Blackwell Handbook of Early Childhood Development / Edition 1

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This Handbook presents a comprehensive summary of research into child development from age two to seven. Comprising thirty contributions from both established scholars and emerging leaders in the field, it addresses some of the most compelling questions about early experience, such as how important early brain development is, and whether parents matter.

The volume covers the full range of research in developmental psychology including: conceptual frameworks; biological and physiological development; cognitive development; language and literacy development; and social, emotional, and regulatory development. It also considers the applications of psychology to the care and education of young children, treating issues such as poverty, family systems, orphanages, media, and the transition to school. The Handbook will be a valuable resource for students and scholars across a range of disciplines, as well as for practitioners working with young children.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The astute editors and leading scholars have produced the best single overview of the exploding field of early childhood development, covering both old and new pressing issues in this burgeoning field. Must reading for both basic and applied workers, as well as scholars working at the intersect of knowledge and policy construction."
Edward Zigler, The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy

"This is a comprehensive and authoritative review of the field of early childhood research, covering the basic scientific and key policy issues, with contributions from the leading researchers. It will be an essential reference for anyone interested in the exciting early development of children, with the breadth, depth and clarity of its coverage."
Judy Dunn, Professor of Developmental Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, London

"Kathleen McCartney and Deborah Phillips have recruited many of the top names in the field of early child development to provide timely and informative reviews of a very fast-moving field. This handbook will be obligatory reading for researchers and practitioners alike. Whether you are looking for a conceptual framework, the latest empirical findings in key domains such as the development of cognition, language and emotion, or the implications for policy, this book should serve as a first point of reference."
Paul L. Harris, Harvard University

"This book simply redefines "comprehensive"! It is truly interactive in that it constantly elicits the reader's input by raising and/or addressing issues that reach far beyond the printed page."
Toni Brennan, University of Surrey

“The assembling of a large number of qualified experts to write short, clear summaries of their areas is an impressive achievement, and the context and policy sections go beyond expectations … making it valuable even to scholars already knowledgeable in the field.”
Marie-Pierre M. Gosselin and David R. Foreman, Canadian Psychology

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Kathleen McCartney is Gerald S. Lesser Professor of Early Childhood Development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Deborah Phillips is Professor of Psychology at Georgetown University.

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Table of Contents

List of Contributors.



Part I: Conceptual Frameworks.

Nature and Nurture in Early Childhood. (Kirby Deater-Deckard and Katherine Cahill).

Vulnerability and Resilience in Early Child Development. (Ann S. Masten and Abigail H. Gewirtz).

Family Influences on the Development of Young Children’s Competence. (Michael J. Guralnick).

Intersections Among Domains of Development. (Catherine C. Ayoub and Kurt W. Fischer).

Part II: Early Biological and Physiological Development.

Early Brain Development and Plasticity. (Jane W. Couperus and Charles A. Nelson).

Social Regulation of Stress in Early Child Development. (Megan R. Gunnar).

Temperament. (Jennifer N. Martin and Nathan A. Fox).

Part III: Cognitive Development.

Early Conceptual Development. (Susan A. Gelman).

Executive Functions in Developing Children: Current Conceptualizations and Questions for the Future. (Marilyn C. Welsh, Sarah L. Friedman, and Susan J. Spieker).

Developing Social Understanding in a Social Context. (Rachel Barr).

Mathematical Thinking and Learning. (Herbert P. Ginsburg, Joanna Cannon, Janet Eisenband, and Sandra Pappas).

Part IV: Language and Communicative Development.

Language Experience and Language Milestones During Early Childhood. (Erika Hoff).

How Children Learn Language: A Focus on Resilience. (Susan Goldin-Meadow).

What counts as literacy in early childhood? (Catherine E. Snow).

Part V: Social, Emotional, and Regulatory Development.

Getting Along with Others: Social Competence in Early Childhood. (Richard A. Fabes, Bridget M. Gaertner, and Tiernay K. Popp).

Feeling and Understanding: Early Emotional Development. (Ross A. Thompson and Kristin H. Lagattuta).

Temperament, Attention, and the Development of Self-Regulation. (Mary K. Rothbart, Michael I. Posner, and Jessica Kieras).

Maladjustment in Preschool Children: A Developmental Psychopathology Perspective. (Susan B. Campbell).

Part VI: The Social Ecology of Early Development.

Family Systems. (Marc H. Bornstein and Jeanette Sawyer).

Poverty in Early Childhood. (Eric Dearing, Daniel Berry, and Martha Zaslow).

Orphanages as a Developmental Context for Early Childhood. (Charles H. Zeanah, Anna T. Smyke, and Lisa D. Settles).

Peer Relationships in Early Childhood. (Deborah Lowe Vandell, Lana Nenide, and Sara J. Van Winkle).

Child Care and Early Childhood Education. (Deborah Phillips, Kathleen McCartney, and Amy L. Sussman).

The Social Ecology of the Transition to School: Classrooms, Families, and Children. (Robert C. Pianta and Sara Rimm-Kaufman).

Media and Early Development. (Sandra L. Calvert).

Part VII: Policy Issues.

Evaluating Early Childhood Assessments: A Differential Analysis. (Samuel J. Meisels and Sally Atkins-Burnett).

Head Start: What Do We Know About Its Effectiveness? What Do We Need to Know? (John M. Love, Louisa Banks Tarullo, Helen Raikes, and Rachel Chazan-Cohen).

Early Childhood Policy: A Comparative Perspective. (Jane Waldfogel).

Promoting Social Competence in Early Childhood: Classroom Curricula and Social Skills Coaching Programs. (Karen L. Bierman and Stephen A. Erath).

Treatment and Prevention of Conduct Problems: Parent Training Interventions for Young Children (2–7 Years Old). (Carolyn Webster-Stratton and M. Jamila Reid).


Author Index.

Subject Index

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