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Child Development

Child Development
Concepts and Theories

May 2018 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Understanding child development is essential to ensuring a full and rounded psychological grounding, but given the complex nature of the topic it can be a real challenge.

Child Development: Concepts and Theories takes a step back to focus just on the key concepts of child development that all students must learn. With this book, their first encounters with theories and their applications will mean that they can move on with a firm foundation in child development. Central to this, is understanding how these theories or concepts are applied in the real world and how psychologists engage with them in research. This book gives clear and detailed examples to bring the subject to life. Each chapter features case studies that run throughout the chapter and develop as the students' own understanding does.

Written for undergraduates, the book will become essential to any student wanting a key to unlock the world of child development.

Jean Mercer is Professor Emerita of Psychology at Stockton University, New Jersey, and writes a blog, “Childmyths”,

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Some basic concepts of child development
Chapter 3: Concepts related to genetic factors and prenatal development
Chapter 4: Concepts of physical growth and development
Chapter 5: Development of cognition and perception
Chapter 6: Concepts of emotion and personality
Chapter 7: Social development and formative experiences

This book has it all – key concepts, practical examples, riveting research, and critical thinking. This conceptual approach will help students see the big picture as well as specific snapshots into the life of the developing child


Stephen Hupp
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Professor Mercer has taken great care to explain the complexities of conceptual thinking in child development – the way metaphors can help us put words to the unobservable, but also how that can then constrain our thinking about the process. And she does this in a very accessible way, right across child development. Importantly, this includes attention is given to development that takes place before birth, rather than with the neonate.

It is a welcome world away from the dry, analytical thinking as taught in my undergraduate days. Complicated terminology is returned to everyday experience and everyday practice examples. I wish I had had this kind of writing as an undergraduate.

Dr Matt Woolgar
CYP-IAPT Parent Training Module Lead & Senior Researcher, National Academy of Parenting Research, Kings College

‘This is an engaging and accomplished book, cautiously and critically reviewing a range of complexliteratures on child development. It will equip students with a skeptical and questioning approach to some of the claims routinely made about child development and parenting and encourage them to ask the right questions of themselves and others.

Sue White
Professor of Social Work, University of Sheffield

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