team that coded videotaped ing acoustic guitar songs lots of James Taylor in bars interactions between parents and children. The videotapes and restaurants.

And exchanges between parent and child. By the time we were it was great fun, playing and singing all the time and done, all that was left was a series of numbers that was actually getting paid for it. I had begun to write songs, a mere shell of what we had watched. This was, I think too, and I poured a lot of my time and energy into writ- now, the beginning of my disillusionment with traditional ing and recording. I machine, and looked around for other opportunities.

Lucky had taught a couple of courses in my final year as a gradu- for me, Sandra Scarr had just arrived as the new chair of ate student, and discovered that I loved teaching. I sought the department, and we hit it off immediately.

Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr. - Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Like many prominent researchers four courses a semester! Taking a teaching job students who would fit into all the different roles that like this must have seemed like a disastrous decision, or at would make the project go. Sandra, in contrast, wanted me any rate a decision that would put an end to any prospect to come up with my own idea for what to do, and that was of a research career. Who could find any time for research a freedom I sought by now.

I told her I was interested in while teaching four courses a semester? But, not for the last doing something on early childhood, maybe related to day time, choosing what appeared to be the unconventional, care, one of the many topics she had researched. She made misguided, even bizarre path proved to be remarkably fruit- a couple of calls, and soon I was set up to do an evaluation ful. In fact, going to Oglethorpe proved to be the turning of day care quality on the island of Bermuda.

Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne (jb224)

Yes, Bermuda. When I tell people this is where I did At first it was all teaching, all the time. Preparing for, my dissertation research they usually respond with a smile teaching, and grading four courses was all-consuming. I worked from sunup courses pretty well whipped into shape.

I began to turn to sundown every day during the week, visiting day care my attention to the possibility of doing research, but on centers and rating the interactions between the caregivers what? On the weekends I sorted through the In one of my courses that year I had a student who results of the previous week and prepared for next week. He knew I was Nevertheless, I admit it was a glorious place to be for five a musician, and after class he would sometimes try to weeks. By the time I returned home, I had all the data I persuade me of the musical virtues of heavy metal.

I was would need for my dissertation. Certainly there was no great originality to it, and This was also a time the late s when heavy metal no notable intellectual content. So, really just for fun, I decided to start the practical issue of training caregivers so they would interviewing heavy metal fans. I put up a sign in a music provide higher quality care. However, by the time I gradu- store offering a free heavy metal tape this was before ated, I realized it was not going to be enough for me to be CDs, let alone iTunes to anyone who would agree to be involved in the practical application of research.

What they had to say about the music surprised me. But I did not know what that something would be. First, most of them were bright and thoughtful, a sharp I graduated in less than 4 years, and then as now the contrast to the media image of metalheads as brutes and expected route was to find a postdoctoral fellowship and ignoramuses. They were deeply cynical about the adult spend a few more years gaining research experience and world, and they loved heavy metal because of its blunt publishing articles before seeking a tenure-track position at honesty in expressing that cynicism.

Second, they saw a university. However, I had no interest in following that heavy metal as great music and revered their heavy metal route. The dominant meth- Third—and most compelling of all—when they talked ods, especially questionnaires, seemed to me to hollow about the effects of the violent music they loved, not only out rather than illuminate the human experience.

The did none of them say it provoked them to violence, but most esteemed status seemed to be to design a large many of them said that the primary effect of it was to study, obtain a multi-million dollar grant, recruit an calm them down. Even pating in the research had been reduced to mere numbers more exciting, however, and even more important for my and displayed in a statistical model. Yet it turned out to be just the For the first time, a career as a researcher appealed to me.

Something else happened that year that was even The human development program at the University more pivotal for my future. At the time I 1, students, and I was, personally, half the psychology was there the faculty included two eminent anthropolo- department. I had never read students well, especially the psychology majors. One day a thing in anthropology, but now that I was at the U. I knew her well from among the Sambia, a tribal culture in New Guinea. Herdt many classes she had taken with me, and we had enjoyed described a series of remarkable rituals that Sambia males talking together about all sorts of topics, but I was totally undergo from middle childhood until their first child is surprised when she suggested we continue to meet and born.

