Child Development / Edition 9

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A best-selling, topically organized child development text, Berk’s Child Development is relied on in classrooms worldwide for its clear, engaging writing style, exceptional cross-cultural and multi-cultural focus, rich examples, and long-standing commitment to presenting the most up-to-date scholarship while also offering students research-based, practical applications that they can relate to their personal and professional lives.

Berk takes an integrated approach to presenting development in the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social domains; emphasizes the complex interchanges between heredity and environment; and provides exceptional attention to culture.

Laura Berk, renowned professor and researcher, presents the latest theories and findings in the field to students in a manageable and relevant way. Berk’s signature storytelling style invites students to actively learn beside the text’s “characters,” who experience real issues in development, including physical, cognitive, and peer challenges, as well as parenting and educational concerns. Berk also helps students connect their learning to their personal and professional areas of interest. Her voice comes through when speaking directly about issues students will face in their future pursuits as parents, educators, heath care providers, social workers, and researchers. As members of a global and diverse human community, students are called on to intelligently approach the responsibility of understanding and responding to the needs and concerns of children.

While carefully considering the complexities of child development, Berk presents classic and emerging theories in an especially clear, engaging writing style, with a multitude of research-based, real-world, and cross-cultural examples. Strengthening the connections among developmental domains and among theory, research, and applications, this edition's extensive revision brings forth the most recent scholarship, representing the changing field of child development.

Note: MyDevelopmentLab does not come automatically packaged with this text. To purchase MyDevelopmentLab, please visit:

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Editorial Reviews

Berk (psychology, Illinois State U.) enters the textbook fray with a book for undergraduates--both majors and others. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Five sections and 15 chapters cover theory and research in child development; cognitive and language development; personality and social development; and the foundations and contexts of development. The author includes both classic and current theory and research, emphasizing how the research process helps solve real-world problems; commonalities and differences among ethnic groups and cultures; and policy issues that have a crucial bearing on the well-being of children in today's world. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205149766
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 3/29/2012
  • Edition number: 9
  • Pages: 816
  • Sales rank: 88,032
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura E. Berk is a distinguished professor of psychology at Illinois State University, where she has taught child and human development to both undergraduate and graduate students for more than three decades. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in child development and educational psychology from the University of Chicago. She has been a visiting scholar at Cornell University, UCLA, Stanford University, and the University of South Australia.

Berk has published widely on the effects of school environments on children’s development, the development of private speech, and recently, the role of make-believe play in development. Her research has been funded by the U.S. Office of Education and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. It has appeared in many prominent journals, including Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, Development and Psychopathology, and Early Childhood Research Quarterly. Her empirical studies have attracted the attention of the general public, leading to contributions to Psychology Today and Scientific American. She has also been featured on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and in Parents Magazine, Wondertime, and Reader’s Digest.

Berk has served as research editor of Young Children and consulting editor of Early Childhood Research Quarterly. Currently, she is associate editor of the Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology. She is a frequent contributor to edited volumes on early childhood development, having recently authored chapters on the importance of parenting, on make-believe play and self-regulation, and on the kindergarten child. She has also written the chapter on development for The Many Faces of Psychological Research in the Twenty-First Century (Society for the Teaching of Psychology), the article on social development for The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion, the article on Vygotsky for the Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science, and the chapter on storytelling as a teaching strategy for Voices of Experience: Memorable Talks from the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology (Association for Psychological Science).

Berk’s books include Private Speech: From Social Interaction to Self-Regulation, Scaffolding Children’s Learning: Vygotsky and Early Childhood Education, Landscapes of Development: An Anthology of Readings, and A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool: Presenting the Evidence. In addition to Child Development, she is author of the best-selling texts Infants, Children, and Adolescents and Development Through the Lifespan, published by Pearson. Her book for parents and teachers is Awakening Children’s Minds: How Parents and Teachers Can Make a Difference.

Berk is active in work for children’s causes. In addition to service in her home community, she is a member of the national board of directors and chair of the Chicago advisory board of Jumpstart, a nonprofit organization that provides intensive literacy intervention to thousands of low-income preschoolers across the United States, using college and university students as interveners. Berk is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, Division, 7: Developmental Psychology.

