Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Applied developmental psychology

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.09.00  Social sciences  Psychology   

Code Science Field
S262  Social sciences  Development psychology 

Code Science Field
5.01  Social Sciences  Psychology and cognitive sciences 
Infants/toddlers, childhood, adolescence, emerging adulthood/adulthood, language development, personality development, theory of mind, adjustment, individuation, identity, academic achievement, financial behavior, wellbeing, family, education, career, work, culture, assessment tools
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on December 10, 2023; A3 for period 2017-2021
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender , archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  164  2,470  2,278  13.89 
Scopus  219  3,103  2,818  12.87 
Researchers (13)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  10571  PhD Zlatka Cugmas  Psychology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  434 
2.  20922  PhD Urška Fekonja  Psychology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  300 
3.  55865  Timotej Glavač  Psychology  Junior researcher  2021 - 2023  18 
4.  15844  PhD Alenka Gril  Criminology and social work  Researcher  2020 - 2023  455 
5.  38371  PhD Kaja Hacin Beyazoglu  Psychology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  57 
6.  21336  PhD Tina Kavčič  Psychology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  362 
7.  51939  PhD Žan Lep  Psychology  Junior researcher  2020 - 2022  175 
8.  07606  PhD Ljubica Marjanovič-Umek  Psychology  Retired researcher  2020 - 2023  1,291 
9.  38232  PhD Mojca Poredoš  Psychology  Researcher  2020 - 2021  80 
10.  15446  PhD Melita Puklek Levpušček  Psychology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  403 
11.  17836  PhD Gregor Sočan  Psychology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  218 
12.  33802  PhD Sara Tement  Psychology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  267 
13.  07671  PhD Maja Zupančič  Psychology  Head  2020 - 2023  842 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0553  Educational Research Institute  Ljubljana  5051614000  6,766 
2.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  95,859 
3.  0589  University of Maribor, Faculty of Education  Maribor  5089638013  12,964 
4.  2565  University of Maribor Faculty of Arts  Maribor  5089638050  33,048 
Following the lifespan development paradigm, we will continue our research within basic areas of psychological development, particularly from the contextual, social-cultural perspective as the development is embedded in the context, which constantly changes over time. Some of the specific domains in particular developmental periods have been studied rather sparsely, or developmental pathways and the social-cultural conditions affecting them are subject to rapid change in postindustrial societies. Accordingly, we will pursue research objectives referring to the developmental periods/domains and address certain gaps in the developmental literature, current social challenges that call for application of new knowledge into practice with individuals of different ages, and derive from our previous research outcomes that await further inquiry. In investigating early language development we will focus on aspects of language competence (e.g., vocabulary, grammar, pragmatic ability), emerging literacy, and identification of protective/risk factors in family (e.g., family literacy, joint reading, exposure to digital media) and preschool (e.g., the process quality of education). We will continue with the creation of diagnostic instruments to assess language competence in toddlers/children. In relation to the contents and factors of early development, contributing to later academic achievement and psycho-social development of children/adolescents, we will explore knowledge acquisition, learning effectiveness and achievement, development of positive attitudes toward knowledge, and career decisions. We will examine the conceptual model of predictors of engaged learning, and its outcomes in middle/late childhood/adolescence. Within the framework of our international comparisons, we will continue research on emerging adults' individuation and attainment of financial independence from parents (from both the perspective of parents and youth), career development (including academic motivation and achievement), and civic engagement (particularly digital). We will examine universality and socio-cultural specifics in the proposed (in)direct predictive relations of individual (e.g., personality traits, motivation) and contextual factors with the development in those domains, which further associate with important developmental outcomes/adjustment (e.g., career optimism, positive financial behavior, aspects of subjective well-being). Considering adulthood, we will upgrade the knowledge in the domain of career development, particularly on the processes and factors (e.g., personality traits, work-related intrusions into private life, work-related maladaptive thinking) contributing to its negative outcomes. Among the latter we will concentrate on burnout. In this regard, we will explore how the negative processes and outcomes accumulate, how long it takes for burnout to develop, and how can we counteract the negative development by an appropriate intervention.
Significance for science
Our research is important for the development of science in the field of developmental psychology and applied developmental psychology. We investigate protective/risk factors and their interactive influences on development across different domains (cognitive, emotional/personality, social), for example in language development as language is a cultural tool of each individual to develop higher-order cognitive capacities, knowledge, and attain education. Our contribution also refers to exploration of Slovene language in constructing new procedures/instruments to assess several domains of language in children/adolescents of different ages, and pre-literacy capacities in early childhood. The studies of personality traits-adjustment transactions add to the extant knowledge in suggesting: (i) differential unidirectional and reciprocal longitudinal links between personality and social behavior in childhood; (ii) differential associations of personality traits and proactive exposure/overuse of digital media (especially negative use, e.g. catfishing, creeping) in youth; (iii) direct and indirect effects of personality on positive mental health in different developmental periods (e.g., through the selection effect on significant life events and individuation in relation to