Modeling Contextual Effects in Developmental Research:Linking Theory and Method in the Study of Social Development

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data analysis, social behavior, adolescence, adjustment

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This special section was inspired by the recent increased interest and methodological advances in the assessment of context‐specificity in child and adolescent social development. While the effects of groups, situations, and social relationships on cognitive, affective and behavioral development have long been acknowledged in theoretical discussions of social development, empirical research has largely relied on the assessment of individual differences rather than contextual differences in these processes—perhaps due to the fact that advanced data analytic techniques are required to access contextual dependencies in such data. While still developing, best practice data analytic techniques enable us to access the ‘social’ of social development in more precision today than ever before. In this special section we examine three of these techniques through the work of our invited authors.

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Social Development, v. 19, issue 3, p. 437-446.