Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology (J APPL DEV PSYCHOL )

Publisher: Elsevier


The Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology provides a forum for the presentation of conceptual, methodological, policy, and research studies involved in the application of behavioral science research in developmental and life span psychology. The Journal publishes quality papers from an interdisciplinary perspective focusing on a broad array of social issues. The Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology focuses on two key concepts: human development, which refers to the psychological transformations and modifications that occur during the life cycle and influence an individual's behavior within the social milieu; and application of knowledge, which is derived from investigating variables in the developmental process. Its contributions cover research that deals with traditional life span markets (age, social roles, biological status, environmental variables) and broadens the scopes of study to include variables that promote understanding of psychological processes and their onset and development within the life span. Most importantly, the Journal demonstrates how knowledge gained from research can be applied to policy making and to educational, clinical, and social settings.

  • Impact factor
  • 5-year impact
  • Cited half-life
  • Immediacy index
  • Eigenfactor
  • Article influence
  • Website
    Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology website
  • Other titles
    Journal of applied developmental psychology (Online)
  • ISSN
  • OCLC
  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details


  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Voluntary deposit by author of pre-print allowed on Institutions open scholarly website and pre-print servers
    • Voluntary deposit by author of authors post-print allowed on institutions open scholarly website including Institutional Repository
    • Deposit due to Funding Body, Institutional and Governmental mandate only allowed where separate agreement between repository and publisher exists
    • Set statement to accompany deposit
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to journal home page or articles' DOI
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • NIH Authors articles will be submitted to PMC after 12 months
    • Authors who are required to deposit in subject repositories may also use Sponsorship Option
    • Pre-print can not be deposited for The Lancet
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Focusing on social pragmatics, this longitudinal study investigated the contribution of mother–toddler collaborative communication to theory of mind (ToM) development at age 4. At age 2½, 78 toddlers (42 boys) and their mothers were observed during pretend play. At age 4, children were tested using 4 false belief understanding tasks. Both mothers and toddlers engaged in more collaborative (inform, guide/request, and support/confirm) than non-collaborative communication acts. Other-focused collaborative acts of support/confirm by mothers and toddlers predicted children's false belief understanding, even after controlling for 5 covariates. In addition, as active agents in their own ToM development, the contribution of toddlers' collaborative acts to false belief understanding was independent of their mother's. Finally, the way toddlers and their mothers co-constructed their communication mattered. Only when toddlers engaged in high levels of collaborative acts, the mothers' high levels of collaborative acts demonstrated a positive effect on children's ToM development. The applied implications of these findings are discussed.
    Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 10/2014; 35(5):381–391.
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    ABSTRACT: Parents socialize children's emotion through active, purposeful strategies and through their own expressivity; yet little research has examined whether parents are inconsistent within or between these socialization domains. The author presents a heuristic model of inconsistency in parents' emotion socialization. Parents (M age = 34.8 years, 85% mothers) of preschool-aged children (M age = 4.5 years, 53% female) reported on their responses to children's emotions, their own expressivity, child emotion regulation and expressivity, child social competence, and child internalizing and externalizing. Parents were largely consistent in their emotion socialization, with one exception being that some highly negatively expressive parents punished children's negative expressivity. This pairing of inconsistent socialization behaviors interacted to explain variance in child emotion regulation and internalizing. The author discusses the implications and limitations of the findings and directions for future research.
    Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 10/2014; 35(5):392–400.
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    ABSTRACT: The impact of a baby book intervention on promoting positive reading beliefs and increasing reading frequency for low-income, new mothers (n = 167) was examined. The Baby Books Project randomly assigned low-income, first-time mothers to one of three study conditions, receiving educational books, non-educational books, or no books, during pregnancy and over the first year of parenthood. Home-based data collection occurred through pregnancy until 18 months post-partum. Mothers who received free baby books had higher beliefs about the importance of reading, the value of having resources to support reading, and the importance of verbal participation during reading. The results showed that providing any type of baby books to mothers positively influenced maternal reading beliefs, but did not increase infant-mother reading practices. Maternal reading beliefs across all three groups were significantly associated with self-reported reading frequency when children were at least 12 months of age.
    Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 08/2014; 35(4):337–346.
  • Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 08/2014; 35(4):316–317.
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    ABSTRACT: Moderating effects of non-parental preschool child care quality on the impact of maternal mental health risks on children's behavioral and mental health outcomes were examined. The paper presents data both on the concurrent buffering effects on children at the age of 4 ½ while they are in child care as well as on the longitudinal effects on the children two years later in the first grade. Study participants included 294 mothers, fathers, their children, their children's non-parental caregivers in preschool child care programs and their children's first grade teachers from the Wisconsin Study of Families and Work. Using regression models to examine moderation, we found that in low quality child care, children exposed to elevated maternal depressive symptoms and anger showed more behavioral problems and worse prosocial functioning. In contrast, children in high quality child care did not present higher symptoms in relation to elevated mother mental health risks. Significant moderating effects were found in both concurrent and longitudinal analyses. Results point to potential buffering effects of high quality care for children faced with adverse family factors.
    Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 08/2014; 35(4):347–356.
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    ABSTRACT: Using data from the Birth to Three Phase (1996–2001) of the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project, we investigated whether family routines at 14, 24, and 36 months play a role in the development of children's self-regulation and cognitive ability at 36 months. The moderating effects of child sex and race/ethnicity were also examined. Analyses revealed that routines do matter for child outcomes; concurrent routines appear to be critical for fostering self-regulation at 36 months, whereas early routines may be important for children's later cognitive ability. Second, the effects differed by child sex, with early routines having a stronger association for girls and concurrent routines having a stronger association for boys. Associations also varied by race/ethnicity such that routines appear to matter slightly more for African–American children than European–American and Hispanic children. Implications of these findings with respect to strength-based interventions for low-income preschoolers and their families are discussed.
    Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 01/2014; 35(3):168–180.
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    ABSTRACT: The independent and joint effects of family and neighborhood poverty and ethnicity upon weight trajectories from age two to six-and-a-half were examined using data from the Infant Health and Development Program (N = 985), an early intervention program for low birth weight children and families. At age two, family poverty was associated with higher body mass index (BMI), whereas neighborhood poverty and ethnicity were not. Over time, the BMI of toddlers from poor and near poor neighborhoods increased nonlinearly, while those from nonpoor neighborhoods remained stable. BMIs of Hispanic-American toddlers increased steadily over time, unlike African-American and Anglo-American toddlers. Although initially similar, over time African-American toddlers' BMIs increased more rapidly than Anglo-American toddlers. Family and neighborhood poverty and ethnicity were associated with BMI. More work is needed on how poverty and ethnicity contribute to differences in early weight gain in conjunction with sociocultural and environmental factors in the home and community.
    Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Young-for-grade kindergarteners experience a disproportionate risk of retention compared to their old-for-grade peers. Using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten cohort dataset, this study investigated whether socioemotional skills mediated the association of age with kindergarten retention. Multilevel logistic regression models tested whether certain positive (e.g., interpersonal skills, approaches to learning) and negative (e.g., externalizing behavior) socioemotional skills were related to the likelihood of grade repetition, while controlling for academic abilities and student demographic variables. Findings showed that the relatively youngest kindergarteners were approximately five times more likely to be retained compared to the oldest student and that a child's approach to learning (e.g., attentiveness, task persistence) contributed as much as a child's academic abilities in relation to the likelihood of repeating a grade.
    Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The present study examined the contribution of early reactivity and regulation on externalizing behavior in preadolescence. Moreover, subcomponents of attentional control (i.e., attention shifting and attention focusing) and negative reactivity (i.e., sadness and anger) were examined individually to test whether a specific combination of factors uniquely contributed to the outcome. A subset of data were utilized from the ongoing, longitudinal RIGHT Track project (N = 404), in which parents reported on individual factors at age 4 and teachers reported on externalizing behavior at age 10. A hierarchical linear regression analysis revealed a significant interaction between anger reactivity and attention shifting when controlling for early externalizing behavior, where children with high levels of anger and low levels of attention shifting experienced the greatest increase in externalizing behavior over time. An increased focus on specificity is needed in research on the interplay between reactivity and regulation in the prediction of externalizing behavior.
    Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 01/2014; 35(3):121–127.
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    ABSTRACT: Intrusive parenting, primarily examined among middle to upper-middle class mothers, has been positively associated with the presence and severity of anxiety in children. This study employed cross-sectional linear regression and longitudinal latent growth curve analyses to evaluate the main and interactive effects of early childhood paternal autonomy restriction (AR) and neighborhood safety (NS) on the trajectory of child anxiety in a sample of 596 community children and fathers from the NICHD SECYD. Longitudinal analyses revealed that greater paternal AR at age 6 was actually associated with greater decreases in child anxiety in later childhood. Cross-sectional analyses revealed main effects for NS across childhood, and interactive effects of paternal AR and NS that were present only in early childhood, whereby children living in safer neighborhoods demonstrated increased anxiety when experiencing lower levels of paternal AR. Findings further clarify for whom and when paternal AR impacts child anxiety in community youth.
    Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 01/2014; 35(4):265–272.
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the relative importance of best friend's and parents' volunteering and civic family orientation (combined with open family communication) in adolescent volunteering, and the moderating effect of age. Results, involving 698 adolescents (M age = 15.19; SD = 1.43), revealed that adolescents were more likely to volunteer when their best friend and parents volunteered, and volunteered more frequently when their family had a stronger civic orientation combined with more open family communication. Clear age differences were found: when adolescents get older, friends become more important for whether they volunteer, and the family's civic orientation becomes important for their volunteering frequency. An implication of these findings may be that, depending on adolescents' age and the aspect of volunteering, interventions may focus on targeting parents' or friend's civic behaviour to stimulate adolescent volunteering.
    Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated when children can take the perspective of their reader if the information-processing demands of writing are removed by means of dictation to a scribe. Participants (N = 96) aged 5, 6 and 7 years dictated letters to an addressee who possessed requisite content knowledge, and then revised the letter or dictated a new letter to an addressee who lacked this knowledge (counterbalanced). Results showed that 19% of 5-year-olds, 41% of 6-year-olds, and 72% of 7-year-olds considered their reader's missing knowledge. Children's awareness of their reader's knowledge was neither related to performance on higher-order theory of mind tasks, nor to measures of executive function. Significantly greater perspective-taking was demonstrated in children's new letters than revised letters. However, although revision is considered a late-developing skill, half of even the 5-year-olds were able to make revisions (albeit few revisions demonstrated actual perspective-taking). Findings have significant implications for the emergent-literacy curriculum.
    Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This study involving 463 adolescents examined the impact of pressured information management with mothers on boys' and girls' subsequent psychological functioning. This novel concept of pressured information management involved both pressured secrecy and disclosure and was defined as the degree to which adolescents feel they have no choice but to engage in these strategies. While pressured secrecy was especially aversive for girls, yielding associations with both depression and anxiety, it was related to stress only in boys. Pressured disclosure was less detrimental, and in fact, had a positive influence on girls' anxiety over time. Alternate models for these effects were considered but not supported by the data. Together, these findings highlight the importance of considering teens' reasons for engaging in different information management strategies and suggest adolescents who feel they have no choice but to keep secrets or disclose information to mothers may experience psychological consequences that are gender-specific.
    Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: To date, very little research has examined developmental reversals in false memory outside of the word list paradigm. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether knowledge of, and familiarity with types of environments influenced the quantity, accuracy, and errors recalled by children (4- to 6- year-olds) and adults. Using images and open recall questions, the findings of the present study support the predicted reversal in false memories (i.e., developmental variability), supporting a cross-over effect of age and false memories. Children performed better than adults through providing less relevant errors (i.e., commission or semantic-based errors) about environments that were more familiar to adults. These findings support the predicted developmental reversal in false memories. The findings are discussed within the context of fuzzy trace theory and semantic knowledge structures. Implications for the applied eyewitness context are examined.
    Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 01/2014; 35(4):318–325.

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