Highlights include ritual nose bleeding based on a talk after she graduated. Twenty-three years later the con- fear of female menstrual blood and a period of fellatio of versations continue, and we are still happily together. We have also been intellectual worldview in ways that still endure. I had never read any- partners.

She is the smartest and most thoughtful person thing like it. In the course of my conventional training in I know, and we share a critique of the dominant meth- developmental psychology, I had absorbed the conven- ods in psychology, a critique we have no doubt developed tional assumptions that the purpose of psychology is to together.

The stunning contrast between ado- When we began living together she had already applied lescence among the Sambia and adolescence as I knew it to graduate schools in psychology and philosophy, and at in the United States convinced me that these assumptions first we assumed our time together would be brief. In the were false. I saw that I would have to rethink everything fall she would head for graduate school in the Northeast I had learned and come to a new understanding of human or the Midwest, and I would remain in Atlanta.

However, development. It was thrilling to learn a cultural way of from day one we really, really, really liked living together, thinking that seemed to illuminate so much more than and by the time she was accepted into the human devel- what I had learned so far. Serendipity another postdoc through the U. The new ment at the University of Chicago, applied for it and got it. Now I would be able to retrain as a researcher on ado- but Dan let us do whatever we wanted as long as we were lescence, having learned nothing of the academic literature productive.

There were about eight of us, half postdocs in the area as an undergraduate or graduate student. What would you do at the end of those eight months? As ing in adolescence as a theorist and researcher. What would happen tinue researching heavy metal fans. Fascinating as they next, I had no idea.

Reflecting on my own youth, what stood out most Little did I know it when I arrived, but my period at the was all the reckless things I did. A quick, G-rated exam- University of Chicago would be the formative intellectual ple: One college summer I hitchhiked 8, miles, from experience of my career.

The only reason I was there was my Michigan home to Washington state, down to L. I decided to study risk behav- expecting people to point mainly to transition events such ior in adolescence. Lene and I were planning to travel to finishing education, settling into a job, and getting mar- Denmark that summer, and together we devised an ambi- ried, not only because these were important in my own life tious plan to survey adolescents in nine schools in various but because these events had been the focus of a large lit- regions, which also gave her a chance to show me around erature on the transition to adulthood, mainly in sociology.

We eventually published the results in Yet in interviews, people almost never mentioned them! Financial independence was third, and here again was the individualistic emphasis. Just as with my behavior area interesting, but it also seemed to me like it earlier finding about the cathartic effect of heavy metal was already staked out, already thoroughly plowed over, music, it was exciting to discover something new and again and again, with hundreds of researchers building unexpected, and to be the first to describe what had previ- on a corpus of decades of research, making it difficult ously been uncharted territory.

I wanted to find uncharted Another surprising finding of the interviews was the territory, something no one had done before, something ambiguity in how they described their own progress to fresh that would inspire me to create something valuable adulthood. Instead, their answers were usually on how I finally felt I had reached adulthood, at age How, I wondered, do adolescent but not yet adult, on the way to adulthood but other people experience the transition to adulthood? How not there yet.

Instead, out. Although my initial interest was in how people age 23 and even among 18—22 year-olds they represent think about the meaning of adulthood, my interview cov- only about half. Instead, I obtained alumni lists from local ered pretty much everything, from family relationships to high schools and had research assistants look up addresses religious beliefs to hopes for the future.

In 3 years I inter- and phone numbers in the phone book this was in , viewed about 18—29 year-olds in Missouri. Then I before the Internet. Eventually we put together a sample had a fellowship year in San Francisco where I focused on of 18—year-olds that was diverse in educational levels African Americans and Asian Americans as my Missouri and work statuses.

