Research Methods in Developmental and Clinical Child Psychology: Methodological Issues of Developmental Research
Specific methodological problems of developmental research. Typical mistakes in the attempts to reveal the causes of development. Age as a variable; the change of the meaning of time units with age. Age matching. The cohort-effect. Research designs to study development: crosssectional comparison, longitudinal strategy, time-lagged design – strengths and weaknesses, sources of errors. Complex (sequential) designs. Methodological implications of the systemmodels of development: longitudinal follow-up, tackling moderation and mediation using multivariate analyses. Modelling the risk and protective mechanisms. The problem of age in developmental psychopathology: the need for a developmental epidemiology. Cross-cultural studies. Studying the effects of education and teaching. The major sources of data in developmental research: observation, experiment, and quasi-experiment. The prominent role of observation in developmental psychology – requirements of observation as a scientific technique. Global and microanalytic coding of behaviour. Observation of interactions. Experiments with infants and young children. Validity and reliability issues typical of developmental research – ecological validity, predictive validity, temporal stability. Difference /growth scores to represent changes; age-equivalent and age-matched scores.
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