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Social Sci LibreTexts

7.8: What is the meta-theory that guides our class and our book?

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  • One of the goals of this book is to lay out the advantages of developmental systems perspectives on human development. The authors were trained in a variety of systems and contextualist perspectives, including the transactional-dialectic perspective and the lifespan orientation—a view that fought its way through dominant perspectives in child psychology (e.g., development ends at age 18), starting in the 1970s and becoming a well-regarded meta-theory today. (Note that your instructors chose your book, so their meta-theory is influencing the meta-theoretical filter through which you are learning about development.) In subsequent chapters, we touch on several developmental systems perspectives that incorporate organismic and contextual elements, such as the bio-ecological model, transactional-dialectic models, relational perspectives, and dynamic systems.