Why Youth is Not Wasted on the Young: Immaturity in Human Development

Why Youth is Not Wasted on the Young: Immaturity in Human Development

by David F. Bjorklund, Bjorklund
     
 

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Humans take longer to reach maturity than most other species on earth. We are the 'Peter Pans of the Animal Kingdom.' In this engaging and insightful look at the nature of childhood, developmental psychologist David Bjorklund applies more than thirty years of research and writing experience to understanding not only why humans have evolved this way, but what role

Overview

Humans take longer to reach maturity than most other species on earth. We are the 'Peter Pans of the Animal Kingdom.' In this engaging and insightful look at the nature of childhood, developmental psychologist David Bjorklund applies more than thirty years of research and writing experience to understanding not only why humans have evolved this way, but what role this period of immaturity plays in the social, emotional, and educational needs of today’s children. Challenging common perceptions of children as simply “adults in training,” Why Youth is Not Wasted on the Young urges readers to re-examine childhood through an evolutionary lens, seeing it as an essential stage of development with its own unique purposes, separate from those of adulthood; a time of growth and discovery that should not be rushed.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"What is childhood? What is it for? The usual answer is that the purpose of childhood is to set the stage for bigger things to come. Why Youth is Not Wasted on the Young turns this view on its head. In this clear and beautifully written account of the role of immaturity in human development and evolution, Bjorklund argues that children’s minds are qualitatively different from those of adults. Indeed, children have special ways of learning and knowing that enable unique mastery of skills and invention of knowledge. This book should be required reading for anyone who is struggling with the question of how best to structure their children’s lives in today’s frantic world."
Bruce J. Ellis, University of Arizona

"Dave Bjorklund's book is a must read for parents and others who have an interest in kids, families, and schools. Based on current and sound scientific research, Bjorklund explains in very clear and readable, though not simplistic, language the long term importance of childhood qualities, such as play time and being "immature"- qualities that are under siege in many quarters of contemporary society."
Anthony D Pellegrini, University of Minnesota

"In this accessible and provocative work, David Bjorklund argues that childhood is not just a training for adulthood. Rather, it serves important adaptive functions that we need to acknowledge and value."
Michael Rutter, author of "Genes and Behavior"

“A lively, insightful analysis of human behavior from a novel, evolutionary standpoint; this is essential reading for anyone seeking to truly understand childhood and today's children.”
Glenn Weisfeld, Wayne State University

"David Bjorklund, one of the world’s leading developmental psychologists, has provided us with an intriguing and accessible treatment of some of the most important questions in the behavioral sciences today. Why does it take so long for humans to grow up? And, what is the evolutionary function of children’s activities while they are growing up? The book will be of interest to development scientists and to parents and educators wishing to better understand their children"
David C. Geary, University of Missouri

"In short, the answer to the question of who should read this book is a simple one: anyone who has an interest—personal, professional, or both—in how children develop." PsycCRITIQUES

“Bjorklund is a major contributor to the literature on evolutionary approaches to understanding child development. His connections … are original and well supported. Highly recommended.”
Choice Reviews

“That rare sort of science book that will be interesting to researchers as well as to laypeople … . Bjorklund is a beautifully smooth writer.”
American Scientist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781405149525
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
04/28/2007
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.65(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

David F. Bjorklund is Professor of Psychology at Florida Atlantic University. His publications include Parents Book of Discipline (with Barbara R. Bjorklund, 1999), The Origins of Human Nature: Evolutionary Developmental Psychology (with Anthony D. Pellegrini, 2002), and Children’s Thinking: Cognitive Development and Individual Differences (fourth edition, 2005).

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