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 
Infancy, Childhood, Adolescence, Emerging Adulthood, Late Adulthood, Language Development, Personality Development, Psychosocial Adjustment, Memory Functions, Individuation, Education, Academic Success, Developmental Psychodiagnostics, Assessment Instruments, Neurophysiological Measures, Culture
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (17)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  10571  PhD Zlatka Cugmas  Psychology  Researcher  2015 - 2019  436 
2.  20922  PhD Urška Fekonja  Psychology  Researcher  2015 - 2019  310 
3.  15844  PhD Alenka Gril  Criminology and social work  Researcher  2015 - 2019  469 
4.  38371  PhD Kaja Hacin Beyazoglu  Psychology  Technical associate  2017 - 2018  62 
5.  05038  PhD Norbert Jaušovec  Psychology  Retired researcher  2015 - 2019  319 
6.  21336  PhD Tina Kavčič  Psychology  Researcher  2015 - 2019  374 
7.  24437  PhD Luka Komidar  Psychology  Researcher  2015 - 2018  150 
8.  39477  PhD Eva Kranjec  Psychology  Technical associate  2017 - 2018  57 
9.  51939  PhD Žan Lep  Psychology  Junior researcher  2018 - 2019  208 
10.  07606  PhD Ljubica Marjanovič-Umek  Psychology  Retired researcher  2015 - 2019  1,309 
11.  36488  PhD Anja Pahor  Psychology  Researcher  2015 - 2018  29 
12.  33557  PhD Mojca Petrič  Psychology  Researcher  2019  34 
13.  38232  PhD Mojca Poredoš  Psychology  Junior researcher  2015 - 2019  85 
14.  15446  PhD Melita Puklek Levpušček  Psychology  Researcher  2015 - 2019  409 
15.  17836  PhD Gregor Sočan  Psychology  Researcher  2015 - 2019  224 
16.  33802  PhD Sara Tement  Psychology  Researcher  2015 - 2019  290 
17.  07671  PhD Maja Zupančič  Psychology  Head  2015 - 2019  852 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0553  Educational Research Institute  Ljubljana  5051614000  7,131 
2.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  98,910 
3.  0589  University of Maribor, Faculty of Education  Maribor  5089638013  14,992 
4.  2565  University of Maribor Faculty of Arts  Maribor  5089638050  31,020 
Based on the theory by Vygotsky and contemporaries, we will study factors of quantitative/qualitative change in language development up to mid childhood, especially the effects of independent variables (age, gender, parental education) on mediators (adults’ enhancement of child language) and their effect on language development. We will continue to explore similarities/differences in language of boys and girls, and children from different cultural/linguistic environments. We will emphasize the role of (pre)school in interaction with family environment in reducing social differences in children’s language competence. For diagnostic use, we will (i) standardize Bayley Scales of Infant Development III and adapt manuals; (ii) validate recent measures of infant/toddler temperament by Rothbart; (iii) update the norms and manual of previously standardized Social Behavior and Social Competence. Previous findings on factors of academic achievement will be extended by a longitudinal study of the effect of school anxiety and motivational beliefs on change in AA and the effects in the opposite direction, not reported yet. We will explore the mediating role of teacher in this change and adolescents' engagement in co-construction of knowledge, contextual and psychological factors contributing to learning, and effects of cooperative interactions on social/cognitive/identity development. We will follow-up mean-level, relative, individual, and ipsative changes in the big five personality traits over emerging adulthood. Among factors of personality development we will focus on achieved criteria for adulthood, individuation from parents, significant life events, life satisfaction, and measures of subjective well-being by Keyes. We will examine the direction of these relationships with regard to the dispositional hypothesis vs. the paradigm of dynamic interactionism. We completed the development/validation of the Test of individuation in emerging adulthood (ITEA) for the Slovenian population and adapted it in 9 languages. We will examine the metric invariance of the ITEA and findings on factors and effects of individuation, accounting for culture-level variables (e.g., individualism-collectivism). We will create a multiple-language ITEA web portal (with information about test and available norms) enabling the collection of data regarding the potential effects of order or the mode of test presentation, relevant for diagnostics. Previous findings on development of an individual's attachment to parents and partners will be extended by exploring attachments of individuals across life span to other significant figures (child to grandparents, emerging adults to siblings, adults to their elderly parents). The research objective in the area of neurophysiological underpinnings of psychological processes is to explore the possibility to increase human intelligence and its components (e.g., working memory, attention) by training and transcranial electrical stimulation (tES).
