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Research Heymans Institute Research Units Developmental Psychology


The research unit Developmental Psychology deals with the description and explanation of psychological changes that take place in the life course, during childhood as well as during adulthood. The research often concerns new skills next to behavioural possibilities and their timing. Children learn to talk, walk, how to eat by themselves, and to explore and understand the world. Also during adulthood and old age, changes still occur continuously, for example in the development of identity and well-being. These developments all take place by means of continuous and mutual interactions between the individual and the social and physical environment. The goal of knowledge in the field of developmental psychology lies in the enhancement of healthy growing up and ageing, with a focus on the individual and the interaction with the context.

The group conducts research on the processes that determine human development. The research of the group starts from a complexity vision on processes and targets the analysis of individual longitudinal data, encompassing fundamental as well as practice-oriented research themes. The content of these processes is divers and current research comprises, among others, typical and atypical development in childhood, language acquisition, identity development, emergence of psychopathology and talent. Diagnostics and intervention in upbringing and education play an important role in different research projects.

Last modified:13 February 2024 09.36 a.m.