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 
social development, social cognition, social adjustment, attachment, cognitive development, language development, personality development, brain activity, psychological individualization, developmental scales, developmental psychodiagnostics, developmental counselling, quality of preschool, developmental sports psychology
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (12)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  10571  PhD Zlatka Cugmas  Psychology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  435 
2.  20922  PhD Urška Fekonja  Psychology  Researcher  2006 - 2008  310 
3.  25572  PhD Katja Grgić  Social sciences  Junior researcher  2005 - 2008  42 
4.  15844  PhD Alenka Gril  Criminology and social work  Researcher  2005 - 2008  469 
5.  21818  Ksenija Jaušovec    Technical associate  2006 - 2008  67 
6.  05038  PhD Norbert Jaušovec  Psychology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  319 
7.  21336  PhD Tina Kavčič  Psychology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  374 
8.  07606  PhD Ljubica Marjanovič-Umek  Psychology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  1,309 
9.  18919  PhD Anja Podlesek  Psychology  Researcher  2006  542 
10.  15446  PhD Melita Puklek Levpušček  Psychology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  409 
11.  17836  PhD Gregor Sočan  Psychology  Researcher  2006 - 2008  224 
12.  07671  PhD Maja Zupančič  Psychology  Head  2004 - 2008  852 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0553  Educational Research Institute  Ljubljana  5051614000  7,130 
2.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  98,876 
3.  0589  University of Maribor, Faculty of Education  Maribor  5089638013  14,991 
4.  2565  University of Maribor Faculty of Arts  Maribor  5089638050  31,015 
Three broad developmental domains are studied within this research programme: cognitive (including language), social-emotional, and personality development from infancy throughout early adulthood. Within these domains, we focus on specific developmental aspects in different developmental periods and across various contexts. Three developmental models are to be compared: the model of early, concurrent and cumulative experiences. Our specific research problems are based on recent scientific research waves, e.g. the study of the precursors of the Big Five personality dimensions in childhood, replicability and continuity of child and adolescent personality types, the role of personality in the development of social adjustment, academic achievements and psychological authonomy; exploration of life-span stability/instability of internal working models of attachment; testing the hypothesis of congruence/disonance of microsystem environmental influences; detailed investigation of the Mozart effect on spacial-temporal reasoning; employment of multi-informant approach. In the domain of child language development we focus on the development of its several components (meaning, structure, and pragmatics of language) in relation to cognitive and social development as well as to environmental interaction effects at the mezosystem level (family, preschool) on the development of these competences. Investigation of cognitive development is further extended into later developmental periods. In addition to exploration of environmental effects at the mezosystem level, a role of personality dimensions in the development of general cognitive ability and social cognition is to be inquired. Very specifically, we will study the effect of music on cognitive functioning at different ages and test for an eventual moderator influence of personality on its effect-size. Furthermore, we will explore possibilities to use music for the purpuses of enhancing cognitive development. Understanding complex environmental effects at the mezosystem level and in their interactions with personality as well as social-cognitive factors will enable us to investigate relevant options of developing prevention programmes aimed at decreasing intolerance and violence among children, adolescents and adults. In the field of social-emotional and personality development, we build upon the attachment theory and Big Five model. We aim to determine the role and nature of relationships between parent-child attachment and other key factors (temperament/personality, quality of (pre)school/family environment, and personality of caregivers) in the development of attachment to (pre)school teachers, peers and later, to intimate partners, and consequently to individuals' contemporaneous as well as later social adjustment and psychological authonomy. Revealing these complex associations will enable us to suggest effective solutions of how to decrease environmental risks that contribute to the development of e.g. internalizing, externalizing problems, other types of maladjustment to (pre)school, poor academic achievemnt, problems in gaining psychological authonomy and coping with developmental tasks of adolescence and early adulthood. In the context of the aforementioned environmental factors and individuals' psychological chracteristics, we specifically intend to investigate (in)direct effects of systematic sports practice on concurrent and long-term quality of psychological adjustment, since engagement in sports was previously found to be a significant protective factor. Moreover, we also aim at the construction of new psychological instruments and techniques that would be ecologically valid in the Slovenian cultural environment as well as those that could be age- and culture-decentred.