Then and ever since, I have learned the sample had been almost entirely White. I still remember a lot of those interviews was invaluable and indelible.


I still remember many of the vividly 20 years later, such as the one with the truck driver people I interviewed there, even where we met, what they who had grisly tattoos all over his body and dreamed of wore, and their distinctive ways of expressing themselves. Two other things happened during our time in San In response to the question about what it means to be Francisco that made it a pivotal year.

One was that I an adult, the answers fascinated and surprised me. How this happened, and Flapping Like Crazy: Becoming an what it was like, is a long story, perhaps worthy some Independent Scholar day of an essay in itself, but there is not room enough Despite the fun of the year Lene and I had in San to recount it here.

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I had been granted challenges. If you think academia can be cut-throat, try the tenure just before we left for San Francisco, and for most legal world some time. However, it made me depressed cases, both sides go all out to win and have no com- and anxious. I was certainly happier to be awarded tenure punction about chewing up and spitting out a few expert witnesses along the way. Everything partly because of the exhilaration of fighting for a good I had published seemed to disappear quickly in the vast cause against the Evil Empire of Big Tobacco, and often ocean of the psychological literature after creating barely winning.

Since the multi-state settlement in , which a ripple. I hasten to add, I have been only University of California-Berkeley, so she was ready to try a bit player in the drama—the real heroes are the plain- the academic job market. They had nothing for me, been a wonderful experience to be part of it, and I regard and there were no openings at other universities in the it as one of the most satisfying parts of my career. After a little but not much deliberation, we decided The other big event of that year was that I wrote what to go.

I would leave my tenured Associate Professor posi- became my first American Psychologist paper Arnett, tion and leap into an unknown future. However, like the earlier decision to leave hand were the views of G. On the other hand were follow again. The security of a tenured position made dispelled this negative stereotype and whose research me feel stultified, not secure. I was attracted to the pros- had revealed the happy news that adolescents were doing pect of having unbroken days for writing and research, just fine—no storm, no stress.

It seemed to me that both without the obligation of teaching and the wasted time in sides were off the mark, and that the truth was both more committee work, and I thought the risks of my leap into complicated and more interesting.

Adolescence: Crash Course Psychology #20

Johnson a for months, I submitted it to American Psychologist. I thought that might be true for Fortunately for me, it fell into the hands of a superb edi- me, in a less dire, more academic way. Maybe if I leapt tor, Ann Masten. To me this was the gold standard for the any real training in adolescence—my exposure to adoles- academic peer-review process: an attentive, insightful edi- cent research at the U. Now that I had left excellence.

I could live as an independent scholar as long sense of this similar to mine embraced the idea. As I write as I liked. This was immensely inspiring Although not many people noticed the paper in the first to me. It made me feel I had at last broken into the top months after it was published, one person who did became echelon in academia, and that psychology might be recep- a crucial figure in the development of the field of emerg- tive to the kind of conceptual, big-idea papers I wanted to ing adulthood.

Jennifer Tanner was a postdoctoral student write. On the strength of this inspiration, I immediately at Penn State at the time. She was interested in relation- began working on another paper intended for American ships with parents during the transition to adulthood, and Psychologist, this one a theoretical paper introducing looking for a theory that would fit what she was seeing emerging adulthood. She seized on I had already been thinking of the age 18—25 period the American Psychologist paper as the framework she as emerging adulthood for years by this time, ever since I was looking for, and contacted me with great excitement began my interviews in the early s.

I realized quickly and eagerness to put it into action. Although I proposed the initial idea, it is ary school, not minors under the law, and mostly not Jenn who is primarily responsible for developing emerg- living at home. It ate, because this term had connotations of a more settled was Jenn who discovered the grant program through the life stage lasting at least until age It is Jenn who has been the driving force behind they were not. It is Jenn who is the main organiza- term for a new life stage that I viewed as developing only tional force behind the newly established Society for the within the past half century.

