Biomental Child Development: Perspectives on Psychology and Parenting

Biomental Child Development: Perspectives on Psychology and Parenting

by Frank John Ninivaggi, M.D., Fred R. Volkmar

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Biomental Child Development: Perspectives on Psychology and Parenting coins the novel term “biomental” to denote the interaction of the actual and gradually integrating body and mind from conception through development over infancy, childhood, and adolescence. This innovative approach presents a vision that recasts descriptions and explanations of


Biomental Child Development: Perspectives on Psychology and Parenting coins the novel term “biomental” to denote the interaction of the actual and gradually integrating body and mind from conception through development over infancy, childhood, and adolescence. This innovative approach presents a vision that recasts descriptions and explanations of child development to capture the inter-connectedness of the physical and the emotional experience.

This book provides the reader with a basic understanding of normal or typical child, adolescent, and adult psychology that is life-positive and energetic. Concrete details—charted chronologically and thematically—of development are outlined stressing both their overlapping biological and psychological significance. In addition to a clear and succinct overview of child development in one user-friendly volume, concrete parenting strategies and numerous examples are given throughout. Time tested theories, modern problems (for example, “bullying” and toxic electronic media use), and pragmatic parenting techniques are integrated, using current findings from psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience. Parents, grandparents, and other caregivers will learn techniques to help parents achieve a working understanding of child development and effective skills for each stage. The biomental perspective emphasizes that positive parenting encompasses a diversification of styles that characterize differences among both children and caregivers.

Biomental Child Development highlights children’s emotional development and the all too often neglected role of fathers. Bold attention is given to considerations of gender, especially fathers as males, as well as the emotions of envy, greed, jealousy, and competitiveness as they influence development and parenting. How these apparently negative emotions may be recognized and used constructively to enhance development is discussed in detail. This new understanding and approach to child development and parenting is a welcome addition to the resources on parenting currently available.

Editorial Reviews

Alan Kaufman
Often the role of intelligence on a child’s development and later success in life has been simplistic in some psychiatric perspectives. In contrast, Dr. Ninivaggi presents a judicious, thoughtful, rational, and balanced approach to the biological and psychological dimensions of the child in this comprehensive text. This work will benefit professionals in all caregiving fields as well as parents seeking an intelligent and practical child guidance compendium.
Laura E. Berk
Biomental Child Development presents an astute, cutting edge perspective on the complex contextual factors that contribute to healthy child development. An invaluable resource to draw on when confronted with myriad child-rearing dilemmas, Biomental Child Development is a MUST for psychologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, social workers, and other professionals who desire to better understand the complexities of child development, to help families function at their best, and to foster children's optimal development. An enlightening, useful, and much-needed!
David Griesemer
Dr. Ninivaggi has crafted a rich treasure of insight and information about parenting. He exhorts parents to hear what their children mean, not just listen to what they say. He guides his readers to discover the best style of interaction for the personality and temperament of both parent and child. Biomental Child Development is not a simple read or quick fix for a troubled family. It is a thoughtful - if not brilliant - treatise on how to successfully travel the challenging road of parenting.
Glen P. Aylward
Biomental Child Development provides a holistic synthesis of many different neurobiologic and environmental influences. These are described in the context of ongoing development. Dr. Ninivaggi presents a pragmatic approach to understand and address the many aspects of the bidirectional, parent-child transaction.
To empower adults to engage in effective interactions to help children flourish, the author, in six lengthy chapters, provides in-depth and extensive knowledge of findings in many areas of child development. Crucial topics include the importance of nurturing secure, rather than insecure, attachment in infancy and childhood, and descriptions of children’s temperament, personality, and intellectual development. . . . Educators will appreciate his emphasis on the need for parental support for developing a child’s executive skills, which include forward planning, multitasking, capacity to inhibit distractors, self-regulation skills, error correction, cognitive flexibility, and organization skills. ... The breadth of coverage across all child ages makes this book useful for an agency to have as a resource book to train new staff. ... The book will be most useful for practitioners who work to sustain fragile families or who carry out parenting programs in clinics for parents with strong stresses (Honig, 2010). Providers who work with divorced, still hostile, parents whose children are doing poorly in school and/or in emotional relationships with peers or who work with dysfunctional parents whose abusive or neglectful behaviors have already alerted social service personnel will find a treasure trove of insightful ideas in this book. The rich descriptions of child development information summarized in this volume can serve professionals well as a splendid 'refresher course' to help regalvanize them for their work to support optimal family functioning with children. The information provided will remind them of developmental norms from earliest infancy and will refresh their knowledge of milestones and the range of variations among children. ... The author’s ideas can galvanize providers’ own creativity in devising tools and techniques for helping each parent served to become more adept, more subtle, more caring in the intimate, intricate, and ever-changing dance between parent and child that results in healthy and ever-more-mature child development.

Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Meet the Author

Frank John Ninivaggi, M.D., is an Associate Attending Physician at Yale-New Haven Hospital, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Child Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, Yale Child Study Center, and a member of the Yale-New Haven Community Medical Group. He is the Medical Director of the Devereux Glenholme School in Washington, Connecticut. He currently holds university and hospital appointments at the Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine where he earlier received Fellowship specialty training in child and adolescent psychiatry. He is in private practice in New Haven, Connecticut.

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