Since its birth approximately 100 years ago, the field of child development has undergone fluctuations in the criteria used to determine which research topics are more or less worthy of study. The purpose of this paper is to identify the forces that influence how developmental research is prioritized and evaluated and how these influences are changing as we enter the new millennium. We do so by considering the developmental researcher in context and suggest that there will be increasing pressure to use new criteria when assessing the significance of twenty-first-century developmental science. We review the three most commonly used forms of research validity - internal, external, and ecological - and then identify new research validities that we believe are likely to play increasingly important roles in the next millennium. We also argue that many developmental scientists will increasingly be pressured by forces that are external to the traditional research environment and that these forces will shape the ways in which the significance of developmental research is evaluated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology