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The African American Child: Development and Challenges
     

The African American Child: Development and Challenges

by Yvette R. Harris
 

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"This book argues convincingly that children's cultural differences need to be recognized for any accurate understanding of their development. Pointing out the need for additional and more effectively designed research, Harris and Graham provide a valuable foundation for further investigations. This nonpolemic book should be in all libraries, filling an unfortunate

Overview

"This book argues convincingly that children's cultural differences need to be recognized for any accurate understanding of their development. Pointing out the need for additional and more effectively designed research, Harris and Graham provide a valuable foundation for further investigations. This nonpolemic book should be in all libraries, filling an unfortunate gap. Highly recommended."--Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries

This major new textbook introduces students to issues that have an impact on the lives of African American children but have typically been ignored (or inadequately discussed) in mainstream child development textbooks. The authors hope to familiarize students with a sampling of research that moves beyond a deficit view of the development of the African American child while stimulating critical thinking about future directions for research on African American children and their families.

The book is designed to be student friendly--with each chapter presenting an overview of the material covered as well as an "Insider's Voice" (which offers a personal story or viewpoint about the issues discussed in the chapter). Each chapter goes on to feature a dialogue of current biological, environmental, constructivist, and cultural-contextual theories) as well as suggestions for additional reading, videos, websites, and questions to guide critical thinking.

Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, PsyD (Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book describes issues that affect African American children, including historical, cultural, and social factors. The authors discuss both the difficulties faced by children of color and how they overcome them.
Purpose: The authors had four goals: "First, we wanted to introduce students to issues that impact the lives of African American children that typically are not discussed in child development textbooks or are relegated to a paragraph in most developmental textbooks. Second, we wanted to present a balanced discussion of the challenges that impact the lives of African American children as well as emphasize their strengths and their resiliency. Third, we wanted to familiarize students with a sampling of research that moves beyond a deficit view of the development of African American children and takes into account the historical, cultural, and social factors that influence developmental outcomes for African American children. Fourth and perhaps most importantly, we wanted to stimulate critical thinking in social science students about future directions for research on African American children and their families."
Audience: Their audience includes "social science students (developmental psychology, social work, sociology, Black World Studies) and other related disciplines (family sciences, education, and nursing) to African American child development." Dr. Harris, associate professor of psychology at Miami University of Ohio, has researched the environmental contributions to preschool and school age cognitive development for the last 17 years. Dr. Graham, associate professor of psychology at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), is interested in the social-cognitive aspects of children's relationships.
Features: The book covers issues such as demographics, health issues, mental health issues and racial identity, and moral development. Each chapter begins with an overview, continues with a personal story or a personal viewpoint about the topic, and concludes with a discussion of current perspectives on African American child development and additional readings. Figures and tables are wonderfully instructive and many chapters include boxes that highlight critical information.
Assessment: This excellent book presents important topics, whetting the appetite to learn more. The authors address issues that readers may not want to hear but need to acknowledge in order to understand and intervene in an intelligent manner. This material will challenge beliefs and, hopefully, motivate readers to do something, both in terms of intervention and future research The book should be required reading for individuals working with African American children and their families (and students who will be).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780826101044
Publisher:
Springer Publishing Company
Publication date:
05/01/2007
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
1,188,883
File size:
3 MB

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What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This excellent book...should be required reading for individuals working with African American children and their familiies ( and students who will be)."--Doody's Review Service

“This book does a wonderful job of providing a comprehensive, up-to-date portrayal of research, thinking, and issues related to the African American child. The book’s special contribution is to cover what specifically is known about the African American child on a wide range of topics in the field of child development (from various social contexts to language and literacy). I know of no other book that does this so effectively.”

John W. Santrock, PhD, Professor of Psychology, University of Texas at Dallas

“This carefully researched, clearly written, highly current text offers for the first time a holistic view of the development and life conditions of African-American children. Among its exemplary features are a rich picture of African-American children’s past and contemporary experiences and many highly informative, well-reasoned discussions of pressing social issues relevant to African-American children’s adjustment - including school desegregation, racial identity, black language dialects, community violence, and health care. The African American Child is an invaluable resource for scholars, policy makers, educators, and students of culture and child development. Bravo to the authors for greatly clarifying the steps that we - as individuals, as communities, and as a society - must take to promote African-American children’s well-being.”

--Laura E. Berk, PhD, Disitnguished Professor of Psychology, Illinois State University

Meet the Author

Yvette R. Harris, PhD, received her PhD in psychology from the University of Florida with a specialization in cognitive development. For the past 17 years her research has focused on exploring the environmental contributions to preschool and school age cognitive development, and more recently has taken on applied focus examining the learning/ teaching patterns of African American mothers transitioning from welfare to work. She has presented her work at both national and international conferences, her research has appeared in a variety of educational and developmental journals, and her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Proctor and Gamble, Miami University, and the Harvard/Radcliffe Murray Research Center.

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