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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Shiraz Butt, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: With this book, the author attempts to challenge the concept of primacy of childhood, which states childhood shapes the course of adult life.
Purpose: The goal is to show that the idea of primacy of childhood is not supported by a large body of empirical research. This is a worthy objective because the field of child psychology is cluttered with misconceptions. The author is able to meet his objectives.
Audience: The book is intended for professionals working with children and adolescents including psychiatrists, pediatricians, therapists and developmental specialists. The author has written several journal articles and has written and edited numerous books.
Features: This book is divided into five sections with a focus on the three "myths of childhood." He author starts by discussing the impact of childhood on adult life and then challenges the commonly held assumptions about development. He offers a model for using temperament as a guide for customizing therapy. In the final part of book he addresses the implication of this work for parenting and suggests directions for further research.
Assessment: This is an excellent tool for stimulating a fresh approach towards looking at childhood. The traditional developmental theories have not been tested by empirical research and this book, by the means of objective data, attempts to do that. The author also emphasizes the importance of behavior genetics, which is often ignored by therapists. The message is to customize therapy and treatment according to the unique biological traits of the individual and not the other way around.