Developing through relations

Developing through relations

Subtitle: “An Embodied, co-active systems approach” at this link. The abstract follows.

“In recent decades, the developmental sciences have undergone a relational turn. Epigenetic (Gottlieb & Lickliter, 2007), embodied (Thompson, 2007), relational (Lerner &Overton, 2008) and systems (Kelso, 2003) approaches are transforming the ways in which we think about the nature and origins of psychological structures. At their most basic level, relational and systems approaches analyze the developmental origins of order and variability not in terms of sets of separable causal forces but instead in analyses of relations between causal systems. From this view, genes and environment, biology and culture, cognition and emotion, self and other, and so forth, are inseparable as causal processes in the development of action and experience. Drawing on these principles, this paper contains an outline of an embodied coactive systems framework for understanding how individual psychological structures develop as a product of socially distributed coactions that occur among elements of the extended person-environment system. Based on these principles, a system for the Developmental Analysis of Joint Action is described. This system provides a set of conceptual and empirical tools for making precise assessments of dynamic structure of jointly constructed patterns of thinking, feeling and acting. By tracking developmental changes in joint action, the system allows researchers to track the origins of higher-order psychological structures through particular sequences of co-constructive activity. The holistic analytic system is illustrated through micro-developmental analyses of (a) the joint construction of shoe tying skill between a5-year-old boy and a caregiver, and (b) socio-emotional organization developing representations of self in a young adult over the course of a single session of psychotherapy.”

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