Significance for science
Paths of the effects of social/cultural/material environments on child language development are not clear and we will thus, examine ways in which protective/critical factors and their interactions influence language development; this is important because language is a cultural tool of development of higher-order cognitive abilities, acquisition of knowledge, and education. Our research will also contribute to studies of Slovene language as we will create new approaches/tools to assess several aspects of language across childhood (e.g., (over)generalization of grammatical rules, understanding of metaphors as a measure of metalinguistic awareness). Bidirectional links of motivational/emotional factors with academic achievement have also not been examined yet. The research will also: (i) provide a new insight into the teacher's role in early adolescence – the period vulnerable to change in students' school attitudes, perceived significance of education, and academic motivation; (ii) afford new knowledge on the role of learning interactions in adolescent psyhosocial development/identity formation; (iii) contribute to the development of methods/analyses of diadic/group interactions, and instruments – scales of attitudes, active learning, career orientation, civic identity, and intercultural competence. The ITEA the first instrument which provides a reliable/valid assessment of aspects of individuation specifically in emerging adulthood. The test’s translations and the measurement invariance across cultures will enable researchers to carry out quality measurements of individuation in their language/cultural environments. The web portal will provide an option to create projects for ITEA measurements and thus: (i) assure researchers (inter)national-wise a way to carry out their studies quickly/cost-free; (ii) offer a centralized repository for publications on individuation in emerging adulthood, and for a large amount of international data, which will be open for research purposes to all; (iii) enable faster development of research this area/period due to the open access to publications and various datasets; (iv) facilitate effective international collaboration. Our findings will reveal benefits/shortcomings of different ways of application of self-report tests to measure attributes in relation to two objects; it will allow researchers to use an optimal way of application to their research problem. Examining the development of attachment to figures, who were not (or scarcely) considered in precedent studies, and in periods not included in attachment research, we will contribute to understanding of general principles in human development of attachment. The findings on trajectories of personality/psychosocial development will also provide a significant account to comprehension of the new developmental period of emerging adulthood. Our neurophysiological research will have a major impact on understanding of the plasticity of the brain.
Significance for the country
The research findings will represent a scientific foundation to create plans for language assessment in infants/toddlers, and for development of early prevention activities that will also consider the influence of various environmental factors. Specific findings will provide an adequate basis to reduce social differences in language competence of children from different social/cultural backgrounds. Our results will be employed to different social contexts: (pre)schools, developmental clinics, and in the domain of arts (e.g., theatres for infants/toddlers/children; picture books and children's books). Our research will have an impact on the development of education in Slovenia where, according to the results of international studies PISA and TIMSS, there is a substantial discrepancy between mathematical and natural science literacy on the one hand, and attitudes and motivation in the respective school subjects on the other hand. We will also provide research-based foundations for: (i) the development of educational practice to enhance active academic engagement of adolescents; (ii) planning of relevant activities in out-of-school social contexts/institutions for adolescents. The study on measurement invariance of the ITEA across cultures will enhance our international cooperation and recognition of the Slovene researchers international-wise. The web portal will represent a central application for the ITEA measurement, a central repository for the obtained databases, and findings across the ITEA-related studies. The portal will therefore very likely increase the reputation of the Slovene research on individuation in emerging adulthood. The portal will also be very useful to psychologists in practice as it will enable them to conduct individual measurements quickly, and have an immediate access to normative scores needed to interpret the individual scores of the client. The practitioners' work will therefore become less time- and cost consuming. Our results will affect the prevention, intervention and research activity, related to assure better quality of life to children/adolescents, emerging adults and adults. Research will be embedded in education at faculties and in education of professional staff employed in education, health-centres, counselling institutions, and work organizations. The research findings also have a potential to be used for the development of memory training programs for elderly individuals. Our original psychodiagnostic assessment tools, and those adapted/validated/standardized within the framework of the research program will improve the quality of developmental assessment and counseling with individuals across ages, and others involved in their close relationships. The international research community will be informed of our achievements at distinguished international conferences and through our publications in recognized research journals, which will promote our country.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2015, interim report, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2015, interim report, final report
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