Development in Infancy: An Introduction

Development in Infancy: An Introduction

Development in Infancy: An Introduction

Development in Infancy: An Introduction

Synopsis

This fourth edition of the best-selling topically-organized introduction to infancy reflects the enormous changes that have occurred in our understanding of infants and their place in human development over the past decade. Each chapter has been thoroughly revised to reflect current thinking and research in the field, and while classic studies continue to be cited, the text emphasizes studies published since the late 1990s. The authors have worked to maintain the readability for which this classic textbook has been known. This edition continues to be appropriate for use in classes at all levels-undergraduate and graduate-as well as in various disciplines-psychology, education, child development, nursing, and social work. The fourth edition features a number of improvements: the literature review has been thoroughly updated to reflect the results of new research; new figures have been provided to better explain important concepts and the results of recent studies; implications for practical applications and social policy have been emphasized throughout; the writing style has been revised to make the book attractive to students from diverse academic backgrounds; and orienting questions have been provided at the beginning of each chapter to facilitate understanding and learning.

Excerpt

Philosophers since Plato had speculated about the importance of infancy, but it was not until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that scientific observations of infants and theoretical speculations about infants began in earnest. Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud were largely responsible for these initiatives. Not until the middle of the twentieth century did the scientific study of infancy elicit widespread attention, although infancy has since become one of the most stimulating areas of research in the biological, behavioral, and social sciences. Researchers have come to appreciate how much the study of infancy contributes to our knowledge of developmental processes and the role early experience plays in shaping those processes. Scientific interest in infant development has also expanded during this time, in part because of the emergence of some remarkably influential theories and in part because technological advances rendered infants accessible to empirical inquiry. As a result of this intensified scrutiny, our understanding of infancy itself has increased dramatically in the last 3 decades.

This fourth edition of Development in Infancy reflects the enormous changes still taking place in our understanding of infants and their place in human development. Since the publication of the third edition, students of infancy have continued to creatively exploit all the methodological techniques available to them. As a result, we have rewritten each chapter to take into account the results of new research. We have reorganized chapters, restructured contents, and revised our discussions where necessary to reflect current thinking and research in the field.

This edition of Development in Infancy is yet more comprehensive and current than previous ones, paying thorough attention to all major aspects of infant development—contextual, methodological, neurological, physical, perceptual, cognitive, communicative, emotional, and social. Former citations have been replaced by references to more recent studies that subsume and extend early reports. With the exception of classic references, we have concentrated on the most recent articles and books and, as a result, emphasize studies published since the late 1990s. In this new edition, we have also endeavored to maintain the readability that has marked Development in Infancy in the past. This edition is designed for use as a textbook in classes at all levels, undergraduate and graduate, as well as in various disciplinary contexts—psychology, education, child development, nursing, and social work, for example.

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