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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This is the fourth book in a series describing results from the Colorado Adoption Project (CAP), which began in 1975 and followed a sample of adopted and nonadopted children and their families. This volume focuses on CAP results from ages 9 to 12.
Purpose: According to the editors, the book "presents the segment of research from the ongoing Colorado Adoption Project (CAP) that considers the role of genes and environments in early adolescent cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development, as well as the social interactions associated with these developing competencies." The book meets these worthy objectives.
Audience: The editors do not really say who the target audience is, but it appears that researchers in adolescent development would benefit the most. The editors and contributors are credible authorities, because they were all involved in the research study in one way or another.
Features: The book covers the results of the project, including cognitive (intelligence, memory, reading), physical (somatic complaints, attention problems), social (adjustment, loneliness, social relations), and emotional (temperament, behavior problems). It takes into consideration the role of genetics and environment (nature vs. nurture). The book presents research results in all their glory. However, this makes it difficult to read because the results are highlighted at the expense of the discussion of what it all really means.
Assessment: The book addresses crucial issues in adolescent development through the presentation of the results of a longitudinal study comparing adoptive vs. nonadoptive children and families. However, I was hoping for a better explanation of what the results really mean, which gets lost in all the statistical analyses. This is an excellent volume for the avid researcher, but as a psychologist who is involved mostly in clinical work, I found it difficult to get to the information I really wanted to see.