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Key Concepts in Developmental Psychology

Key Concepts in Developmental Psychology

February 2007 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

"There are many developmental psychology textbooks on the market and it is often hard to choose between them. Key Concepts takes a very different approach and fills a particular niche very effectively… This book will be an excellent companion to any developmental textbook."
—Vicky Lewis, The Open University

This book serves as a guide to the principal concepts currently in use in Developmental Psychology and is perfect for courses in child development or developmental psychology.

'Concepts' are the mental tools that help us to think about a topic; they impose meaning on an assembly of diverse facts and are thus essential to the task of categorizing, explaining, and understanding. This book not only defines but also describes and discusses each of the concepts selected in relation to its theoretical, historical, and empirical background, with the aim of informing the reader about its place in the discipline, its origins, the purpose for which it was intended, and the extent to which it has been found useful.

Arranged thematically in sections corresponding to chapter headings usually found in textbooks, this book could act as either a primary or secondary source for students wanting an accessible book to enrich their learning experience. At the same time the book will enable academics and advanced students to check their own ideas about particular concepts in order to consider how far meanings attached to these concepts are shared.

Key Features:

  • Provides an overview of the place of each concept in Developmental Psychology under three headings, namely its meaning, origins and current usage
  • Concepts are grouped into sections corresponding to the main themes usually covered in teaching
  • Relevant concepts in the book are emboldened and linked by listing at the end of each concept
  • Guidance is provided to further reading on each of the concepts discussed

The book is centrally important to undergraduate students who need to learn the language used by developmental psychologists in describing their studies, but also helps more advanced readers in checking their ideas regarding the nature and usage of particular concepts.

Conceptions of Development
Mechanisms of Change
Biological Aspects
Cognitive Development
Social Cognition
Relationship Formation
Linguistic and Communicative Development

"Students of development psychology (at al levels) will appreciate how Professor Schaffer covers the important concepts that we all find fascinating and he does it in an approachable and informative way. Key Concepts in Developmental Psychology brings together an abundance of literature and ideas to create a book that could find a home in our libraries and classrooms."

Neil J. Salkind
University of Kansas

Good discussion on key issues in developmental psychology

Dr Cristian Mihai Dogaru
Children, Young People and Education, University Campus Suffolk
September 2, 2015

An easy to read book which will enable students to have a basic understanding of the key concepts discussed in developmental psychology. I would recommend this to my level 4 students.

Miss Marie Robbins
Department of Health & Social Studies, Grimsby Institute of HE & FE
April 25, 2015

The definitions of key terminology at the beginning of each chapter are helpful as a quick reference for students. The delivery of the concepts within each chapter is clearly portrayed and accessible for the students. The style of writing means that the book is helpful as a reinforcer for topics introduced within the lectures and enables the students to consolidate their understanding at their own pace

Mrs Sian Templeton
Institute of Education and Public Services, Gloucestershire University
November 20, 2014

This book is clearly set out and explores key concepts of developmental psychology. Each chapter begins with definitions, before moving onto the origin of that specific chapter’s psychological concept. The chapter concludes with the status of current practice. This is particularly good for work based degrees as it allows students to reflect of the theory that may underpin their practice.

Miss Rebecca Bolan
Education, Carshalton College
December 17, 2013

Professor Schaffer's clear writing is a joy and his selection of the key concepts shows his deep understanding. His handling of the terrain of developmental psychology is sophisticated. Particularly useful for my teaching were the sections covering cognitive and social development. The addition of a chapter on mechanisms of change was a surprise but this is neatly covered with typical conceptual rigour.

Mr Paul Buckley
Nursing , Bradford University
April 8, 2013

This book is very insightful and is an excellent introduction to the work and ideas of Rudolph Shaffer.
I would recommend this book to students who are interested in working in an environment concerned with children as this book will give them a sound introduction to Psychology and the terminology used in this discipline

Mrs Jacqui Fromberg
Faculty of Health, Community and Care, Croydon College
September 26, 2011

Too late to add it to my class. However, it is a good treatment of the essential ideas of developmental psychology, and I will be using it in future versions of my class.

Dr Paul Thiem
Soc Hist Psych Religion Dept, Waldorf College
September 11, 2011

A wide ranging text which would support Early Years or Psychology undergraduate’s knowledge with regard to development modules. Additional insight into life span development is useful. Text is for more advanced and confident students who require more than the mainstream development text

Mrs Michelle Rogers
Centre for Early Childhood, University of Worcester
March 18, 2011

Offers a lucid and informative discussion of a broad range of key concepts in developmental psychology and their importance in the field, past and present.

Mr Erkki Heinonen
Department of Open University, University of Helsinki
June 1, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter One

Chapter Two

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