Developing Minds: Challenge and Continuity Across the Life Span

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Overview

Most models of human development end abruptly with adolescence. But, according to the internationally renowned theorist and researcher Michael Rutter, we continue to mature throughout our life span. In this volume, Michael Rutter and Marjorie Rutter chart out in nontechnical language a comprehensive and vivid map of human growth from cradle to grave.Arguing that there are discontinuities as well as continuities to the growth process, they trace how basic aspects of psychological functioning (such as emotion and cognition) change over the course of life. The volume is organized around themes—anger and aggression, social relationships, intelligence and language—rather than specific age periods. Thus we see the parallels between life crises and challenges at different times of life (such as adolescence and old age). This original approach also reveals the full significance of both resilient and maladaptive responses to stress and adversity.The authors thoroughly mine decades of developmental research to transmute findings into brilliant nuggets of clinical wisdom. Covering all factors—genetic, social, historical, cognitive, biological—that shape human development, this pioneering book explores and explains not only the universal aspects of maturation but also how we each end up on our individual paths.

Organized by themes of development--social relationships, sexuality etc.--rather than age in human development.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A fascinating investigation of how human learning changes with age and experience. The authors create a sense of continuity about human learning development that reinforces the common assertion that learning never ends. In fact, how we learn changes in many marvelous ways throughout our lifetime. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465010370
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Lexile: 1470L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.55 (h) x 1.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Rutter, M.D., F.R.S. is professor of child psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry (U.K.) and honorary directory of the Medical Research Child Psychiatry Unit. He is also the author of Helping Troubled Children and Maternal Deprivation Reassessed.Marjorie Rutter, S.R.N., is a clinical nurse specialist and postgraduate teacher in family planning, infertility, and psychosexual counseling in London.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction: Concepts of Development 1
2 Why are People So Different from One Another? 12
Maturation 12
Genetic Influences 16
Why Do People Differ in Their Experiences? 26
Environmental Influences 37
3 Change and Continuity: Some Developmental Processes 62
Some Developmental Issues 64
Change and Continuity 77
Brain Maturation 80
Genetic Influences 85
Environmental Influences 90
4 The Growth of Social Relationships 110
Selective Attachments 110
Attachment Qualities across the Life Span 121
Disorders Associated with Attachment 126
Social Cognition and Social Relationships 136
Rivalry, Jealousy and Compensatory Relationships 139
Qualities of Social Relationships 141
Friends and Acquaintances 145
The Importance of Peer Relationships 151
5 Anxiety and Aggression: Fears and Delinquency 156
Emotional Expression and Understanding 156
Fears and Anxiety 161
Anger, Aggression and Conduct Disturbance 167
Temperamental Differences 185
6 The Growth of Intelligence and of Language 188
Stages of Cognitive Development 191
Special Cognitive Strategies and Skills 197
Reading and Spelling 204
Influences on Intelligence and Scholastic Attainment 210
Behavioural Consequences of Cognitive Impairment 217
Language 219
7 Adolescence: Sexuality, Self-image and Depression 229
Puberty 229
Sexuality 238
Social Experiences in Adolescence 248
Self-concepts and Identity 252
Changing Patterns of Psychiatric Disorder 255
8 Adulthood: Marriage, Careers and Parenting 260
Continuity and Change 260
Marriage 268
Army Experience as a Potential Turning-point 280
Work 282
Parenthood 289
Infertility 300
9 Mid-life Transitions and Old Age 306
Concepts of Life Stages 306
The Empty Nest 310
Grandparenthood 313
Looking after Elderly Parents 317
Male Sexuality 319
The Menopause 322
Age Trends in Psychiatric Disorder 327
Physical and Mental Decline 330
Psychosocial Functioning 340
Bereavement 343
Retirement 346
10 Epilogue: Transitions and Turning-points: Continuities and Discontinuities 349
Individual Differences 349
Understanding Causal Mechanisms 351
List of References 363
Index 399
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