The division was founded in April, 2004.
“Developmental science is dedicated to examining the biopsychosocial mechanisms that underlie both deviant and normal development. This field is not limited to simply describing deviant behavior at a specific age, but rather examines the dynamic interplay of biopsychosocial risk and protective conditions in the course of development over an individual’s lifespan. The field takes an interdisciplinary approach in order to be able to capture the complexity of adjusted and maladjusted development appropriately. These activities focus on mental and behavioral phenomena. Physical diseases and disabilities, the course of their emergence, and general physical development are considered to the extent that they exert an influence on adjusted and maladjusted cognitive, emotional, and/or social development.”
(Definition from Petermann, Niebank & Scheithauer . Entwicklungswissenschaft. Heidelberg: Springer.)
Developmental science thus extends beyond the traditional purview of developmental psychology, integrating aspects of genetics, neuropsychology, and neuroanatomy as well as clinical psychology into its studies. It also overlaps with developmental psychopathology in some areas.
The areas of focus of the division’s fundamental research on developmental psychology and educational psychology include
The projects conducted in these areas of focus are implemented in cooperation and collaboration with various institutes and institutions.
Within our division, applied developmental psychology puts findings and information from developmental science into practice in concrete, application-oriented fields (such as prevention).
For example, development-related findings are included in the design of development-oriented measures aimed at preventing aggression and violence in preschool and school settings, and in the development-oriented design of psychotherapeutic interventions.
Applied developmental psychology refers in particular to the competencies involved in:
The application-oriented foci of research in the division include: