Development as Action in Context

  • R. K. Silbereisen
  • K. Eyferth


When in 1982 we started to design a longitudinal study on substance use during adolescence, employing developmental concepts to elucidate that behavior seemed almost truistic. But close scrutiny revealed a fairly consistent “developmental paucity” in the body of literature. Proceeding to the literature on normative development in adolescence, we were struck by another pervasive feature, a kind of isolationism: Either researchers emphasized emerging individual capabilities and behaviors apart from everyday contexts; or they stressed contextual features and their differences, apart from the developing individuals. As Bronfenbrenner (this volume) expressed it, the choice was between development out of context and context without development. Our aim with this introductory chapter and the contributions which follow is to illuminate the contours and features of a developmental perspective appropriate to the study of positive as well as problem behaviors in adolescence.


Problem Behavior Anorexia Nervosa Legal Norm Social Expectation Developmental Task 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baltes, P. B. (1983) Life-span developmental psychology: Observations on history and theory revisited. In R. M. Lerner (Ed.), Developmental psychology: Historical and philosophical perspectives. Hillsdale, N. J.: ErlbaumGoogle Scholar
  2. Baltes, P. B., Reese, H. W., & Lipsitt, L. P. (1980) Life-span developmental psychology. Annual Review of Psychology, 31, 65–100PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bandura, A. (1982) The psychology of chance encounters and life paths. American Psychologist, 37, 747–755CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brandtstädter, J. (1984) Personal and social control over development: Some implications of an action perspective in life-span developmental psychology. In P. B. Baltes & O. G. Brim, Jr. (Eds.), Life-span development and behavior (Vol. 6). New York: Academic PressGoogle Scholar
  5. Cantor, N. & Kihlstrom, J. F. (1985) Social intelligence: The cognitive basis of personality. Review of Personality and Social Psychology, 6 Google Scholar
  6. Carver, C. S. & Scheier, M. F. (1982) Control theory: A useful conceptual framework in personality — social, clinical and health psychology. Psychological Bulletin, 92, 11–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cherlin, A. (1983) Changing family and household: Contemporary lessons from historical research. Annual Review of Sociology, 9, 51 – 66PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dörner, D., Kreuzig, H. W., Reither, F., & Stäudel, T. (Eds.), (1983) Lohhausen. Vom Umgang mit Unbestimmtheit und Komplexität. Bern: HuberGoogle Scholar
  9. Eco, U. (1983) Nachschrift zum „Namen der Rose”. München: Hanser.Google Scholar
  10. Erikson, E. H. (1968) Identity, youth and crisis. New York: NortonGoogle Scholar
  11. Fischer, A., Fischer, R., Fuchs, W., & Zinnecker, J. (1981) Jugend –81. Hamburg: Jugendwerk der Deutschen ShellGoogle Scholar
  12. Fishburne, P., Abelson, H., & Cisin, I. (1979) The national survey on drug abuse: main findings. Washington, D. C.: U.S. Government Printing OfficeGoogle Scholar
  13. Garmezy, N. & Rutter, M. (Eds.), (1983) Stress, coping and development in children. New York: McGraw HillGoogle Scholar
  14. Haan, N. (1977). Coping and defending. Processes of self environment organization. New York: Academic PressGoogle Scholar
  15. Hart, R. (1979) Children’s experience of place. New York: IrvingtonGoogle Scholar
  16. Havighurst, R. J. (1956) Research on the developmental task concept. The School Review, a Journal of Secondary Education, 64, 215 – 223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hormuth, S. (1984) Transitions in commitments to roles and self-concept change: Relocation as a paradigm. In V. Allen & E. van de Vliert (Eds.), Role transitions: Explorations and explanations. New York: PlenumGoogle Scholar
  18. Johnston, L. D., Bachman, J. G., & O’Malley, P. M. (1982) Student drug use, attitudes and beliefs: National trends1975–1982. Rockville: National Institute on Drug AbuseGoogle Scholar
  19. Kagan, J. (1984) Continuity and change in the opening years of life. In R. N. Emde & R. J. Harmon (Eds.), Continuities and discontinuites in development. New York: PlenumGoogle Scholar
  20. Kaminski, G. (in press) Ordnung und Variabilität im Alltagsgeschehen: Das Behavior Setting-Konzept in den Sozial- und Verhaltenswissenschaften. Göttingen: HogrefeGoogle Scholar
