International Journal of Developmental Science

Biopsychosocial Mechanisms of Change, Human Development, and Psychopathology - Perspectives from Psychology, Neuroscience, and Genetics

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12; 4 issues
Last issue (11:3-4) online on 29 December 2017
Next issue
12:1 scheduled for March 2018
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Biochemistry, Medicine & Health, Life & Behavioural Sciences, Neurosciences, Social Sciences
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Individual human development is influenced by a multitude of systems, ranging from cultural processes, genetic and physiological incidents up to social interactions. How do these systems cooperate and interact during the course of human development? One of the main goals of Developmental Science is finding an answer to this question.
Since it exceeds the means of researchers from individual scientific disciplines to investigate the simultaneous biopsychosocial changes of systems and how they jointly contribute to the social and adaptive functions of human individuals, a new scientific approach is necessary that links the various traditional scientific disciplines under a biopsychosocial approach to describe individual human development: Developmental Science.

Developmental Science combines concepts and insights from scientific disciplines which hitherto used to independently tackle the research of human and non-human development. As an interdisciplinary approach it examines individuals across the lifespan with the objective of comprehending the development of individuals with different cultural and ethnic as well as biological background, different economic and cognitive potentials and under diverse living conditions. To facilitate the understanding of developmental processes it is also necessary to overcome the disadvantageous separation of “normal” from “abnormal” human development. Thus, the interdisciplinary field of Developmental Science comprises a holistic approach to understanding how different systems interact and influence development throughout life from genetic and physiological processes to social interactions and cultural processes.

The International Journal of Developmental Science is especially devoted to research from the fields of Psychology, Genetics, Neuroscience and Biology and provides an interdisciplinary and international forum for basic research and professional application in the field of Developmental Science. The reader will find original empirical or theoretical contributions, methodological and review papers, giving a systematic overview or evaluation of research and theories of Developmental Science and dealing with typical human development and developmental psychopathology during infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood. All manuscripts pass through a multilevel peer-review process.

In 2007-2010 (Vol. 1-4) this journal was named European Journal of Developmental Science. In 2011 its name was changed to International Journal of Developmental Science.

The journal is co-published by the Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft AKA.

Herbert Scheithauer
Freie Universität Berlin

Editorial Assistant

Kay Niebank

Editorial Board
Angela Ittel
Technische Universität Berlin

Peter C.M. Molenaar
The Pennsylvania State University

Advisory Board

L. Ahnert, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
L.R. Bergman, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
W.M. Bukowski, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada
W. Edelstein, Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Emeritus), Berlin, Germany
W. Greve, University of Hildesheim, Hildesheim, Germany
E.L. Grigorenko, Yale Child Study Center, New Haven, CT, USA
A. Grob, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
L. Jäncke, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
L. Juang, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
H. Keller, University of Osnabrück, Osnabrück, Germany
M. Keller, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany
G. Kempermann, CRTD ― Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden, Dresden, Germany
C. Lange-Küttner, London Metropolitan University, London, United Kingdom
R.M. Lerner, Tufts University, Medford, MA, USA
U. Lindenberger, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany
T. Paus, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
A. Pike, University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom
C. Salmivalli, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
A.J. Sameroff, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
R.K. Silbereisen, University of Jena, Jena, Germany
P.K. Smith, University of London, London, United Kingdom
U.M. Staudinger, Columbia University, New York, USA
J. Valsiner, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
L. Visu-Petra, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
D. Wolke, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
M.R. Zentner, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria


Types of Manuscripts Accepted

The International Journal of Developmental Science (IJDS) invites English language manuscripts. Authors whose native language is not English are advised to seek the advice of a native English speaker, before submitting their manuscripts. Peerwith offers a language and copyediting service to all scientists who want to publish their manuscript in scientific peer-reviewed periodicals and books.All manuscripts pass through a multilevel peer-review process. Authors are invited to submit original empirical or theoretical contributions (e.g. analysis of or commentary on established theories in the field of developmental science, novel theoretical developments, or attempts to elaborate and integrate existing work), methodological and review papers (e.g. systematic reviews, meta-analysis or extensive review papers as well as papers dealing with any methodological issues of particular relevance to developmental science) giving a systematic overview or evaluation of research and theories of developmental science and dealing with typical human development and developmental psychopathology during infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Manuscripts on animal research with results that are relevant to the understanding of human development are also considered. Manuscripts on social, health, and education policy are welcome if they are based on theoretical and empirical principles concerning developmental science. Manuscripts devoted to interdisciplinary topics of phylogenetic or ontogenetic human development are of particular interest (e.g. psychology, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, neuroscience, genetics, and biology). Full-length articles are welcome, but authors are also encouraged to submit brief empirical research reports. Special issues edited by an invited expert/expert team will be devoted to selected topics on a regular basis. Proposals for special issues should be sent to the Editor-in-Chief and will be reviewed by the Editorial Board and by external reviewers.

