Adolescent Health Development: A Relational Developmental Systems Perspective

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.


Abstract: The contemporary study of adolescent development emphasizes that the process of development involves mutually influential relations between the developing individual and the features of his or her complex and changing context. These relations are most often framed by models derived from a relational developmental systems metatheory, an approach to theory that is entirely consistent with the seven principles of life course health development. Concepts associated with these ideas are used to describe, explain, and optimize the course of development in the second decade of life and, as such, to frame applied research aimed at promoting health and positive development among diverse adolescents. Accordingly we discuss the relational developmental systems metatheory and the seven principles and illustrate how the ideas associated with both approaches to adolescent development can innovatively integrate and extend scholarship about transitions and transformations characterizing the adolescent period and, as well, afford optimism that relational changes linked to positive change in the health developmental system can be identified and used to promote thriving in adolescence.



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