Child Development: Educating and Working with Children and Adolescents / Edition 2

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This practical book examines research and theory about children from birth to age 18. The concepts are solidly based around the activities of schools, agencies, and other settings in which the day-to-day lives of children play out. A wealth of case studies provide understanding into how children develop. By using real-life case studies and genuine feedback from children of all ages, this book provides complete coverage of the following topics: methods of inquiry in child development; physical development; cognitive development; intelligence; language development; literacy development; personal and emotional development; social understanding and moral development; development of motivation and self-regulation; a study of the family; interpersonal relationships; and growing up. An excellent resource for caregivers, child care center directors and employees, social workers, teachers, and parents.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131108417
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 6/26/2003
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 760
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Teresa M. McDevitt is a psychologist with specializations in child development and educational psychology. She received a Ph.D. and M.A. in child development from Stanford University's Psychological Studies in Education program, an Ed.S. in educational evaluation from Stanford University and a B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Since 1985 she has served the University of Northern Colorado in a variety of capacities—in teaching courses in child and adolescent psychology, human development, educational psychology, program evaluation, and research methods; in advisement of graduate students; in administration and university governance; and in research and grant writing. Her research interests include children's listening and communication skills, families, teacher education, and science education. She has published articles in such journals as Child Development, Learning and Individual Differences, Child Study Journal, Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, Youth and Society, and Science Education, among others. She has gained extensive practical experience with children, including raising two children with her husband and working in several capacities with children—as an early childhood teacher of toddlers and preschool children, an early childhood special education teacher, a scout leader, and a volunteer in school and community settings. When she has the chance, Teresa enjoys traveling internationally with her family, and spending time with her children and husband.

Jeanne Ellis Ormrod is an educational psychologist and the author of Educational Psychology: Developing Learners and HumanLearning (now both in their 4th editions) and coauthor of Practical Research (soon to be released in its 8th edition), all published by Merrill/Prentice Hall. She received her Ph.D. and M.S. in educational psychology at The Pennsylvania State University and an A.B. in psychology from Brown University; she also earned certification in school psychology through postdoctoral work at Temple University and the University of Colorado, Boulder. She was Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Northern Colorado from 1976 until 1998, when she moved east to return to her native New England. She is now affiliated with the University of New Hampshire, where she teaches courses in educational psychology. She has worked as a middle school geography teacher and school psychologist, and has conducted research in cognition and memory, cognitive development, spelling, and giftedness. When Jeanne is not teaching, writing, reading professional books and journals, or monitoring the diverse activities of her three grown children, she enjoys-boating, playing racquetball, and walking on the beach with her husband.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Making a Difference in the Lives of Infants, Children, and Adolescents 3
Ch. 2 Methods of Inquiry in Child Development 37
Ch. 3 Physical Development 79
Ch. 4 Cognitive Development 1: Piaget and Vygotsky 139
Ch. 5 Cognitive Development 2: Cognitive Processes 185
Ch. 6 Intelligence 237
Ch. 7 Language Development 277
Ch. 8 Development of Literacy: Reading and Writing 323
Ch. 9 Personal and Emotional Development 363
Ch. 10 Social Understanding and Moral Development 413
Ch. 11 Development of Motivation and Self-Regulation 455
Ch. 12 Families 499
Ch. 13 Interpersonal Relationships 547
Ch. 14 Growing Up in Context 595
Photo Credits
Name Index
Subject Index
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As psychologists and teacher educators, we have been teaching child and adolescent development for many years. A primary goal in our classes has been to help students translate developmental theories into practical implications for professionals who nurture the development of young people. In past years, the child development textbooks available to us and our students have often been quite thorough in their descriptions of theory and research, but they have offered few concrete suggestions for working with infants, children, and adolescents in applied settings.

With this book, we bridge the gap between theory and practice. We draw from innumerable theoretical concepts, from research studies conducted around the world, and from our own experiences as parents, teachers, psychologists, and researchers to identify strategies for promoting children's and adolescents' physical, cognitive, and social-emotional growth. Whereas the first edition of the book focused largely on strategies for educators, this second edition expands our audience to include practitioners in many professions, including infant care, health care, social work, counseling, family education, youth services, and community agencies. Furthermore, whereas the first edition focused on ages 2 through 18, we have expanded our coverage to include infancy as well.

Several features make this book different from other comprehensive textbooks about child and adolescent development. In particular, the book

  • Continually relates abstract theories to professional strategies in applied settings
  • Not only describes but also demonstrates developmental phenomena
  • Uses several centralthemes to show patterns in diverse developmental domains

In the next three pages, we provide examples of how the book accomplishes these goals.