I actually used the term emerging adulthood for the first I do not have the talents or the patience required for the time in an article published in in the Journal of Youth kind of work involved in building an organization from and Adolescence, at the end of a review paper on the tran- the ground up, but Jenn does.

I used it again sonalities, but that is precisely what makes our partnership in , at the end of a paper in Human Development on work. We develop ideas together, and Jenn is the one who conceptions of adulthood Arnett, However, both translates the ideas into action. Now I had Jenn I wrote it quickly, having prepared the groundwork for and soon many others as my collaborator in develop- years, and it zipped through the review process in short ing the emerging adulthood field. I had just published the paper that would change my life— Being an independent scholar allowed me to take on as it did.

I had grown accustomed to publishing papers that a lot of new challenges and opportunities as they came I thought were brilliant but that few other people seemed to my way. I became Editor of the Journal of Adolescent notice. But this time it was different. It took several years, Research in I edited four encyclopedia volumes, but gradually the paper gained momentum and came to be two for the International Encyclopedia of Adolescence regarded as the spark that ignited the new field of emerg- Routledge and two for the Encyclopedia of Children, ing adulthood, even though it was really only a sketch of a Adolescents, and the Media Sage , all four of which theory and required a book Arnett, to be developed came out in I wrote another American Psychologist fully.

I think the timing was right, in that there were numer- paper Arnett, on an entirely new topic, the psy- ous other scholars who were fascinated by development chology of globalization. I continued to work as an expert wit- among cultural groups are vast, and where people happen ness in litigation against the tobacco companies.

To me the huge, also a flexible schedule, and this was especially valuable enticing, inexhaustible question at the heart of psycho- once our twins Miles and Paris were born in We had logical research is the question of how cultural beliefs and a nanny for 35 hours a week the first 2 years, and a won- practices shape the raw material of biological development derful child care program about 30 hours a week after that, into an amazing array of patterns.

Cultural psychology has risen in influ- to snow days—and there has to be someone there to step in ence over the past 20 years, and is now widely recognized and take care of the kids. Lene and I were equal partners by other psychologists, but the mainstream of the field in parenting all the way, but I had the more flexible sched- continues to flow on as if cultural psychology—and cul- ule because she was the one with the academic position.

In I published an I remain an independent scholar today. As part of that article, I per- tion there. My title is Research Professor, which means I formed an analysis of the nationality of authors, samples, teach one course per semester at that level I really enjoy and editorial board members in a wide range of major jour- teaching and have no committee responsibilities. I occa- nals in psychology. The results were depressing, though sionally guide undergraduate and graduate students in unsurprising: the leadership and content of all the journals research, but mostly I work on my own at home.

I am hap- was entirely dominated by Americans, with little attention piest, and I think and write best, when I am working in my to cultural variation even within American society. The basis for If you were to look at the course of my career, say by this narrowness, as I pointed out in the article, is mainly scanning my CV, you might conclude that this has been the dominant philosophy of science in psychology, which the career of someone who has a comfortable place in aca- emphasizes the search for human universals rather than demic psychology.

I am the editor diversity. Now, with the surge of interest in neuroscience, of a journal that is classified as part of the psychology the focus of psychology is likely to become even more area. My book on emerging adulthood was published focused on alleged universals and even more content to in the psychology section of Oxford University Press. Along with a My textbook on adolescence and emerging adulthood is small cluster of culturally oriented colleagues, I spend a used mainly in psychology courses.

When I testify as lot of my time and energy protesting this narrowness and an expert witness I draw mainly upon research and con- advocating a more cultural and international approach to cepts from psychology. The moon is unperturbed. For nearly my entire career, naires.

My first experience with interviewing, in my study since my U. I have used questionnaires of how human development research should be done that as well, and I think the combination of questionnaires and I vehemently reject. I have touched on these issues ear- interviews is especially fruitful. However, it is the inter- lier in this chapter, but let me now address three of them views that have really taught me about human development.

