Self-Regulation Across Some Life Transitions

  • Katica Lacković-Grgin
  • Zvjezdan Penezić


Some earlier philosophers and scientists (e.g., in the theory of evolution of Charles Darwin, in the socio-cultural theory of cognitive development of L. Vigotsky, in the symbolic interactionism of G. H. Mead, and in the developmental-cognitive theory of J. Piaget – have brought forth the idea that the development of an individual is the result of the interaction of a person and the environment. That idea was best elaborated by K. Lewin (1951) in his field theory. From the formula that behavior is the function of a person and the environment (B = f(PE)), it follows that the environment influences the person but also that the person influences the environment and changes it. The idea was elaborated later in more detail by U. Bronfenbrenner in formulating the theory of ecological systems and R. M. Lerner in his developmental contextualism. The biological changes in the organism, as well as the social interactions, exist as a part of the ecological system (Bronfenbrenner 1979), and bi-directional, reciprocal, and dynamic interactions of biological, psychological, and social processes are responsible for development (Lerner and Kauffman 1985). Therefore, development is viewed as a confluence of many mutually linked systems and subsystems, biological, social, cultural, and historical. Under the influence of all this theorizing, in the contemporary life-span psychology, changes occurred in the understanding of the principal determinants of development, i.e., the explanation of development in terms of biological changes in the organism that has ceased to dominate. Also, subject of developmental psychology, as the psychology of childhood and adolescence, has been extended after sixties of the twentieth century. Baltes (1983) emphasizes that the German psychology of development in the thirties of the twentieth century the necessity that development should be studied during the whole life-span was emphasized continuously, and takes into consideration the social and cultural factors of development in the process. He points to life events and transitions as important stimuli of development. Historically new phenomena in development, such as prolonged adolescence, the crisis of the forties, the crisis of “the empty nest” as well as the extension of life-span of modern people, they all urge the life-span psychologists to view structures, stages and the dynamics of development with reference to the historical period and with reference to cultural differences.


Life Satisfaction Social Comparison Personal Development Primary Control Secondary Control 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ZadarZadarThe People’s Republic of China

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