Search

Matters of Significance

Replication, translation and academic freedom in developmental science

Marinus H. van IJzendoorn and Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg

£25.00

ISBN: 9781800086517

Publication: February 15, 2024

Application of scientific findings to effective practice and informed policymaking is an aspiration for much research in the biomedical, behavioural, and developmental sciences. But too often translations of science to practice are conceptually narrow, ethically underspecified, and developed quickly as salves to an urgent problem. For developmental science, widely implemented parenting interventions are prime examples of technical translations from knowledge about the causes of children’s mental distress. Aiming to support family relationships and facilitate adaptive child development, these programmes are rushed through when the scientific findings on which they are based remain contested and without ethical grounding of their aims.

In Matters of Significance, Marinus van IJzendoorn and Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg draw on 40 years of experience with theoretical, empirical, meta-analytic and translational work in child development research to highlight the complex relations between replication, translation and academic freedom. They argue that challenging fake facts promulgated by under-replicated and under-powered studies is a critical type of translation beyond technical applications. Such challenges can, in the highlighted field of attachment and emotion regulation research, bust popular myths about the decisive role of genes, hormones, or the brain on parenting and child development, with a balancing impact for practice and policymaking. The authors argue that academic freedom from interference by pressure groups, stakeholders, funders, or university administrators in the core stages of research is a necessary but besieged condition for adversarial research and myth busting.

Praise for Matters of Significance

‘This thoughtful volume is an accessible overview of the authors’ field-shaping collaborative research on attachment and an indispensable primer on differentiating between sense and nonsense in the service of producing cumulative developmental science and ethically translating its core insights.’
Glenn I. Roisman, University of Minnesota

‘The truly original arguments presented in Matters of Significance go beyond attachment, as they concern the nature of developmental science and its relation to ethical, cultural, legal and political issues.’
Jay Belsky, University of California, Davis

Marinus van IJzendoorn is Honorary Professor at the Research Department of Clinical, Education and Health Psychology, UCL, and an adjunct professor at the Department of Psychiatry, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Marian Bakersmans-Kranenburg is Professor of Child and Family Studies at the Institute of Psychological, Social and Life Sciences, Lisbon, Portugal.

List of figures
List of tables
Preface
Acknowledgements

Introduction: attachment theory in a nutshell

Part 1: The replication crisis and its remedies

1 Power failure in developmental research
2 A moratorium of self-reports
3 Meta-analyses searching for replicated evidence

Part 2: Translation to policy or practice

4 Video-feedback intervention (VIPP-SD) promotes sensitive parenting and secure attachment
5 Institutionalised child-rearing is structural neglect
6 Future generations can be saved from genocidal trauma: the case of the Holocaust
7 Jumping from 'is' to 'ought'?
8 Dubious effect size standards and cost-effectiveness criteria

Part 3: Busting myths is translation

9 It’s all in the genome?
10 Attachment and parenting in the brain and hormones?
11 Is attachment culture specific?
12 Parenting shapes prosocial child development?
13 Is assessing attachment of individual children in applied practice valid?
14 SOS Children’s Villages in the best interest of children?
15 Is adoption a modern, unethical in(ter)vention?

Part 4: Protecting academic freedom promotes replication and translation

16 Limits to participant, public, and policymaker involvement
17 Caution: personal conflicts of interest 18 Academic freedom in ‘safe spaces’

Epilogue: replication, translation, and academic freedom

Index

In a series of self-contained chapters, the authors provide far-ranging and accessible summaries of their decades of important research on key aspects of child-parent attachment and its replicable correlates, and close with a highly personal discussion of the politicization of science and its fraught relationship with academic freedom. Michael Lamb, University of Cambridge


 

Few areas of science get translated into op-eds and practice faster than Child Development with its outpouring of child-rearing advice, all too often based on inadequately designed studies, unreplicated findings, and exaggerated press releases. Into the fray stride two highly experienced, meticulous, humane and also boldly outspoken researchers in this area. Chapter by chapter, clearly and persuasively, Marinus van IJzendoorn and Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg strive to set the bar higher. Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, University of California at Davis


 

Attachment researchers are fortunate that their work generates so much enthusiasm among practitioners. Sometimes, though, enthusiasm has its drawbacks. In this appropriately provocative book, the authors draw from their remarkable scientific culture to caution against premature translation of research findings and advocate, instead, for what they nicely label “slow science”. Annie Bernier, University of Montreal


 

‘The truly original arguments presented in Matters of Significance go beyond attachment, as they concern the nature of developmental science and its relation to ethical, cultural, legal and political issues.’
Jay Belsky, University of California, Davis


 

‘This thoughtful volume is an accessible overview of the authors’ field-shaping collaborative research on attachment and an indispensable primer on differentiating between sense and nonsense in the service of producing cumulative developmental science and ethically translating its core insights.’
Glenn I. Roisman, University of Minnesota


 

Format: Paperback

Size: 234 × 156 × 18 mm

256 Pages

2 colour photo/halftones and 26 line drawings

Copyright: © 2024

ISBN: 9781800086517

Publication: February 15, 2024

Scroll to top