This engaging book presents some of the ways in which science can describe and explain how and why children develop in the way they do. It looks at children's individual development within the development of our species, at genes, at the hormone systems that flood our bodies, at the neuroscience of children's brains, and at patterns of behaviour. It looks, in other words, at the different influences on child development according to the scientific disciplines of evolutionary theory, genetics, epigenetics, endocrinology, neuroscience, epidemiology and psychology.
Filled with entertaining anecdotes, Sara Meadows shares the story of what happens when we're growing up, revealing how science can add depth to our understanding. This book will be an informative and enriching read for all parents, educators and carers, and those interested in how children develop to be emotionally balanced, socially skilled, and enthusiastic seekers after knowledge.
Sara Meadows works in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Bristol. As a psychologist she uses the concepts and the methods of developmental psychology as a way of understanding what children are experiencing at home and in their other social settings and the ways in which they grow up as effective social actors. Much of her current research is with the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), also known as the `Children of the Nineties' study.
1. Introduction 2. Science's stories 3. Evolution 4. Genetics and epigenetics 5. Neuroscience 6. Psychoneuroendocrinology 7. Epidemiology 8. Psychology 9. How to make things better