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Koops, Willem & Elder, Glen H., Jr. (1996). Historical Developmental Psychology: Some Introductory Remarks. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 19(2), 369-371.


Historical studies of childhood and the family have flourished since the publication of Philippe Aries’s groundbreaking book, Centuries of childhood (1960/1962). Much debate has occurred on issues of historical discontinuity (Demos, 1970; Zuckerman, 1970) and continuity (notably Pollock, 1983, 1987) concerning cultural representations of childhood and children’s actual behavioural patterns. However, the historical relativity of childhood and child development has hardly influenced the thinking of developmental psychologists. Nevertheless, some initiatives have attempted to bridge the gap between the social history of childhood and developmental psychology (notably Elder, Modell, & Parke, 1993). By definition, work of this kind presents a challenge to developmental psychology with its assumptions regarding the universality of developmental processes (Koops, 1990; Zuckerman, 1993).


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

International Journal of Behavioral Development


Koops, Willem
Elder, Glen H., Jr.