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Attention in Early DevelopmentThemes and Variations$
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Holly Alliger Ruff and Mary Klevjord Rothbart

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195136326

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195136326.001.0001

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Individuality and Development

Individuality and Development

(p.223) 12 Individuality and Development
Attention in Early Development

Holly Alliger Ruff

Mary Klevjord Rothbart

Oxford University Press

How do differences in attention originate, and how are they related to development in other areas of the child's life? This chapter addresses these questions within two broad domains: organismic variables, characteristics the child brings to a situation; and environmental variables, situational differences that interact with organismic variables in development. Organismic variables are initially biologically based, but are further influenced by the child's experiences and learning. The interactions found between organism and environment are described, with children reacting differently to variations in situation. To understand the individual child's development means going beyond group findings, using case studies to yield descriptive profiles of children that can be compared to profiles of other children. Both studies of commonalities across groups of children and studies of the unique individual development contribute to our understanding of individuality and development.

Keywords:   organismic variables, environmental variables, case studies, group studies, interactions, temperament

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