Human infancy has been studied as a platform for hypothesis and theory testing, as a major physiological and psychological adjustment, as an object of adults' effects as well as a source of effects on adults, for its comparative value, as a stage of life, and as a setting point for the life course. Following an orientation to infancy studies, including previous reviews and a discussion of the special challenges infants pose to research, this article focuses on infancy as a foundation and catalyst of human development in the balance of the life course. Studies of stability and prediction from infancy illustrate the depth and complexity of modern research on infants and provide a long-awaited reply to key philosophical and practical questions about the meaningfulness and significance of infancy.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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