Significance for science
Topics and goals of our research were in line with current scientific trends in developmental psychology and related disciplines (developmental psychopathology, psycholinguistics, neurophysiology, neuropsychology, developmental personality psychology, cross-cultural developmental psychology) at the world level. Our research achievements deserved considerable attention and positive responses by the international scientific community in the domain of psychology (presentations at international conferences, publications of papers in top-rank international research journals and in book chapters of scientific monographs) and interdisciplinary (e.g., educational science, neurophysiology). All this is evident in documentation of the research group. In addition, several findings of the research programme have already been included in courses at reputed US universities. Thus, we expect that our attainments and their dissemination to international scientific community significantly contributed to development of psychological science world-wide. We were among the first to provide answers to contemporaneous research questions of special importance, e.g., on: development of language competence in toddlerhood and early childhood, neurophyisiological underpinnings of gender differences in specific domains of cognition, neurophysiological underpinnings of general intelligence, emotional intelligence, and robust personality traits, several aspects of universality and cultural specificity in child/adolescent personality trait development, types of personality consistency in pre-adult periods, significance of multiple attachments in childhood, the role of educational institutions in child/adolescent cognitive and psychosocial development along with early individual differences, identification of a variety of protective and risk factors related to important developmental outcomes. Moreover, answers to research questions arising from current problems in modern societies (e.g., adjustment in adolescence, prolonged period between adolescence and adulthood) significantly contribute to the growing knowledge of developmental psychological science. Several findings should be noted among these accomplishments, e.g., on: interpersonal problems of adolescents, development of social anxiety in adolescence and individuation in relation to family of origin, effects of participation in youth organizations on activities of young people, coping with developmental tasks of emerging adulthood, development of understanding of social relations among the groups at a broad societal level, and findings on development of organizational culture in non-profit organizations. It is also important to stress development of new methodological approaches, measurement procedures and techniques, construction and validation of original developmental mesures which will serve as valuable assessment tools in future research at the international level. In general, we estimate that the results of the programme carried-out across the five year period significantly contributed to attainment of new scientific knowledge and to the development of psychlogical research world-wide.
Significance for the country
Based on research findings, we designed guidelines for appropriate application of developmental psychological knowledge, e.g. in fields of education, developmental psychodiagnostics, psychological counseling. The findings provided support to construction of age appropriate curriculum in education, as well as, improved the quality of work with individuals of different ages in: - preschools (e.g., creation of strategies of learning language in critical developmental periods, strategies of work with parents, preschool teachers and children), - schools (e.g., provision of effective teaching strategies, equally efficient methods of teaching for males and females, proposals to improve cooperation among participants in education at the mesosystem level and to promote academic motivation of youth), - youth organizations (e.g., development of volunteerism and employment of Slovenian youth, encouraging social engagement of youth, prevention of chronic school absences, delinquency, dependence and other forms of social exclusion), - university education and adult education (e.g., creation of strategies to enhance career development in youth and decreasing negative influences in the transition from schooling to employment, permanent improvement of the quality in university courses by including the most recent research findings of the programme group to the classes taught), - development of programmes targeting tolerance, decrease of violence and other forms of risk behavior in various developmental periods. Research findings on developmental characteristics, several psychological and environmental protective/risk factors in important developmental outcomes are useful in the field of developmental diagnostics and psychological counseling with children, adolescents, their parents and with emerging adults. In addition, appropriate psychodiagnostic instruments were designed while internationally proven ones were adapted, validated and normed for their use in Slovenia. These instruments are utilized in psychological counseling, treatment and scientific research. In general, the research findings of the programme group over the past five-year period nas been of a special importance for Slovenia in : (a) improving existing services, e.g., prevention programmes, psychological intervention with individuals of different ages; (b) development of new diagnostic methods and procedures, and in improvement of extant diagnostic methods and procedures; (c) development of counseling services, e.g., counseling parents, professionals working in the field of education; (d) improving the qualifications of research-development professional staff; (e) improving existing management strategies in educational institutions; (f) development of higher education, undergraduate and postgraduate, and permanent professional education for specialists in educational institutions and work organizations (e.g., psychological counseling services, mental health centres); (g) development of society: increase in the quality of life in (pre)schools, youth organizations, work organizations; (h) improving the leadership and management of educational institutions, youth and work organizations, and (i) development of social activities in psychological counseling services, educational and health-care institutions. Presentations of the research attainments of the programme group at international scientific conferences, publications in international research journals and various kinds of cooperation with foreign research community also contributed to the promotion of our country.
Most important scientific results Final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Final report, complete report on dLib.si
Views history