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ERIC Number: EJ1078133
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1088-8691
Integrating Developmental Theory and Methodology: Using Derivatives to Articulate Change Theories, Models, and Inferences
Deboeck, Pascal R.; Nicholson, Jody; Kouros, Chrystyna; Little, Todd D.; Garber, Judy
Applied Developmental Science, v19 n4 p217-231 2015
Matching theories about growth, development, and change to appropriate statistical models can present a challenge, which can result in misuse, misinterpretation, and underutilization of different analytical approaches. We discuss the use of "derivatives": the change of a construct with respect to the change in another construct. Derivatives provide a common language linking developmental theory and statistical methods. Conceptualizing change in terms of derivatives allows precise translation of theory into method and highlights commonly overlooked models of change. A wide variety of models can be understood in terms of the level, velocity, and acceleration of constructs: the zeroth, first, and second derivatives, respectively. We introduce the language of derivatives, and highlight the conceptually differing questions that can be addressed in developmental studies. A substantive example is presented to demonstrate how common and unfamiliar statistical methodology can be understood as addressing relations between differing pairs of derivatives.
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Rockville, MD.; Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: T32MH18921; K02MH66249; R29 MH45458; P30HD15052