An elaboration of non-linear, non-ergodic and self-organizing processes. Understanding the bumps and jumps in adolescent development

Saskia Kunnen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Adolescence is a period in which a lot of spectacular developmental processes are visible, and that makes this period especially well-suited for a dynamic systems approach. Adolescent development is characterized by turbulence and irregularity. Developmental processes in adolescence take place in different domains at the same time and these domains influence each other in complex ways. This chapter focuses on three different but related characteristics of the developmental process: non-linearity, non-ergodicity, and self-organization. Characteristics of the individual trajectories, such as patterns of variability and change in variability, reveal much relevant information about developmental processes. The chapter elaborates an example of daily experiences and commitment formation to show how dynamic systems concepts may help to explain non-linear trajectories. De Ruiter et al. developed the SOSE model, which, starting from the notion of self-organization, describes how the real-time interactions between parents and adolescents give rise to trait self-esteem.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReframing Adolescent Research
EditorsLeo B. Hendry, Marion Kloep
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781351367011
ISBN (Print)9781138557062
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2018


  • Adolescent development
  • dynamic systems approach

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