Scholarly Sunday - More than Myth

Dear Blogosphere!

Today I have read quite a few articles and really enjoyed one of them.

"More than Myth: The Developmental Significance of Romantic Relationships During Adolescence" by W. Andrew Collins

I felt like this was a fantastic introduction to the study of adolescent romantic relationships. He begins by making the case for studying them, talks about why we haven't been studying them, and jumps right into methodological and contextual issues.

But one of the reasons we haven't been studying relationships is because they are "private" and relationships should be up for scrutiny. I think this is at the heart of why we haven't been studying child development or parent-child relationships until recently. Another point he makes is that it is rather hard to study relationships purely in a lab. Which brings me to my next point...

The idea of a "hard science." I'm sure you've heard the term. Mathematics, physics, and chemistry are hard sciences. Which, I guess, means that anthropology, sociology, psychology, and developmental science are soft. When I told a neighbor that I was studying child development she asked my why I decided to leave the hard sciences. Sometimes I feel like people think studying people is some sort of cop-out. "Physics was too hard, so I decided to go for something a bit softer."

To get off of my soapbox, I read an interesting thing this past quarter in the Handbook of Child Psychology. It said, and I don't recall which chapter, that developmental science is somewhere between psychological science and biological science. In reality, this is what made the switch from biology so easy. It all boils down to effective reproductive strategies, survival, and adaptation.

Well, I think that's it for the first Scholarly Sunday! Just by the nature of my field, there's a range of opinions, so if you agree or disagree or would like to add something, I'd love to hear it!

Until tomorrow,


Collins, W.A. (2003). More than myth: The developmental significance of romantic relationships during adolescence. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 13(1), 1-24.

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