Description: This book is part of a three part series that reviews the "state of the art" of psychological research about human reproduction. The first two volumes focus on reproductive potential and fertility control and on reproductive activity, respectively.
Purpose: The series' purpose is "to bring together the disparate strands of research and theory which can be called reproductive psychology." These objectives seem to be met.
Audience: The editors intend the audience to be undergraduate students in psychology, nursing, and nurse-midwifery. The editors also say that they hope readers will learn "something of personal as well as academic interest from these books."
Features: This is an edited book; each chapter has different contributors. The editing is tight so the chapters follow a similar format. Each chapter has a summary table labeled "applications" which outlines the clinical "bottom lines" about the topic being reviewed. Some of the topics included are parenting, parent-child interactions, parenting under a variety of circumstances (e.g. older and younger parents), and infant issues (e.g. pain and sleep).
Assessment: This book, and presumably the first two series volumes, are essentially reviews of the literature. The series was begun in 1995; this volume was published in 1998, and some of the chapters include references dated 1997, so the book is probably as current as is possible. The literature reviewed is from the discipline of psychology rather than nursing or nurse-midwifery. I think nursing students, both undergraduate and graduate, as well as faculty, will find the consolidation of current research useful. Beginning researchers might find the information useful to help identify fruitful topics for future research.