  21. Kandel, D. B. & Logan, J. A. (1984) Patterns of drug use from adolescence to young adulthood: I. Periods of risk for initiation, continued use, and discontinuation. American Journal of Public Health, 74, 660–666PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kaplan, H. B. (1980) Deviant behavior in defense of self. New York: Academic PressGoogle Scholar
  23. Keniston, K. (1970) Youth: A “new” stage of life. American Scholar, 39, 631–641Google Scholar
  24. Laufer, R. S. & Wolfe, M. (1977) Privacy as a concept and a social issue: A multidimensional developmental theory. Journal of Social Issues, 33, 22–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lazarus, R. S. & Launier, R. (1978) Stress-related transactions between person and environment. In L. Pervin & M. Lewis (Eds.), Perspectives in interactional psychology. New York: PlenumGoogle Scholar
  26. Lerner, R. M. & Spanier, G. B. (1980) Adolescent development. New York: McGraw-HillGoogle Scholar
  27. Little, B. R. (1983) Personal projects: A rationale and method for investigation. Environment and behavior, 15, 273 – 309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lynch, K. (Ed.) (1977) Growing up in cities: Studies of the spatial environment of adolescence in Cracow, Melbourne, Mexico City, Salta, Toluca, and Warszawa. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT PressGoogle Scholar
  29. Moriarty, A. E. & Toussieng, P. W. (1976) Adolescent coping. New York: Grune & StrattonGoogle Scholar
  30. Oerter, R. (1985) Developmental task through the life-span: A new approach to an old concept. In D. L. Featherman & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Life-span development and behavior (Vol. 7). New York: Academic PressGoogle Scholar
  31. Petersen, A. G. & Spiga, R. (1982) Adolescence and stress. In L. Goldberger & S. Breznitz (Eds.), Handbook of stress: Theoretical and clinical aspects. New York: The Free PressGoogle Scholar
  32. Rheingold, H. L. (1985) Development as the acquisition of familiarity. Annual Review of Psychology, 36, 1–17PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Robins, L. N. (1978) The interaction of setting and predisposition in explaining novel behavior: Drug initiation before, in, and after Vietnam. In D. B. Kandel (Ed.), Longitudinal research on drug use. Washington: HemisphereGoogle Scholar
  34. Russell, J. A. & Ward, L. M. (1982) Environmental psychology. Annual Review of Psychology, 33, 651–688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rutter, M. (1981) Stress, coping and development: Some issues and some questions. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 22, 323–356PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rutter, M. & Giller, H. (1983) Juvenile delinquency: Trends and perspectives. Harmondsworth: PenguinGoogle Scholar
  37. Schoggen, P. & Barker, R. G. (1974) The ecological psychology of adolescents in an American and an English town. In H. Thomae & T. Endo (Eds.), The adolescent and his environment: Contributions to an ecology of teen-age behavior. Basel: KargerGoogle Scholar
  38. Seiffge-Krenke, I. (1984) Problembewältigung im Jugendalter. Habilitationsschrift des Fachbereichs 06 der Justus-Liebig-Universität, GießenGoogle Scholar
  39. Showers, C. & Cantor, N. (1985) Social cognition: A look at motivated strategies. In M. Rosenzweig & L. Porter (Eds.), Annual Review of Psychology, 36, 275 – 305Google Scholar
  40. Silbereisen, R. K. (1985) Action theory perspectives in research on social cognition. In M. Freese & J. Sabini (Eds.), Goal directed behavior: Psychological theory and research on action. Hillsdale, N. J.: ErlbaumGoogle Scholar
  41. Silbereisen, R. K. & Kastner, P. (1985) Entwicklungstheoretische Perspektiven für die Prävention des Drogengebrauchs Jugendlicher. In J. Brandtstädter & H. Gräser (Eds.), Entwicklungsberatung unter dem Aspekt der Lebensspanne. Göttingen: HogrefeGoogle Scholar
  42. Silbereisen, R. K. & Zank, S. (1984) Development of self-related cognitions in adolescence. In R. Schwarzer (ed.), The self in anxiety, stress and depression. Proceedings of the International Conference held in Berlin, July 27–29, 1983. Amsterdam: GSP North HollandGoogle Scholar
  43. Sroufe, L. A. (1979) The coherence of individual development. American Psychologist, 34, 834–841CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Vygotsky, L. S. (1962) Thought and language. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT PressCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. K. Silbereisen
    • 1
  • K. Eyferth
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTechnical University of BerlinBerlin 10West Germany

Personalised recommendations