Editorial Policy of the Journal

Please see below for information about the Editorial Policy of the IJDS (e.g. with regard to the review process and manuscript handling).

Submissions and Correspondence

All manuscripts, including tables, figures, etc., should be submitted electronically to our Manuscript Submission System. All other correspondence should be sent to the Editorial Assistant Kay Niebank.

Open Access option
The IOS Press Open Library® offers authors an Open Access (OA) option. By selecting the OA option, the article will be freely available from the moment it is published, also in the pre-press module. In the Open Library® the article processing charges are paid in the form of an Open Access Fee. Authors will receive an Open Access Order Form upon acceptance of their article. Open Access is entirely optional.
See also our website for more information about this option IOS Press Open Library®

Length of Manuscripts

-       Full-length manuscripts should not exceed 40,000 characters (note: the length of a manuscript in characters means letters AND empty spaces between letters/words) (approximately 20 double-spaced pages in 12-point Times New Roman font), including references, tables, and figures (note: count figures and tables, each printed on a separate page, as one page each). Manuscripts that exceed this limit will not be considered.

-       Brief empirical research reports should not exceed 6 double spaced pages and 12,000 characters.

Manuscript Preparation and APA Style

Authors should prepare manuscripts according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th Ed., 2009). Typing instructions (all copies must be double spaced) and instructions on the preparation of tables, figures, references, metrics, and abstracts appear in the Publication Manual. A short APA checklist, which outlines important aspects of APA style and formatting, is available here. Manuscripts will not be considered if they do not conform to APA style guidelines. In addition to email addresses, authors should supply mailing addresses, phone numbers, and fax numbers typed on a separate page.

Abstract and Keywords

All manuscripts must include an abstract containing a maximum of 150 words typed on a separate page. On the same page, please supply up to five keywords that describe the topics of the submitted manuscript.


Number figures as Fig. 1, Fig. 2, etc and refer to all of them in the text. Each figure should be provided on a separate sheet. Figures should not be included in the text. Colour figures can be included, provided the cost of their reproduction is paid for by the author.

For the file formats of the figures please take the following into account:

-       Line art should have a minimum resolution of 600 dpi, save as EPS or TIFF

-       Grayscales (incl photos) should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (no lettering), 

-       or 500 dpi (when there is lettering); save as TIFF

-       Do not save figures as JPEG, this format may lose information in printing

-       Do not use figures taken from the Internet, the resolution will be too low for printing

-       Do not use colour in your figures if they are to be printed in black & white, as this will reduce the print quality (note that in software often the default is colour, you should change the settings)

-       For figures that should be printed in colour, please send a CMYK encoded EPS or TIFF

Figures should be designed with the format of the page of the journal in mind. They should be of such a size as to allow a reduction of 50%. On maps and other figures where a scale is needed, use bar scales rather than numerical ones, i.e., do not use scales of the type 1:10,000. This avoids problems if the figures need to be reduced. Each figure should have a self-explanatory caption. The captions to all figures should be typed on a separate sheet of the manuscript. Photographs are only acceptable if they have good contrast and intensity. For photographs of persons a separate permission is needed.


Number as Table 1, Table 2 etc, and refer to all of them in the text. Each table should be provided on a separate page of the manuscript. Tables should not be included in the text.
Each table should have a brief and self-explanatory title. Column headings should be brief, but sufficiently explanatory. Standard abbreviations of units of measurement should be added between parentheses. Vertical lines should not be used to separate columns. Leave some extra space between the columns instead. Any explanations essential to the understanding of the table should be given in footnotes at the bottom of the table.

Manuscript Review Process and Preparation of Manuscript

Please refer to the IJDS website (Link: for information about the review process and manuscript handling. Most correspondence between the corresponding author and the Editor will be handled by email. Authors should keep a copy of the manuscript to guard against loss. All manuscripts pass through a multilevel peer-review process. Authors will be asked to inform the Editors whether they prefer a masked (double blinded) or an open review process for their manuscript. If authors prefer a masked review process, every effort should be made to delete any information from the manuscript that reveals the authors’ identity. That is, only the submission letter should include the authors’ names and institutional affiliations, and the date the manuscript is submitted. The first page of the manuscript should omit the authors’ names and affiliations but should include the title of the manuscript and the date it is submitted. Author notes, acknowledgments, and footnotes containing information pertaining to the authors’ identity or affiliations can be added on a separate page.

