Human Growth and Development / Edition 1

Human Growth and Development / Edition 1

by Chris Beckett
Pub. Date:
SAGE Publications


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Human Growth and Development / Edition 1

Intended both for the general reader and for those working in or training for the caring professions, this volume provides an introduction to the main ideas about how human beings grow and change over their lives—emotionally, intellectually, psychologically, and socially. The author, whose academic background is not described, presents many different perspectives on the processes of human growth and development but emphasizes psychosocial and pragmatic viewpoints. The book begins at birth and ends with death, corresponding roughly to the course of a human life throughout, and each chapter includes several activities that provide opportunities to reflect. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780761972495
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 04/23/2002
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 242
Product dimensions: 6.69(w) x 9.53(h) x (d)

About the Author

Chris Beckett qualified as a social worker in the 1980s, and worked in the field for 18 years, first as a social worker and then as a manager, latterly as the manager of a children and families social work team. Like most social workers who qualified at that time, he started out as a ‘generic’ social worker, working with a range of service users including children and families, old people, and people with mental health problems and disabilities, but his predominant area of work was with children and families.

He moved into academic social work in 2000, working first at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge and then at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. In addition to his social work text books, he has published academic articles on a variety of topics including the use of military language in social work, the importance of realism as an ethical principle, and statistics from Sweden about child abuse, following the legal ban there on corporal punishment. His main research area, however, has been decision-making in court proceedings about children, and decision-making about children more generally.

Chris has a parallel career as a writer of literary science fiction. (More information about his fiction can be found at He won the Edge Hill Short Fiction prize for his story collection, The Turing Test, and the Arthur C. Clarke award for his novel Dark Eden. He is now a full-time writer. His view is that ‘academic’ and ‘creative’ writing have more in common than might at first sight appear: in both cases the author begins with a jumble of ideas that seem to him to be in some way linked together, and attempts, in large part by a combination of intuition and trial and error, to impose some shape and structure.

Chris has three adult children, and lives in Cambridge with his wife Maggie and sundry animals.

Hilary Taylor is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and a former social worker, social work lecturer and practice teacher.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition ix

Introduction 1

1 The Birth of a Human Being: What makes us who we are? 3

Ideas, Theories and Prejudices 4

Nature versus Nurture 7

Free Will versus Predetermination 15

Events, Transitions, Resilience 16

2 The Balancing Act: Psychodynamic insights 18

The Unconscious 20

The Structure of Personality 22

Psychosexual Stages 26

Developments of Freud's Ideas 30

Object Relations and Ego Development 31

Criticisms of Freud and his Successors 37

3 A Secure Base: The importance of attachment 41

John Bowlby and 'Maternal Deprivation' 43

The Biological Origins of Attachment 45

The Secure Base and Attachment Behavioural Systems 47

The Growth of Attachment 49

Internal Working Models 51

Mary Ainsworth's Attachment Classification System 53

Developments of Attachment Theory 56

Criticisms of Attachment Theory 58

4 The Emergence of Reason: The developing ability to understand 60

Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Development 61

Learning to Make Sense of the World 62

Accommodation, Assimilation and Equilibration 64

Stages of Cognitive Development 66

Challenges to Piaget's Model 71

5 Making Connections: Ideas from behaviourism 76

Classical Conditioning 78

Behaviourism 79

Operant Conditioning 80

Cognition, Observation and Social Learning Theory 85

Learning and the Acquisition of Gender Roles 86

Learning Theory and Human Development 89

6 Who Am I Going to Be? Adolescence, identity and change 92

Culture and Biology 93

Transitions 94

Identity versus Role Confusion 97

Relating to Others 100

Sexuality and Adolescence 101

Problems in Adolescence 104

Adults, Adolescents and Attachment 106

Coping Skills and Resilience 108

7 Acting like a Grown-up: Challenges of Adulthood 111

What do we Mean by 'Adult'? 112

Development, Continuity and Change 113

Stages and Transitions 116

Identity and Intimacy 118

Generativity 119

Young Adulthood 120

Middle Adulthood 123

8 No Man is an Island: Family systems and their life cycle 129

Systems Theory 130

Systems and Families 132

The Family Life Cycle 135

Stages in Family Life 138

Larger Systems 142

9 Access to Adulthood: Growing up with a disability 145

Social and Medical Models 146

Impairments and Developmental Pathways 147

Families, Children and Disability 152

Adolescence and Disability 156

Disability and Adulthood 157

10 It Takes a Village: The sociological perspective 161

The Sociological Perspective 162

Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory 163

Social Construction 164

Social Roles 165

Stereotyping and Labelling Theory 167

Divisions in Society 169

Culture and History 173

11 Coming to a Conclusion: Themes in old age 177

Physical Changes 179

Cogntive Changes 180

Tasks and Challenges 181

Old Age and Society 183

Cultural Differences 187

12 That Good Night: Death, dying and bereavement 190

Death and Society 191

Death and Others 194

The Individual Experience of Death 198

The End 201

References 203

Index 215

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