parents among emerging adults, and via life-management strategies and engagement in leisure activities among normative elderly); (iv) interactive role of personality traits and characteristics of work (e.g., job demands, autonomy at work) in job-related stress, difficulties in balancing work-to-family, and burnout among employed individuals. Our research further (i) highlights the role of teachers in early adolescence, the period of increased sensitivity to change in self-perceived significance of education and academic motivation (it tends to decrease in Slovene cohorts), and the contribution of specific personality traits to the relationship of robust traits with academic achievements in children/adolescents of different ages in two cultural environments; (ii) contributes new knowledge on the role of teaching interactions in psycho-social development and identity formation among adolescents; (iii) reveals four different types of adolescents’ attitudes toward knowledge, and their visions of future in the domains of education and career development, romantic relationships and family, living arrangement and migration, and active citizenship; (iv) explains the relationship of different kinds of motivation with selection of the study major, occupational goals, and career optimism; (v) contributes to the development of measurement methods/instruments (e.g., of dyadic/group interactions) and data analyses (e.g., specific procedures of testing measurement invariance). Along with the development of technology and society, developmental tasks also change (especially beyond childhood); in response to new social demands psychological functioning of individuals co-responds as the tasks become more complex and require a longer time to their resolution. Our research complements understanding of the recently defined developmental period bridging adolescence and adulthood (emerging adulthood), which appears in (post)industrial societies. Our contribution to science in this developmental period refers particularly to the resolution of developmental tasks of extended individuation in relation to parents/caregivers and psychological aspects of attaining financial independence, identity exploration (financial, occupational, civic), and active civic participation of youth (active citizenship, including its digital kind). Our ITEA, for example, is the first test to reliably/validly assess several aspects of individuation (separately in relation to mother and father) specifically in emerging adulthood. Its translations/adaptations, especially the short version showing measurement invariance in four countries, enables quality assessment of individuation in different language/cultural com
Significance for the country
Our research outcomes have an important impact on activities in education, psychological prevention, intervention, and research, particularly in relation to provision of conditions for an optimal development of personal potentials and quality of life across the lifespan, educating professionals in psychology/education, training of professional staff in educational, counseling, health-care centers, other social institutions, and work organizations. In general, the findings, their implications and applicability into practice are significant to the sustainable development of education, psychological work with people of different ages, and the Slovene society. The results present a research-based foundation to create suitable directions/strategies for: (i) the development of teaching and learning across the levels of education to enhance active and profound engagement of students; (ii) planning of meaningful and effective actions (facilitative, preventive, intervention programs) in social, health-care contexts/institutions and work organizations. The research findings are useful in creating relevant programs to boost, for example, financial socialization of youth, development of early language competence and different types of literacy, adaptive skills, career counseling, daily activities, education and counseling for the elderly. The work of our group is permanently embedded in the educational process at three Slovene public universities (across the degrees, including the Erasmus exchange programs and Erasmus+), mentoring of numerous Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph. D. theses, and students’ engagement in research projects. By disseminating the results of our research through national and international press (research journals, monograph chapters, monographs) we provide university students with updated research-based materials. In this way we contribute to the quality of the Slovene tertiary education, recognition of the quality of the Slovene universities (invited lectures of the members at the universities abroad), acknowledgment of the country within the international research community, and education/training of forthcoming generations of professional staff. Our original psycho-diagnostic assessment tools and contemporary instruments by other authors, which we adapt/validate/norm contribute to the quality of developmental assessment and counseling individuals of different ages, as well as those close to them. In collaboration with practitioners we monitor and provide research-based, innovative application of new knowledge about psycho-diagnostic procedures (e.g., differential use of various measures to assess psychological characteristics case-wise in different developmental periods). This includes a competent application of novel, revised and/or extended instruments, interpretation of the obtained results, revision of the Slovene norms, and ways of psychological assessment according to the purpose, individual and age differences, etc. The instruments/procedures we develop, revise, extend or re-norm provide reliable/valid assessments of different psychological characteristics and their particular configurations in individuals of different ages, as well as the estimations of potential risk for their further development, identification of their »strengths« and difficulties, and thus serve as a starting point to counseling and/or treatment (further diagnostics, therapy, specific training programs etc.). Based on a justified application of psychological instruments we can namely detect potentially non-normative developmental trajectories at their onset, which enables an on-time planning of professional help and treatment, and assessment of its effects. Dissemination of the results to the professional community opens up further possibilities to apply our findings in programs of enhancement of positive developmental outcomes, and prevention in the context of continuous social changes. Some of our original, adapted and/or revised asse
Views history