Current Research in Psychology and Behavioral Science
[ ISSN : 2833-0986 ]

Toward a Critical Transactional Ecological Developmental Theory: Informing and Advancing Practice and Science

Review Article
Volume 3 - Issue 2 | Article DOI : 10.54026/CRPBS/1041

Yuexin Zhang1 , Mihya Weber1 , Lakhvir Kaur1 , Allesandra Mittelstet1 and Shane R Jimerson2*

1Doctoral student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
2Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

Corresponding Authors

Professor Shane R Jimerson, Professor at the University of California-Santa Barbara, Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology, Santa Barbara, USA


Development; Conceptual foundations; Theories; Practice; Research; Social justice

Received : February 26, 2022
Published : March 07, 2022


Conceptual foundations inform our professional activities as practitioners and scholars. This paper describes a theoretical framework to inform and advance scientific and applied work, recognizing the numerous factors influencing the trajectory of human development and the imperative of transforming the traditional “ways of being” in the field of education and applied psychology through the lens of critical theories. The central tenets of a critical, transactional, ecological, and developmental perspective are grounded in theories from developmental scholars including the works of Sameroff (e.g., transactional), Bronfenbrenner (e.g., ecological), Bowlby (e.g., relationships), and the Frankfurt school (e.g., critical theory). An emphasis is placed on the dynamic and reciprocal transactions between the individual and their environment across time and the social complexities brought by the intersection of these ongoing, dynamic, and reciprocal social relations. This paper also includes a description of empirical support informing these conceptual foundations with special attention to longitudinal studies demonstrating various influential factors across diverse developmental trajectories. Also included is a discussion of, implications informing prevention and intervention efforts to promote academic and social-emotional learning for all children, future research directions, and advocacy stance to promote shift and change to interrupt the long-standing social and educational injustices in the field of education.