The University of Jena, Center for Applied Developmental Science (CADS)


PI: Prof. Rainer Silbereisen

The Center for Applied Developmental Science (CADS)at the University of Jena aims at advancing knowledge and methods of developmental science, an interdisciplinary field of research, which has been developed primarily by psychologists and sociologists. We seek to disseminate knowledge on psychosocial development across the life span and to highlight its relevance for optimizing adaptive development and preventing or intervening in the face of maladaptive development. The director of CADS and PI in various projects or project consortia is Professor Rainer K. Silbereisen (Department of Developmental Psychology and Pennsylvania State University) supported by colleagues and senior scientists (e.g., Martin Pinquart, Matthias Reitzle, Karina Weichold, Eva Schmitt-Rodermund), and an international advisory board chaired by Richard Lerner.

We are engaged in numerous research projects on human development, which are closely embedded in the international community and often have interdisciplinary ties. A first line of projects addresses social change and human development, including a large-scale project on individual and social resources for coping with social change. This project is part of the interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Consortium SFB 580; and it is being conducted in collaboration with colleagues at the Universities of Warsaw, Poland, and Rome, Italy. Another line of projects is concerned with acculturation and immigration, the most recent one being the German-Israeli Research Consortium “Migration and Societal Integration”, which involves researchers in psychology, sociology, criminology and linguistics from various universities in Germany and Israel (Bar-Ilan, Haifa, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv). A third line of projects investigates the development of entrepreneurship. These projects study, for example, entrepreneurial interest in offspring of family business owners and success and failure of innovative company start-ups. Other current research projects address, for example, childhood risk factors and alcohol use trajectories during adolescence (in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Houston, Texas), the standardization of new intelligence and development scales, developmental timetables and family development, and the development in middle and old age among with a strong emphasis on mental and physical health. The CADS collaborates with various research groups in the USA (Tufts University, University of California, Irvine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, University of Virginia, Charlottesville) and India (Panjab University); and it hosts the editorial office of the European Psychologist, the official journal of the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA).

Moreover, we develop and implement new model programs for prevention and intervention and evaluate their effectiveness and success. Current intervention programs include IPSY, a life skills program for adolescents (including a cross-cultural comparison program in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Torino, Italy), SCHuuuB!, a training program for a successful transition from school to work, and a training program to crystallize and enhance entrepreneurial motivation. In addition, we offer consultations regarding the planning and evaluation of prevention and intervention programs in the fields of youth delinquency, substance use, violence in school and leisure, integration of migrants, entrepreneurial potentials, and civic engagement.

For research and education purposes we offer access to extensive data sets from longitudinal and cross-sectional studies on a broad range of topics as well as from prevention programs with adolescents and their families. The data is professionally managed, documented on CD-Rom, and provides a menu-based (German and English) interface facilitating own statistical analyses. Work on these data sets is being supported by an archive of previous analyses and publications.

The CADS projects are funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German-Israeli Project Coordination (DIP), the Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), theFederal State of Thuringia, private foundations, and other sponsors.

In addition, the CADS and the Department of Developmental Psychology at the University of Jena and the Department of Health and Human Development at Pennsylvania State University have been running a successfulinternational exchange programinvolving both graduate students and faculty. The program is funded by the German Exchange Service (DAAD) and by the two participating universities.

Furthermore, the CADS has (co-)organized a series of international conferences, workshops, and schools, for example on social change or acculturation or embedded in the Developmental Science Institute (DSI).
Many of these endeavors have resulted in joint publications (books and special sections). Typically, matching funds were given by institutions such as the German National Science Foundation (DFG).

Regarding interdisciplinary collaboration, the members of CADS have close links to colleagues from other disciplines through the Graduate School “Human Behaviour in Social and Economic Change”. The general objectives of the Graduate School are education to excellence and the stimulation of outstanding research by providing a framework for doctoral programmes in the social sciences at a top-quality international and interdisciplinary level.

In addition to members of the department of developmental psychology, CADS has several positions for international visiting professors as well as for Ph.D. students and young investigators. The work is supported by technical assistants. Currently, about 30 members are engaged in research and application. The Friedrich Schiller University of Jena offers office and laboratory space including facilities for video observation. Numerous researchers have visited the CADS in the past; and we are always happy to welcome visiting scientists.