This book focuses on concepts and principles that are important to developmental theorists and to professionals who are involved in protecting and nurturing the development of children and adolescents. More so than in any other development text, in McDevitdOrmrod concepts are contexualized within schools, agencies, and other authentic settings where the dayto-day lives of children play out. And more so than in any other text, McDevitbOrmrod spells out the practical implications of developmental theory and research and provides concrete applications for those who teach and work with children and adolescents. The result is a text that is uniquely useful to those who are interested in practical applications of developmental scholarship.

Professional Implications. Throughout every chapter, you will find extensive discussion of the relevance of material to teachers, child care providers, counselors, caseworkers, and others who work with children and adolescents. Most major topics contain sections that examine in depth the professional implications of the developmental research and theory being presented. As a result, the reader comes away not only understanding current views of concepts, such as how children learn to solve problems and express emotions, but also seeing the relevance and application of these ideas to working with children.

Development and Practice. In addition to discussing applications throughout the text itself, we provide "Development and Practice" features that offer concrete strategies for facilitating children's development. To help readers move from research to practice, each strategy is followed by an actual example of a professional using that strategy in an authentic setting.

Observation Guidelines. To work productively with children and adolescents, one must first be able to see them accurately. Knowledge of development provides an essential lens through which professionals must look if they are to understand children. One of the foundational goals of this text is to help professionals observe developmental nuances in the infants, children, and adolescents with whom they work. To this end, throughout the book, we give readers "Observation Guidelines." These offer specific characteristics to look for, present illustrative examples, and provide specific recommendations for practitioners.


Another central focus of this text is to illustrate concepts and research with frequent examples of real children and adolescents. Authentic case studies begin and end each chapter, and there are often separate, shorter vignettes within the bodies of chapters. In addition to these types of illustrations, the text, much more than any other similar text, also makes frequent use of real artifacts from children's journals, sketchbooks, and schoolwork. It is among real children and adolescents and in the midst of the work they produce that developmental content becomes meaningful to professional practitioners. More than any other text, McDevitd/Ormrod brings this context to life.

Case Studies. Each chapter begins with a case that, by being referenced throughout the chapter, is used to illustrate and frame that chapter's content. A chapter ending case provides readers with an opportunity to apply chapter content. The questions that accompany each of these end-of-chapter cases help the reader in this application process.

Artifacts from Children and Adolescents. The frequent use of actual artifacts provides another forum for illustrating developmental abilities and issues. Throughout the text, actual examples of artwork, poetry, and school assignments are integrated into discussions of various concepts and applications. Not only do these artifacts offer readers authentic illustrations of chapter content, but they also help contextualize developmental research and theory.

Observation CD-ROMs. Integrated into every chapter are video clips from a new collection of 3 CDs that accompany the book. Activities on the CDs allow students to explore 14 topics-such as Memory, Friendship, and Families-from the perspective of children from five age groups. The opportunity to see children and adolescents at different levels of development perform the same task or talk about a topic, such as what it means to be a friend, is unique and extremely powerful in demonstrating developmental differences.


The other core goal of Child Development: Educating and Working with Children and Adolescents is to help readers come to a broad conceptual understanding of the field of development, to make them aware of the foundational ideas and issues that frame the field, and to provide them with a broad sense of how and when children acquire various characteristics and abilities. Throughout all of its chapters, the book consistently examines theories and concepts from the perspective of three core developmental issues—biological and environmental influences on development, universality and diversity of developmental changes, and the qualitative and quantitative nature of developmental change. Though organized topically, the book also provides overviews of the distinctive features of each chronological period within the topical areas.

Basic Developmental Issues. Every chapter examines ways in which development is the complex product of interacting forces—nature, nurture, and children's own efforts. We also spotlight circumstances that reveal fairly universal developmental trends and areas marked with substantial diversity. Finally, the text analyzes the underlying nature of developmental changes: Do they take the form of dramatic qualitative changes, or are they the outcome of many small, trend-like quantitative changes?

Developmental Trends. The book is organized around substantive topics of development to allow for an in-depth examination of each area of development. In the context of this topical approach, however, we also identify the unique characteristics of children during particular periods of growth. In the narrative, we frequently provide detailed chronological examples of children's abilities to give professionals a flavor of what children can do at specific ages. In each chapter, a "Developmental Trends" table summarizes typical features of five developmental periods: infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, early adolescence, and late adolescence. These tables explain common types of individual and group differences and point out implications for practice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2004

    McDevitt and Omrod are the worst !

    This is the most horrible textbook I ever seen in my life. I would compare this book to a trash can :those tiny musturd seeds of indeed learning material is buried in piles of junk of idiotic 'examples' and heavily tossed with stupid advises 'how to be a good teacher', authors are so busy telling stories about their own children, so they practically forgot that this is a textbook, not a scrapbook. I paid a hundred dollars for nothing!

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