This updated new edition features significant new findings, a broad-based global perspective, and enhanced media offerings. In a highly conversational style, with pedagogy that reinforces learning, and with examples drawn from an extraordinarily broad range of cultures throughout the world, the book remains at just the right length and level of coverage to fit comfortably in a single-term course. Features Culturally-focused. In writing her developmental text, Belsky takes a global and international approach in her integrated coverage of culture and pays special attention to the issues facing immigrants and ethnic groups.
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Experiencing the Lifespan is uniquely organized to highlight development. I follow the characters in the chapter-opening vignettes throughout each several-chapter book part. Ive planned each life stage segment to flow in a developmental way. In the first infancy chapter, I begin with a discussion of newborn states. The second chapter in this sequence Infancy: Socioemotional Development ends with a discussion of toddlerhood.
My three-chapter Early and Middle Adulthood book part starts with an exploration of the challenges of emerging adulthood Chapter 10 , then tackles marriage, parenthood, and career Chapter 11 , and culminates with a chapter tracking adult personality and intelligence through midlife and exploring older family roles such as parent care and grandparenthood Chapter In Part VI, Later Life, I begin with a chapter devoted to topics, such as retirement, that typically take place during the young-old years.
Then I focus on physical aging Chapter 14, The Physical Challenges of Old Age because sensory-motor impairments, dementing diseases, and interventions for late-life frailty become crucial concerns mainly in the eighties and beyond. Yes, this textbook doesfor the most partmove through the lifespan stage by stage.
However, its targeted to highlight the aspects of developmentsuch as constructing an adult life in the 20s or physical disabilities in the 80sthat become salient at particular times of life.
I believe that my textbook captures the best features of the chronological and topical approaches. Take it from me as an adoptive mom!
Adopting this flexible, development-friendly organization makes for a more manageable, teacher-friendly book. With 15 chapters and at roughly pages, my textbook really can be mastered in a one-semester course! Not being locked into covering each slice of life in defined bits also gives me the freedom to focus on what is most important in special depth. As you will discover while reading my comprehensive discussions of central topics in our field, such as attachment, parenting, puberty, and adult personality consistency and change, omitting superficial coverage of everything allows time to explore the core issues in developmental science in a deeper, more thoughtful way.
Experiencing the Lifespan actively fosters critical thinking. Guiding students to reflect on what they are reading is actually another of my writing goals. A great advantage of engaging readers in a conversation is that I can naturally embed critical thinking into the actual narrative. For example, as I move from discussing Piagets ideas on cognition to Vygotskys theory to the information-processing approach in Chapter 5, I point out the gaps in each perspective and highlight why each approach offers a unique contribution to understanding childrens intellectual growth.
On a policy-oriented level, after discussing the research relating to day care or teenage storm and stress, I ask readers to think critically about how to improve the way the twenty-first-century world cares for young families and treats normal adolescent acting out. Plus, this young husband may discover to his delight that choosing this wife will give him a deeper, richer appreciation of his own ethnic roots.
Intrinsic to getting students to evaluate their own cultural practices is the need to highlight alternate perspectives on our developing life.
Therefore, Experiencing the Lifespan is a firmly international book. I introduce this global orientation in the first chapter when I spell out the differences between collectivist and individualistic cultures and the developed and developing worlds. In the childhood chapters, when discussing topics such as parenting, constructing a self, and adolescent parent-child relations, I have special heads devoted to cultural variations and immigrant issues. In the adulthood sections, standard Setting the Context heads, preceding the research, offer snapshots of love and marriage in different nations, discuss retirement in other world regions, and explore different societal practices and attitudes toward death.
Experiencing the Lifespan highlights the multiple forces that shape develop- Courtesy of Gilda Morelli ment. Given my emphasis on cultural variations within our universal human experience, it should come as no surprise that the main theoretical framework Ive used to organize this book is the developmental systems approach.
Throughout the chapters, I explore the many influences that interact to predict core life milestonesfrom puberty to physical aging. Eriksons stages, attachment theory, behavioral genetics, evolutionary theory, self-efficacy, and, especially, the importance of looking at nature and nurture and providing the best personenvironment fitall are concepts that I introduce in the first chapter and continue to stress as the book unfolds.
Another theme that runs through this text is the impact of socioeconomic status, both internationally and in the United States, on shaping everything from breast-feeding practices to the rate at which we age and die. In this new edition, I spend special time exploring how the Great Recession of is changing our adult pathway in the United States. Experiencing the Lifespan is applications-oriented, and focused on how to construct a satisfying life.
Because of my background as a clinical psychologist, my other passion is to concretely bring home how we can use the scientific findings to improve the quality of life.
So each topic in this text ends with an Interventions section spelling out practical implications of the research. Experiencing the Lifespan is a person-centered, hands-on textbook. This book is also designed to bring the experience of the lifespan home in a personal way. Therefore, in Experiencing the Lifespan boxes, I report on interviews Ive conducted with people ranging from a year-old a student of mine last semester who was charged as an adult with second-degree murder to a year-old man with Alzheimers disease.
To entice readers to empathize with the challenges of other life stages, I continually ask students to imagine you are a toddler or a sleep-deprived mother or an year-old struggling with the challenges of driving in later life.
This new member of the Ef people of central Africa will be lovingly cared for by the whole community, males as well as females, from his first minutes of life. Because he sleeps with his mother, however, at the right age he will develop his primary attachment to her. Experiencing the Lifespan is designed to get students to learn the material while they read. The chapter-opening vignettes, the applications sections with their summary tables, the hands-on exercises, and the end-of-section questionnaires such as A Research-based Guide for Evaluating Your Relationship in Chapter 10 are part of an overall pedagogical plan.
As I explain in my introductory letter to students on page 2, I want this to be a textbook you dont have to struggle to decodeone that helps you naturally cement the concepts in mind. The centerpiece of this effort is the Tying It All Together quizzes, which follow each major section.
These mini-tests, involving multiple-choice, essay, and critical-thinking questions, allow students to test themselves on what they have absorbed. Ive also planned the photo program in Experiencing the Lifespan to illustrate the major terms and concepts.
Psychology in Everyday Life
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