Theories of Human Development

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Taylor & Francis, Apr 16, 2007 - Psychology - 352 pages
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Intended for courses on theories of human development, this new text presents nine theories grouped into three major families - those that emphasize biological systems; those that emphasize environmental factors; and those that emphasize a dynamic interaction between biological and environmental forces.

The nine theories selected have a long and productive history in human development and continue to evolve as a result of new insights. The inclusion of social role theory and life course theory expand the book's relevance to the study of adulthood and aging. Grouping the theories by families enhances students' ability to think critically about theoretical ideas, assess the strengths and weaknesses of each theory, and gain a deeper understanding of how each theory guides research and application. The three families are introduced with a brief overview of the unique perspectives of each theory and the rationale for grouping these theories together.

Discussion of each theory includes:

  • the historical and cultural context in which the theory was developed;
  • an overview of key concepts and important ideas;
  • new directions in contemporary scientific work;
  • a research example illustrating how the theory has been tested and modified;
  • an application showing how the theory has guided the design of an intervention or program;
  • an analysis of how the theory answers basic questions about human development; and
  • a critique highlighting the theories' strengths and weaknesses.

Theories of Human Development serves as a text in advanced undergraduate and/or beginning graduate courses in theories of human development. Its clear organization and engaging writing style make it accessible to students with a minimal background in human development.

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About the author (2007)

Barbara M. Newman (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is a professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Rhode Island. She has also been on the faculty at Russell Sage College and The Ohio State University, where she served as department chair in Human Development and Family Science and as associate provost for Faculty Recruitment and Development. She teaches courses in life-span development, adolescence, family theories, and the research process. Also an active researcher, Dr. Newman's interests focus on parent-child relationships in early adolescence, factors that promote success in the transition to high school, and the use of the cohort sequential design as an approach to the study of development. Her research includes an analysis of the role of family, peer, and school support in the transition to high school (funded by the University of Rhode Island's Research Foundation). For fun, Newman enjoys reading, making up projects with her grandchildren, taking walks along Narragansett Bay and Block Island Sound, and spending time with her family.

Philip R. Newman (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is involved in research on the transition to high school as well as on group identity and alienation. His projects include an analysis of issues related to disrupted transitions in adolescence and early adulthood, and a book about how high schools can meet the psychosocial needs of adolescents. He has taught courses in introductory psychology, adolescence, social psychology, developmental psychology, counseling, and family, school, and community contexts for development. He served as the director for Research and Evaluation of the Young Scholars Program at The Ohio State University and as the director of the Human Behavior Curriculum Project for the American Psychological Association. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), and the American Orthopsychiatric Association. For fun, Newman enjoys photography, reading mysteries, attending concerts and Broadway plays, and watching baseball. He home schooled his three children through elementary and middle school. Together, the Newmans have worked on programs to bring low-income minority youths to college and to study the processes involved in their academic success. They are coauthors of 13 books, including a book on theories of human development, and numerous articles in the field of human development.

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