Description of Sample

Authors should be sure to report the procedures for sample selection and recruitment with regard to manuscripts on original empirical results. Major demographic characteristics should be reported, such as gender, age, socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and, when possible and appropriate, disability status and sexual orientation. Even when such demographic characteristics are not used as analytic variables, they provide a more complete understanding of the sample and of the generalizability of the findings and are useful in future meta-analytic reviews.


For all study results, measures of both practical and statistical significance should be reported either by a standard error or an appropriate confidence interval. Practical significance can be reported using an effect size, a standardized regression coefficient, a factor loading, or an odds ratio.


Manuscripts should include information regarding the establishment of interrater reliability when relevant, including the mechanisms used to establish reliability and the statistical verification of rater agreement and excluding the names of the trainers and the amount of personal contact with such individuals. For all instruments used, authors should give information with regard to reliability and validity.


References should be listed in alphabetical order. Each listed reference should be cited in text, and each text citation should be listed in the references section. Basic formats for journal, book, and book chapter are as follows:

Pallas, S. L., & Sur, M. (1993). Visual projections induced into the auditory pathway of ferrets: II. Corticocortical connections of primary auditory cortex. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 337, 317-333.

Baltes, P. B., & Mayer, K. U. (Eds.). (1999). TheBerlinAging Study: Aging from 70 to 100.New York:CambridgeUniversityPress.

Gottlieb, G. (1971). Ontogenesis of sensory function in birds and mammals. In E. Tobach, L. R. Aronson, & E. Shaw (Eds.), The biopsychology of development (pp. 67-128).New York: Academic.

Please consult the APA guidelines for further examples and other formats. For online references see citation rules described at

Author’s Letter

Authors are required to declare within an accompanying letter that they:

-       have complied with Helsinki Ethical Declaration in the treatment of their sample, human or animal, or to describe the details of treatment (ethics);

-       have not published the manuscript, parts of it or the presented data as original data somewhere else (general publication policies);

-       have their data available throughout the review process and for at least 5 years after the date of publication (general publication policies);

-       provide to the Editor all necessary permissions to reproduce in print and electronic form any copyrighted work, including, for example, test materials (or portions thereof) and photographs of people (permissions);

-       have read and that they do accept the IOS Press copyright statement (copyright) in case of acceptance.

-       Finally, authors are required to inform the Editors whether they prefer a masked (double blinded) or an open review process for their manuscript (see above).

The letter must be hand-signed by the corresponding author. Only the formally designated corresponding author need sign this form. A scanned copy of the “Author’s Letter” may be uploaded electronically via the manuscript tracking system. Please send your original “Author’s Letter”, including the full title of the manuscript submitted and a list of all authors to the Editor-in-Chief:

Herbert Scheithauer
International Journal of Developmental Science
Freie Universität Berlin
Faculty of Educational Science and Psychology
Department of Psychology
Unit “Developmental Science & Applied Developmental Psychology”, PF 19
Habelschwerdter Allee 45
14195 Berlin


Authors will be required to state in writing that they have complied with the Helsinki Ethical Declaration and/or with the APA ethical standards in the treatment of their sample, human or animal, or to describe the details of treatment. If the submitted manuscripts report on case studies, authors must testify that the person agreed that his or her data will be published.

General Publication Policies

The publication policy of the International Journal of Developmental Science prohibits  authors from submitting the same manuscript to other journals during the review process. Authors should avoid to publish data as original data that have been previously published and instead try to obtain permission. We expect authors submitting to this journal to have their data available throughout the review process and for at least 5 years after the date of publication.

Author’s Bio Sketches.

The manuscript should include a brief bio sketch of each of the authors, limited to 60 words. See example for bio sketch:

“Timothy D. Johnston, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology since 1992 and, since 2002, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA. Research on conceptual models of genetic and environmental contributions to development, the relation of developmental to evolutionary change, and the history of developmental thinking in biology and psychology.”

Quoting from other publications (Permissions)

An author, when quoting from someone else's work or when considering reproducing figures or table from a book or journal article, should make sure that he is not infringing a copyright. Although in general an author may quote from other published works, he should obtain permission from the holder of the copyright if he wishes to make substantial extracts or to reproduce tables, plates or other figures. If the copyright holder is not the author of the quoted or reproduced material, it is recommended that the permission of the author should also be sought. Material in unpublished letters and manuscripts is also protected and must not be published unless permission has been obtained. Submission of a paper will be interpreted as a statement that the author has obtained all the necessary permission. A suitable acknowledgement of any borrowed material must always be made.


