Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Research Design, Developmental
Alexander von Eye & Patrick Mair
Developmental research shares with research in all other domains of the sciences the notion that the independent variables, the dependent variables, and the covariates need to be carefully defined and operationalized in order for research outcomes to be trustworthy. The independent variables are under control of the experimenter if the research setting is artificial and can be planned. Independent variables are part of natural settings if observational studies are conducted. The dependent variables are the outcomes variables. These variables are seen as caused or predictable based on knowledge about the independent variables. Covariates are also independent variables, used to predict the dependent variables. However, they are, by definition, not controlled by the experimenter. As a key element that defines this domain of research, developmental research virtually always involves statements about temporal change, that is, change that can be observed over time as compared with across settings. For example, “Developmentalists are ...