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Table of Contents

Part I: Theory and Research in Child Development

1 History, Theory, and Applied Directions

The Field of Child Development

Basic Issues

Historical Foundations

Mid-Twentieth-Century Theories

Recent Theoretical Perspectives

Comparing Child Development Theories

Applied Directions: Child Development and Social Policy

2 Research Strategies

From Theory to Hypothesis

Common Research Methods

Reliability and Validity: Keys to Scientifically Sound Research

General Research Designs

Designs for Studying Development

Part II: Foundations of Development

3 Biological Foundations, Prenatal Development, and Birth

Genetic Foundations

Reproductive Choices

Prenatal Development

Prenatal Environmental Influences


Approaches to Childbirth

Birth Complications

Heredity, Environment, and Behavior: A Look Ahead

4 Infancy: Early Learning, Motor Skills, and Perceptual Capacities

The Organized Newborn

Motor Development in Infancy

Perceptual Development in Infancy

Early Deprivation and Enrichment: Is Infancy a Sensitive Period of Development?

5 Physical Growth

The Course of Physical Growth

Brain Development

Factors Affecting Physical Growth

Puberty: The Physical Transition to Adulthood

The Psychological Impact of Pubertal Events

Puberty and Adolescent Health

Part III: Cognitive and Language Development

6 Cognitive Development: Piagetian, Core Knowledge, and Vygotskian Perspectives

Piaget’s Cognitive-Developmental Theory

The Sensorimotor Stage: Birth to 2 Years

The Preoperational Stage: 2 to 7 Years

The Concrete Operational Stage: 7 to 11 Years

The Formal Operational Stage: 11 Years and Older

Piaget and Education

The Core Knowledge Perspective

Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory

Vygotsky and Education

Evaluation of Vygotsky’s Theory

7 Cognitive Development: An Information-Processing Perspective

The Information-Processing Approach

General Models of Information Processing

Developmental Theories of Information Processing




Applications of Information Processing to Academic Learning

Evaluation of the Information-Processing Approach

8 Intelligence

Definitions of Intelligence

Recent Advances in Defining Intelligence

Measuring Intelligence

What Do Intelligence Tests Predict, and How Well?

Ethnic and Socioeconomic Variations in IQ

Explaining Individual and Group Differences in IQ

Early Intervention and Intellectual Development

Giftedness: Creativity and Talent

9 Language Development

Components of Language

Theories of Language Development

Prelinguistic Development: Getting Ready to Talk

Phonological Development

Semantic Development

Grammatical Development

Pragmatic Development

Development of Metalinguistic Awareness

Bilingualism: Learning Two Languages in Childhood

Part IV: Personality and Social Development

10 Emotional Development

Functions of Emotions

Development of Emotional Expression

Understanding and Responding to the Emotions of Others

Temperament and Development

Development of Attachment

Attachment, Parental Employment, and Child Care

11 Self and Social Understanding

Emergence of Self and Development of Self-Concept

Self-Esteem: The Evaluative Side of Self-Concept

Constructing an Identity: Who Should I Become?

Thinking About Other People

Understanding Conflict: Social Problem Solving

12 Moral Development

Morality as Rooted in Human Nature

Morality as the Adoption of Societal Norms

Morality as Social Understanding

Development of Morally Relevant Self-Control

The Other Side of Self-Control: Development of Aggression

13 Development of Sex Differences and Gender Roles

Gender Stereotypes and Gender Roles

Influences on Gender Stereotyping and Gender-Role Adoption

Gender Identity

To What Extent Do Boys and Girls Really Differ in Gender-Stereotyped Attributes?

Developing Non-Gender-Stereotyped Children

Part V: Contexts for Development

14 The Family

Origins and Functions of the Family

The Family as a Social System

Socialization Within the Family

Family Lifestyles and Transitions

Vulnerable Families: Child Maltreatment

15 Peers, Media, and Schooling

Peer Relations



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