Authors submitting a manuscript do so on the understanding that they have read and agreed to the terms of the IOS Press Author Copyright Agreement.

Pre-press and Proofs

Accepted articles will be placed online as "pre-press" articles shortly after acceptance. This process will occur before the author receives proofs. The pre-press file will remain as the uncorrected proof version until the article is published in an issue and the final published version replaces the pre-press file.

The corresponding author will receive a pdf proof and is asked to check this proof carefully (the publisher will execute a cursory check only). Corrections other than printer's errors, however, should be avoided. Costs arising from such corrections will be charged to the authors.


All typeset articles will be published online after the ‘imprimatur’ from the corresponding author and approval from the editor. Articles are registered with a DOI (‘Digital Object Identifyer’) for citation purposes. This accelerates the publication process. After the completion of journal issues, the articles will be published with new pagination. The DOI will remain the same.

How to order reprints, a pdf file, journals, or IOS Press books

The corresponding author of a contribution to the journal is entitled to receive one copy of the journal issue free of charge, unless otherwise stated. Free copies will not be provided for conference proceedings and abstract issues. An order form for reprints, additional journal copies or a pdf file will be provided along with the pdf proof.

If you wish to order reprints of an earlier published article, please contact the publisher for a quotation. IOS Press, Fax: +31 20 6870039. Email:

Any author is entitled to 25 % discount on all IOS Press book publications. See Author's discount (25%).



The Editorial Board of the International Journal of Developmental Science consists of the Editor-in-Chief and the Co-Editors. The Co-Editors serve for three years with the possibility for time renewal. The Editor-in-Chief serves for six years with the possibility of time renewal.

The Editor-in-Chief

The primary responsibility of the Editor-in-Chief is to oversee the technical content and operation of the journal. In overseeing the technical content, the Editor-in-Chief is responsible to:

-       determine acceptance or rejection of all materials considered for publication;

-       manage the Co-Editors and oversee their roles and responsibilities in coordinating the review process;

-       maintain commitment to standards of high quality;

-       enroll and maintain qualified members of the Scientific Advisory Board;

-       consult the Co-Editors to discuss and generate topics for special issues, and to invite Special Issue Editors;

-       consult the Co-Editors for issues of strategic planning.

The Editor-in-Chief is responsible to:

-       nominate potential Co-Editors and/or members of the Scientific Advisory Board;

-       cooperate with the journal’s Publisher and the Editorial Assistants/Editorial Office Staff to ensure timely publication of journal issues and implementation;

-       support authors, Co-Editors, and reviewers;

-       oversee the management of the Editorial Office;

-       arrange meetings, telephone conferences, and activities of the Board of Editors.

Finally, The Editor-in-Chief is responsible to organize the review process for submitted manuscripts and special issues. The Editor-in-Chief will choose a Co-Editor to serve as the “Handling Co-Editor” based on the scope of the manuscript, and request for usually two reviews. The Editor-in-Chief will solicit the Handling Co-Editor through the manuscript tracking system.

The peer-review process is an essential part of the publication process, which improves the manuscripts the IJDS publish. Overview of the review process:

  1. A manuscript or other work (e.g., proposal) is submitted to the journal.
  2. The Editor-in-Chief reads the work and determines if it is appropriate (e.g., if it fits the scope and aims of the IJDS in general).
  3. The Editor-in-Chief assigns the work to a Co-Editor to serve as the Handling Co-Editor, who oversees the review process.
  4. The Handling Co-Editor assigns the submitted manuscript to usually two qualified reviewers with expertise within the field/discipline of the paper being reviewed, using the manuscript tracking system.
  5. The work is reviewed in accordance with IJDS standards and requirements. The Handling Co-Editor rates the manuscript in terms of significance, quality of literature review, clarity of problem/framework, methodological rigor, quality of analysis, quality of discussion, quality of writing, and format-explain scoring for acceptance.
  6. The review process usually takes 60-90 days. Based on the reviews, the Handling Co-Editor makes a recommendation to the Editor-in-Chief, who makes the final decision on acceptance, rejection, invitation for resubmission etc. The Handling Co-Editor or the Editor-in-Chief may return to reviewers for further advice, particularly in cases where they disagree with each other, or where the authors believe they have been misunderstood on points of fact.
  7. Accepted works are processed for publication; rejected works are returned to the authors.
  8. Resubmissions (after revision according to reviewers’ comments) of a manuscript will be handled by the same Handling Co-Editor and the review process starts again with top 4. A deadline schedule is given to the author for resubmission.
  9. If accepted for publication, the author receives a letter of acceptance certifying that the manuscript is accepted for publication.
  10. Before publication, the author(s) is/are provided with a copy of the proof. The proof should be returned within the deadline provided by the Handling Co-Editor, the Editorial Assistant, respectively.
  11. Each author receives a complimentary PDF-file of the entire, published manuscript.

