Child Development Project – Developmental Pathways to Adjustment and Well-being in Early Adulthood

This longitudinal study is a collaboration among Auburn University, Indiana University, and Duke University that investigates children’s social development and adjustment by following 585 children from two cohorts recruited in consecutive years, 1987 and 1988, from Nashville, Tenn.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Bloomington, Ind. The children were recruited the year before they entered kindergarten; the project is now in its 26th year. Annual data are available from multiple informants, including children, parents, teachers, peers, observers, and school records.

The following aims are the core of the project:

  1. identifying life experiences that increase the risks for the development of conduct problems;
  2. understanding how life experiences, sociocultural contexts, and biological dispositions combine to develop psychopathology processes;
  3. testing the hypothesis that risk factors operate through effects on individuals’ social knowledge and the ways that individuals process social information;
  4. evaluating a model of “switch points” for changes in adjustment trajectories at normative and non-normative transitions and for determining critical environmental features in development;
  5. assessing developmental processes that are crucial to development in specific life stages;
  6. testing the generalizability of models across gender and ethnic groups; and
  7. studying the fuller adjustment profiles within which conduct problems may occur, such as social relationships and the internalization of problems.