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From The CriticsReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book describes how development occurs, from infancy through preschool years, addressing both normal development and childhood disorders including attachment disorders, autism spectrum disorders, and communication disorders. The previous edition was published in 1999.
Purpose: According to the editor, "this book attempts to include both the major themes of infant mental health during the past three decades as well as new developments and applications.
Audience: The intended audience includes "clinicians who work with parents and infants; researchers in clinical and developmental psychology, psychiatry, family therapy, social work, pediatrics, and nursing; and policymakers." Graduate students also would find it informative. The editor, a professor of clinical pediatrics and vice-chair for child and adolescent psychiatry at Tulane University School of Medicine, has been involved in research and intervention efforts, particularly in community-based programs. The dozens of contributors represent an international authorship from the United States, Israel, Switzerland, and Canada.
Features: An introduction to the field begins the book before it moves on to neurobiological issues and infant social and emotional development. It thoroughly covers risk and protective factors such as depressed mothers, parental substance abuse, and violence, and explores assessment and treatment issues. The authors deal with specific disorders including autism spectrum disorders, communication disorders, PTSD, depression, and attachment disorders. Finally, the book addresses training in infant mental health and mental health consultation. I really appreciated the chapter on foster care in early childhood that addresses the stark reality of the thousands of these children under 5 years of age, the developmental issues they confront, and the importance of addressing the needs of both the children and the foster parents. The chapter on training in infant mental health is very informative about what the requisite qualifications should optimally be. The authors discuss goals for training and a training framework, as well as ethical considerations. This is a comprehensive book covering a wide range of topics over its 622 pages. The tables and figures are quite helpful and the book contains both an author and subject index.
Assessment: This excellent book is full of useful information covering the whole gamut of infant and toddler development. It combines research into brain development and early psychosocial experiences with various clinical applications. The authorship is impressive, both in terms of numbers and qualifications. The many new developments and applications in the field in the past 10 years justify this new edition. This is a book that all clinicians who work in childcare settings should have.