As evident in the sampling of inquiry domains, the ADS parameters are addressed only to a certain extent by traditional research methods and designs. Acknowledgment of the conceptual complexity imposed by the relevant developmental contextual and bioecological theories engages increasingly sophisticated methodological approaches.Orchestration of a researcher’s perspectives on a set of problems with a society’s perspectives on the problems—be they concerns about how to provide a type of care for children or how to sustain the health and development of an ill child, as considered in this sampling—requires extension and innovation by the applied developmental scientist. Some of the extension and innovation is relatively incremental. For example, study of children’s adaptation to illness becomes the province of interdisciplinary teams ofendocrinologists, pediatric psychologists, nurses, and child psychiatrists. Bolder innovation advances ADS when families and communities are recognized and embraced as legitimate partners in the research enterprise, when the audience or “consumer” of research is broadened to include service providers and policy makers, and when traditional institutional structures and functions associated with the ivory tower of the university are challenged or modified. A leading perspective in capturing these extensions and innovations is termed outreach scholarship .
Jensen, Hoagwood, andTrickett (1999) contrast universitybased research traditionally supported by the National Institute of Health in an efficacy model with an outreach model that reflects emergent approaches to research consistent with the parameters of ADS and basic to advancement in the numerous domains of inquiry and action listed in Table 2.1.Outreach research or outreach scholarship characterizes the “engaged university” (Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Colleges, 1999) more so than the traditional ivory tower university (e.g., McCall, Groark, Strauss, & Johnson, 1995). In outreach scholarship, knowledge advances as a function of collaborations and partnerships between universities and communities such that the scientists and the children, families, and communities that they seek to understand and to help are defining problems, methods, and solutions together. Communities include policy makers as well as the families and service providers who both implement and
consume interventions and programs. Lerner et al. (2000) properly noted that this involves a “sea change in the way scholars conduct their research” (p. 14) and then noted the principles of outreach scholarship that characterize these special collaborations and methods in ADS. These principles include the following:
(1) an enhanced focus on external validity, on the pertinence of the research to the actual ecology of human development . . . as opposed to contrived, albeit well-designed, laboratory type studies; (2) incorporating the values and needs of community collaborators within research activities; (3) full conceptualization and assessment of outcomes, that is, a commitment to understanding thoroughly both the direct and indirect effects of a researchbased intervention program on youth and their context and to measuring these outcomes; (4) flexibility to fit local needs and circumstances, that is, an orientation to adjust the design or procedures. . . to the vicissitudes of the community within which the work is enacted; (5) accordingly, a willingness to make modifications to research methods in order to fit the circumstances of the local community; and (6) the embracing of long term perspectives,that is, the commitment of the university to remain in the community for a time period sufficient to see the realization of community-valued developmental goals for its youth. . . . [In addition, these principles include] co-learning (between two expert systems—the community and the university); humility on the part of the university and its faculty, so that true co-learning and collaboration among equals can occur; and cultural integration, so that both the university and the community can appreciate each other’s perspective. (Lerner et al., 2000, p. 14, italics added) As articulated in the definitional parameters of ADS that opened this chapter and as reflected in the specific examples of inquiry and action, the extensions and innovations involved in outreach scholarship provide a means to address the conceptual and methodological challenges inherent in attending to the synergy and advancement of science and practice. Along with these tools and potentials comes a series of ethical imperatives reflecting responsibilities of both researchers and practitioners. These complex challenges have been a central concern to ADS from its earliest contemporary renditions, and the frameworks offered by Fisher and Tryon (1990) continue to serve well as an agenda. Fisher and Tryon (1990) noted that along with the synergy and integration of research and application basic to the advance of the field, the applied developmental scientist is bound by the ethics of research, by the ethics of professional service, and by a complicated admixture that emerges with the acknowledgement of their interdependence. In addition, as the notion of outreach scholarship shifts the applied developmental scientist away from narrow and traditional notions of research subjects, patients, and clients to more appropriate notions of partners, consumers, and collaborators, there emerge areas as yet uncharted by the ethical standards of extant disciplines and professions. Indeed, even the imperative—that ethical behavior in ADS reflects some consensus or amalgam of the applied ethics embraced over time by diverse disciplines or traditions now teaming up in any of the areas of inquiry and action noted earlier—invokes challenge. Distinctive, perhaps even unique, ethical issues arise when the articulation of basic bioecological and contextual theories are parlayed into methods, measures, research designs, interventions, programs, and policies. Further, whether in the traditional disciplines or in emergent ADS, ethical considerations are encumbered and enriched by the mores and pressures of the historical context. Thus, the particular exigencies of our evolving multicultural and global societies that are manifested in concerns about diversity and cultural sensitivity and competence become deep and abiding concerns for the applied developmental scientist as she develops and tests her theories, designs and evaluates her interventions, provides health or social services, or engages policy makers around social programs and policies.
As one example of the special ethical challenges that ADS must master, return to our consideration of the research on early child care and education. As noted then, the sociohistorical shift involving the entry of more women into the workforce fueled the interest and concern of both society and developmental scientists. Hoffman (1990) described the manner in which bias in the scientific process characterized much of the early research on maternal employment. Knowledge was produced and applied with an emphasis on documenting defects or deficits in children left in nonparental day care. As the more sophisticated concepts and methods of ADS were engaged to address the social concern of nonparental care, there were more nuanced and accurate notions of direct and indirect effects of individual differences and quality variables in home-based and center-based care settings. In addition, as dire as were some of the ethical challenges in the conduct of the science aimed at generating understanding about the impacts of different care arrangements, the risks involved in the communication of findings to the public and to policy makers can also be harrowing and daunting. Hoffman (1990) concluded her account with the position that whereas “there is a social responsibility to make findings available for social policy and individual decision, there is also a responsibility to communicate the results accurately, and to educate the public about what the data can and cannot say. The tentative nature of our findings, their susceptibility to different interpretations, and the complications of translating them into individual or policy actions must be communicated to achieve an ethical science”(p. 268).
A second example to capture some of the particular ethical challenges facing ADS pertains especially to this particular historical moment where ADS is gaining recognition as an established discipline (Fisher et al., 1996). Yet, training programs to produce the next generation of applied developmental scientists are only just emerging. Whereas some of the root or allied disciplines may have sophisticated qualitycontrol and credentialing procedures in place to increase the likelihood that ethical standards are met, ADS cannot borrow completely from these traditions. ADS must generate new and appropriate standards reflecting the exigencies of its special methods (e.g., outreach scholarship, university community partnerships) and the special expectations and demands faced by new applied developmental scientists as they pursue work in many, or any, of the domains of inquiry and action listed in Table 2.1. For instance, traditional developmental psychologists can be trained, and their allegiance to the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association (1992) can be inculcated during their graduate training. Clinical psychologists,as another example, can be educated and held accountable both through their graduate training and later professional career in APA standards and in a variety of state and national licensing and credentialing conventions. Although applied developmental scientists now emerging from traditionally regulated fields such as clinical, school, or counseling psychology will have a starting point in these traditional ethical guidelines, neither they nor their colleagues from diverse disciplinary and multidisciplinary training bases are yet equipped with explicit ethical principles or credentials for the practice of ADS. Indeed, Koocher (1990) alerted
the field to this challenge a decade ago, and although the sociopolitical scene has evolved in complex ways since then, the challenge remains for ADS to attend very seriously to issues of graduate training and ethics commensurate with its appropriately broadened scope and deepened mission.