I understand the necessity of this, espe- read anthropological works on adolescence for the first cially in large-scale studies, but to me this approach is time, I have considered myself a cultural psychologist. This incomplete at best. Questionnaires provide the skeleton, means that I always see the psychology of human devel- but they need the flesh of interviews to come alive. In the flagship fruit fly, and the physicist has no experience of being a journal of the Society for Research on Adolescence, the quark, but all of us know what is like to be human.

The Journal of Research on Adolescence, qualitative studies are most important asset, the most important research instru- scarce. The overwhelming majority of articles published in ment, of scientists studying human development is their the journal consists entirely of questionnaire data, as if ques- own essential humanity, their own insights and under- tionnaires were some kind of gold standard of scientific standings wrought over a lifetime of their development. In the course of writing this chapter I examined the In interviews and in ethnographic research this humanity most recent issue of JRA Vol.

Without this, with only two involved interviews, one used interviews and video- dead data from second-hand questionnaires, the results are taped observations, and 12 were based on questionnaires. Virtually no one seems to ask if the questionnaires are valid, if they are actually measuring what they purport to Final Reflections: The Heretic Finds a Home measure internal reliability seems to be enough to satisfy editors and reviewers.

Few people seem to notice that by Although I have had an unorthodox career in psychology, the time the questionnaires chop people up into assumption- and my awareness of the difference between how I see laden variables and grind up the variables in a statistical things and how most research psychologists see things model there is no life left to them—only fragments and has often made me uneasy, I have no regrets about devot- limbs but no human beings.

At My third critique of psychology concerns the domi- its best, as exemplified in the mixed-methods work of nant model for research programs. The ideal in the field psychologists like Philip Hammack, Lene Jensen, Reed seems to be to run a large research enterprise. Graduate Larson, and Niobe Way, sociologists like Mark Regnerus students are encouraged to begin grant writing early, and and Christian Smith, and anthropologists like Susan and early career researchers are told that obtaining external Douglas Davis, human development research can be illu- funding is one of the expectations of most entry-level minating and mind-expanding.

It is their standard that I academic positions. Sometimes success in obtaining a have sought to emulate, and it is the companionship of large grant is even required for promotion to Associate them and others that has kept me from feeling lonely as I or Full Professor. But this emphasis locks psychological research into a I am critical of the dominant approach to scholarship in scientific model that is highly questionable. In 10 years of serving as Editor of the in collaboration with colleagues.

If the grant is obtained, the Journal of Adolescent Research, I have given it a distinct researchers enlists graduate and undergraduate students to identity as a journal where qualitative and mixed-methods do the actual data collection, which usually consists mostly research on adolescence and emerging adulthood is not of having people fill out questionnaires. The only way the only welcomed but highlighted Arnett, In creating researcher ever has any contact with the participants in with Jenn Tanner the Society for the Study of Emerging the study is in the form of numbers, as variables in sum- Adulthood, I have sought to make it international and open mary statistics or statistical models.

Then the researcher to scholars from diverse disciplines with wide-ranging writes articles for scientific journals, drawing conclusions methodological approaches. My textbooks, the one on from the numbers—without ever having spoken to a single adolescence and emerging adulthood, as well as a recently person who is the subject of the conclusions.

It is a model of scientific research generations to think culturally about development from drawn from other sciences, and maybe it works in biology the very beginning of their careers. In the barrage of emails that followed Is still hiding up my sleeve. This perspective. Developmental Review, 12, — Socialization and reckless behavior: A reply to Jessor. The reason I have tried to revive the reputa- Developmental Review, 12, — Learning to stand alone: The contemporary American transition to adulthood in cultural and historical context.

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Human developmental psychology when I proposed emerging Development, 41, — Adolescent storm and stress, reconsidered. American valuable they can be in helping people understand devel- Psychologist, 54, — American Psychologist, 55, — The developmental science of adolescence : history through autobiography. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy Terms and Conditions.

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