The Study of Transitions

Conceptual and Methodological Issues
  • J. P. Connell
  • Wyndol Furman
Part of the Topics in Developmental Psychobiology book series (TDP)


One of the central and most controversial problems in developmental psychology is the question of continuity and discontinuity in development. Numerous empirical studies have examined this question, and many theoretical positions have been proposed (e.g., Brim & Kagan, 1980; Emde, Gaensbauer, & Harmon, 1976; Emmerich, 1968; Green-ough, this volume; Kagan, this volume; Mischel, 1968; Rutter, this volume; Sackett, Sameroff, Cairns, & Suomi, 1981; Wohlwill, 1973). Although little consensus has been reached, developmentalists of any persuasion would agree that human beings undergo a series of changes in the course of the life span. Moreover, human lives appear to be characterized by periods of relative stability and periods of marked change or transition. These transitions are thought to be the times when major reorganizations or discontinuities may occur.


Stable Group Transitional Period Manifest Variable Transitional Group Overt Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. P. Connell
    • 1
  • Wyndol Furman
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate School of Education and Human DevelopmentUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of DenverDenverUSA

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