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An Introduction to Theories of Human Development

An Introduction to Theories of Human Development

January 2004 | 368 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
"The book is well written and the theorists and their respective work are well-presented and clearly explained. . . . As a text dealing with the historical overview of major theorists and their work in human development over the last century or so, it is extremely strong and could be widely used in a variety of both undergraduate and graduate courses."

                                                   —Ann C. Diver-Stamnes, Humboldt State University

"In general, I found the websites and references listed at the end of each chapter to be very interesting and useful for taking students beyond what is in the text." —Jane Ledingham, University of Ottawa

"A fine choice for a classic theories course, and I believe that the level of presentation would be appropriate for advanced undergraduate or graduate students. . . . The up-to-date web sites at the end of each section are a definite plus. The choice of sites is excellent."

                                                                        —Cosby Steele Rogers, Virginia Tech

An Introduction to Theories of Human Development examines the development process, looking at the series of changes that occur as a result of an interaction between biological and environmental factors. Why might our behavior as an adult be so different from when we were infants? Why and how does one stage of development follow the next? Are the changes that we experience abrupt in nature or smooth and predictable? Author Neil J. Salkind reflects on such critical questions to help readers understand what happens along the way as one develops from infancy through later life.

This book provides a comprehensive view of the primary theoretical models of human development including those from the biological, psychoanalytic, behavioral, and cognitive developmental perspectives. Along with a brief discussion of a historical background for each of these approaches, An Introduction to Theories of Human Development examines the application of these theories to various aspects of human development, such as the effectiveness of early intervention, individual differences, adolescence, and sociobiology.

Features of this text:
  • A final, integrative chapter compares the various theories presented in the book using Murry Sidman's model of six criteria for judging a theory to help develop students' skills for critically assessing theory.
  • Classic approaches to understanding human behavior across the lifespan are also examined.
  • Pedagogical features such as chapter opening quotes, boxed highlights, key terms, a glossary, and websites for further reading enhance student understanding of everyday human behavior.

An Introduction to Theories of Human Development is an accessible text for advanced undergraduate students in the social and behavioral sciences including such fields as psychology, education, human services, nursing, sociology, social welfare, and human development and family studies.

1. An Introduction to the Study of Human Development
2. Trends & Issues in Human Development
Arnold Gesell and the Maturational Model
4. The Importance of Biology: Sociobiology & Ethology
5. Sigmund Freud's Psychosexual Theory
6. Erik Erikson's Focus on Psychosocial Development
7. The Behavioral Models of Development
8. Social Learning Theory
9. Jean Piaget's Cognitive Model
10. Lev Vygotsky's Sociocultural Theory of Development
11. Comparing Theories of Human Development

The book would be more suitable for psychology students rather than social science.

Ms Alicja Chmielowska
Social Sciences, Dublin Business School
October 8, 2011

Was looking for a text for a graduate course, and this book was more targeted toward undergrads.

Christine Sokol
Human Development Dept, Virginia Polytechnic Institution / State University
August 2, 2011

i found this text easily understandable as well as an easy access to certain or relevant theories of developemental study and is an ideal introduction and overview on theories of human development

Mrs Deborah Regan
academy, Havering College of Further and Higher Education
March 8, 2011

Excellent contents page that allows students to navigate their way throught the text. Having chapters divided up with clear headings means this is very accessible.

List of suggested readings is an enormous help.

Covers key theories and theorists for purposes of education studies.

Mr Andy Davies
School of Education, Brighton University
April 29, 2010
Key features
  • A final, integrative chapter compares the various theories presented in the book using Murry Sidman's model of six criteria for judging a theory (introduced in chapter 1), thus helping students develop skills for critically assessing theory, guiding them toward the types of questions one should ask about theories and what kinds of answers one should expect.
  • Boxed highlights contain material that focuses on the applied nature of developmental theories to enhance student understanding of everyday human behavior in settings that students in applied majors (education, social work, counseling psychology, etc.) are likely to encounter and appreciate.
  • Pedagogical tools reinforce learning and assist in study and review:  chapter-opening quotes by famous psychologists, authors, and other historical figures that stimulate student interest; key terms that are boldfaced and defined in text and in a glossary at the end of the book; marginal comments that reiterate and emphasize important points; and in-text references to web sites that guide students to further exploration of a topic.
  • Chapters conclude with annotated lists of material to extend students' exploration of topics beyond the text:  suggestions of further readings and references to still more web sites on topics covered in each chapter intended to further inform the student about the nature of different theoretical positions.

For instructors

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