Human behavior is very flexible and ontogenetic potential adds to the scope of variability of developmental paths. Therefore, development in the life course needs to be regulated. Developmental regulation by the individual is scaffolded by external constraints. External constraints to development based on biological aging, institutional age-grading, and internalized age norms provide an age-graded agenda for striving for developmental growth and avoiding developmental decline. The life-span theory of control proposes that control of one's environment is the key to adaptive functioning throughout the life span. The theory identifies the evolutionary roots and the life-span developmental course of man striving to control the environment (primary control) and the self (secondary control). Primary control is directed at producing effects in the external world, while secondary control influences the internal world so as to optimize the motivational resources for primary control. In this 1999 book, a series of studies illustrate the rich repertoire of the human control system to master developmental challenges in various age periods and developmental ecologies.
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(228mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Jutta Heckhausen
Jutta Heckhausen grew up in Germany and did her graduate work and Ph.D. at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland where she studied the way in which infants' development is promoted by interaction and joint activities with their mothers. In 1984, Dr Heckhausen joined the Center for Life-Span Psychology at the Max-Planck-Institute for Human Development in Berlin, where she became a senior scientist with her own research group. In the 1980s and 90s, she expanded her research area to include development in adulthood and old age, formulated the life-span theory of control with her collaborator Dr Richard Schulz, and launched a research program to test its propositions and applicability to developmental regulation in adulthood. In 1995-6, she was a fellow at the Center for Social and Behavioral Science at Stanford. In 2000, Dr Heckhausen joined the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior at UC Irvine and constituted the research laboratory on Life-Span Development and Motivation. Her current research focuses on motivation and agency in life-span development, particularly during developmental transitions.