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More than just a simple twist of fate: Serendipitous relations in developmental science


Napolitano, Christopher M (2013). More than just a simple twist of fate: Serendipitous relations in developmental science. Human Development, 56(5):291-318.

Abstract

Unexpected, non-normative events are key influences on human development across the life span. Despite this importance, little is known about how an individual may capitalize on unexpected events and transform them into opportunities for sustained positive development. In this article, to address this theoretical lacuna, I introduce the concept of serendipitous relations - mutually beneficial, adaptive developmental regulations brought about by the time-extended coaction of intentional self-regulatory actions and unexpected non-normative life events. I enumerate five specific intentional self-regulatory serendipitous actions hypothesized to lead to serendipitous relations. Using developmental theory, life examples, and examples from the literature, I hypothesize that serendipitous relations brought about by effective use of serendipitous actions may be important sources of adaptive development. I conclude by offering specific suggestions for future research on serendipitous relations across the life span.

Abstract

Unexpected, non-normative events are key influences on human development across the life span. Despite this importance, little is known about how an individual may capitalize on unexpected events and transform them into opportunities for sustained positive development. In this article, to address this theoretical lacuna, I introduce the concept of serendipitous relations - mutually beneficial, adaptive developmental regulations brought about by the time-extended coaction of intentional self-regulatory actions and unexpected non-normative life events. I enumerate five specific intentional self-regulatory serendipitous actions hypothesized to lead to serendipitous relations. Using developmental theory, life examples, and examples from the literature, I hypothesize that serendipitous relations brought about by effective use of serendipitous actions may be important sources of adaptive development. I conclude by offering specific suggestions for future research on serendipitous relations across the life span.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:28 Jan 2014 12:48
Last Modified:09 Jun 2016 10:58
Publisher:Karger
ISSN:0018-716X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1159/000355022

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