Principles of Life Course Studies

1. Principle of Life Span Development
Human development and aging are life long processes. Development does not end at age 18. Longitudinal studies of development over long periods of time offer unique insights into the interplay between social change and human development.
2. Principle of Agency
Individuals create their own life course through the actions they take within the opportunities and constraints of history and social circumstance.
3. Principle of Time and Place
The life course of individuals is embedded and shaped by the historical times and places they experience over their lifetime.
4. Principle of Timing
The developmental antecedents and consequences of life transitions, events, and behavioral patterns vary according to their timing in a person’s life.
5. Principle of Linked Lives
Lives are lived interdependently and socio-historical influences are expressed through this network of shared relationships.

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