The primary purpose of the whole review process is to provide the Editors with the information needed to come to a decision. Please note, that the editorial policy of the IJDS includes quality improvement recommendations by the Handling Co-Editor, in the case of manuscripts submitted by junior researchers or promising manuscripts. That is, the review should also instruct the authors on how they can strengthen their paper to the point where it may be acceptable. As far as possible, a negative review should explain to the authors the weaknesses of their manuscript, so that rejected authors can understand the basis for the decision and see in broad terms what needs to be done to improve the manuscript for publication elsewhere.

The Editor-in-Chief will also circulate submitted proposals (e.g. for special issue topics) to the members of the Editorial Board.

The Co-Editors

One of the main tasks of the Editor-in-Chief and Co Editors – also collectively referred to as the Editorial Board – is to help direct excellent scholarly work to the journal. An important role of a Co-Editor is to assist the peer review of manuscripts as the “Handling Co-Editor”. The Handling Co-Editor goes through the complete review process. A review request is sent to a Co-Editor in an email message from the Editorial Office/Editor-in-Chief. The Editorial Office will provide the Co-Editor with all necessary materials (e.g. the manuscript, abstract, review sheets) directly or via the manuscript tracking system. The Co-Editor should respond promptly about his/her availability to work on the review. If accepted, the Co-Editor will accept the responsibilities of the Handling Co-Editor of the respective manuscript. That is the Handling Co-Editor” is the Editor with current responsibility for the submission. Quality and timeliness of published material will be assured by selection of appropriate, well qualified and responsible reviewers. The Handling Co-Editor will be responsible for identifying reviewers and, after receiving reviews, for making a recommendation on the acceptability of the manuscript for publication. The Handling Co-Editor will contact the reviewers through the manuscript tracking system (the journal's online submission website) or – if necessary – will contact additional expert reviewers outside the list of reviewers. The Handling Co-Editor needs to secure reviewer’s agreement to conduct the review in the allotted time. After receiving the reviews, the Handling Co-Editor will prepare a summary and recommendation letter. All final decisions on acceptability will be reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief. Once the review/recommendation and/or revision are completed and checked by the Editor-in-Chief, the Handling Co-Editor will send his or her recommendation as a “Decision Letter” directly or via the manuscript tracking system to the corresponding author.

The primary responsibility of the Co-Editors is to oversee the peer review process of the submitted manuscripts as “Handling Co-Editors”. Co-Editors are responsible to:

-       enrol and maintain qualified reviewers to consistently contribute and support the journal by judging the submitted manuscripts;

-       ensure the review is completed in a timely manner and in accordance with the journal’s policy and standards;

-       recommend acceptance or rejection of all materials considered for publication to the Editor-in-Chief and after confirmation to the corresponding author;

-       maintain active communication with the corresponding author and reviewers during the peer review process;

-       ensure authors address review comments and prepare/complete their work in accordance with journal’s guidelines and standards;

-       maintain commitment to standards of high quality;

-       assist and support the Editor-in-Chief in maintaining the high quality of the journal, strategy planning and acquisition of new topics, manuscripts, and special issues;

-       solicit interesting work they see at meetings, etc.;

-       suggest potential members of the Scientific Advisory Board;

-       participate in meetings, telephone conferences, and activities of the Board of Editors.

The Scientific Advisory Board

The members of the Scientific AdvisoryBoard are consulted by the Editorial Board for the scientific steering of suggested and planned special issue topics, they are invited to submit suggestions for special issue topics, and to serve as reviewers of submitted manuscripts. Members of the Scientific Advisory Board have been invited to serve for an initial, three-year term with the possibility for time renewal.

Editorial Assistants/Editorial Office

To help expedite the review process and to allow the journal's Editor-in-Chief and (Handling) Co-Editors concentrate on the professional side of their duties, much of the related work in managing the manuscript flow is handled by the Editorial Assistants/Editorial Office. The Editorial Assistant will assign a manuscript number to each manuscript received and report it to the Editor-in-Chief. They will provide the Handling Co-Editor of a respective manuscript – directly, over the manuscript tracking system, respectively – with all necessary materials for the review process (e.g. an electronic copy of the manuscript, an electronic copy of the abstract, guidelines for reviewers, reviewer's report forms, instructions to authors etc.).


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