oa Journal of Psychology in Africa - The transformational view of development and the African context

Volume 1, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 1433-0237



The transformational view conceptualizes human development not as following an unilinear and unidirectional path but rather as ongoing transformations of both the individual and the coexisting context. It aims at the dynamic processes moving beyond the apparent dualism in developmental psychology. By taking cultural context into account and providing various alternatives, this model already forms a significant challenge to most western theories of life-span development. Indeed, the developmental research which has been carried in Africa can be reexamined and reinterpreted within, and in support of, the transformational framework. Only an illustrative attempt of this sort is made in this paper by briefly pointing at some of the African findings about various developmental domains. More significantly, however, it is expected that future African research could be even more sensitive to the conceptual and methodological limitations of the theories, and thus, could make important contributions to developmental psychology.

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