Introducing Child Psychology is for all those who want to find out what psychology can tell us about the nature and development of children. Assuming no prior knowledge, it is designed to suit students of psychology at school or university, those training to work with children in a variety of different professional roles, or general readers who are interested in what makes a child 'tick'. The book begins with an explanation of the aims and principles of child psychology as a scientific discipline, and describes the methods used to obtain knowledge about children. It then goes on to present the major topics of development that have been investigated by psychologists, paying particular attention to the most recent research findings. Throughout, psychological knowledge is consistently related to practical issues, showing what psychology has to offer in real-life situations involving children.
H.Rudolph Schaffer is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, and has written extensively on various aspects of developmental psychology. His books include Mothering (1977), The Childs Entry Into A Social World (1984), Making Decisions About Children (Blackwell Publishing, Second Edition, 1998) and Social Development (Blackwell Publishing, 1996). He is also the editor of the journal Social Development.
List of Boxes.List of Figures.List of Tables.About The Author.Preface.1. Finding Out About Children:What Is Child Psychology?Nature And Aims.Methods.Cross-Sectional And Longitudinal Approaches.Why Do We Need Child Psychology?Answering Questions: The Subjective Way.Answering Questions: The Objective Way.The Role Of Theory.Summary.Further Reading.2. The Nature of Childhood:Historical Perspective.The Child As Miniature Adult.The Child As Victim.Today's Child.Cultural Perspective.Variations In Child Rearing Practices.Individualistic And Collectivistic Orientations.Personality Development Viewed Cross-Culturally.Adults Thinking About Children.The Nature Of Belief Systems.Links To Child Development.Summary.Further Reading.3. Beginning Life:Our Inheritance.Genetic Transmission.Genetic Disorders.Nature And Nurture.Fact And Fiction Concerning Genes.From Conception To Birth .Stages Of Prenatal Development.Environmental Influences On Prenatal Development.The Newborn's Adjustment To The World.Childbirth And Its Psychological Consequences.Prematurely Born Children.How The World Looks To Newborns.Action Patterns And The Brain.Parental Adjustment.Summary.Further Reading.4. Forming Relationships:The Nature Of Relationships.Families.Families As Systems.Family Variety And Child Development.Divorce And Its Consequences.Developing Attachments.The Nature And Functions Of Attachments.Developmental Course.Security-Insecurity.Internal Working Models.Relationships Among Peers.Horizontal And Vertical Relationships.Contribution Of Peer Relationships To Development.Status Within Peer Groups.Summary.Further Reading.5. Emotional Development:What Are Emotions?Nature And Functions.Biological Basis.Developmental Course.Children's Conception Of Emotion.The Emergence Of Emotion Language.Conversations About Emotions.Thinking About Emotions.Socialization Of Emotions.Acquiring Display Rules.Parental Influences.Emotional Competence.What Is Emotional Competence?From Other-Control To Self-Control.Why Do Children Differ In Emotional Competence?Summary.Further Reading.6. The Child As Scientist: Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development:Overview.Aims And Methods.Basic Features Of Theory.Stages Of Cognitive Development.Sensori-Motor Stage.Preoperational Stage.Concrete Operational Stage.Formal Operational Stage.Pros And Cons Of Piagetian Theory.Contributions.Shortcomings.Summary.Further Reading.7. The Child As Apprentice: Vygotsky's Theory of Socio-Cognitive Development:Overview.The Man.The Theory.From Other-Assistance To Self-Assistance.What Goes On In The Zone Of Proximal Development?How Do Adults Assist Children's Problem Solving?What Makes For Effective Assistance?Can Peers Act As Tutors?What Role Do Cultural Factors Play In Adult-Child Tutoring?Is Joint Problem Solving Superior To Working Alone?Evaluation.Contributions.Shortcomings.Summary.Further Reading.8. Children As Information Processors:Modelling Mental Activities.Is The Mind A Computer?The Nature Of Thought.The Problem Of Access.Symbolic Representation: Language, Play, Drawing.Organising The Mind.Forming Concepts.Constructing Scripts.Memorising.The Nature Of Memory.The Development Of Memory.Autobiographical Memory.Children As Eyewitnesses.Thinking About People.Describing Others.Understanding Others.Summary.Further Reading.9. Using Language:What Is Language?Nature And Functions: Communication, Thinking, Self-Regulation.A Uniquely Human Ability?The Developmental Course Of Language.First Words.Forming Sentences.Are There Critical Periods In Language Acquisition?Communicative Competence.A Note On Literacy.Explaining Language Acquisition.Behavioural Approaches.Nativist Approaches.Social Interaction Approaches.Summary.Further Reading.10. Towards Adulthood:Becoming A Person.Biological Underpinnings Of Individuality.Constructing A Self.Self-Esteem: Its Nature And Development.The Self In Adolescence.Influences On Self-Development.Acquiring A Sense Of Gender.Continuity And Change.Investigating Continuity.Predicting From Early Behaviour.Predicting From Early Experience.Tracing Developmental Pathways.Summary.Further Reading.Glossary. References.Name Index.Subject Index.