• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The book is well written and the theorists and their respective work are well-presented and clearly explained…. As a text dealing with the historical overview of major theorists and their work in human development over the last century or so, it is extremely strong and could be widely used in a variety of both undergraduate and graduate courses.”

—Ann C. Diver-Stamnes, Humboldt State University

In general, I found the websites and references listed at the end of each chapter to be very interesting and useful for taking students beyond what is in the text.”

—Jane Ledingham, University of Ottawa

A fine choice for a classic theories course, and I believe that the level of presentation would be appropriate for advanced undergraduate or graduate students…. The up-to-date web sites at the end of each section are a definite plus. The choice of sites is excellent.”

—Cosby Steele Rogers, Virginia Tech

An Introduction to Theories of Human Development examines the development process, looking at the series of changes that occur as a result of an interaction between biological and environmental factors. Why might our behavior as an adult be so different from when we were infants? Why and how does one stage of development follow the next? Are the changes that we experience abrupt in nature or smooth and predictable? Author Neil J. Salkind reflects on such critical questions to help readers understand what happens along the way as one develops from infancy through later life.

This book provides a comprehensive view of the primary theoretical models of human development including those from the biological, psychoanalytic, behavioral, and cognitive developmental perspectives. Along with a brief discussion of a historical background for each of these approaches, An Introduction to Theories of Human Development examines the application of these theories to various aspects of human development, such as the effectiveness of early intervention, individual differences, adolescence, and sociobiology.

Features of this text: A final, integrative chapter compares the various theories presented in the book using Murry Sidman's model of six criteria for judging a theory to help develop students' skills for critically assessing theory.; Classic approaches to understanding human behavior across the lifespan are also examined.; Pedagogical features such as chapter opening quotes, boxed highlights, key terms, a glossary, and websites for further reading enhance student understanding of everyday human behavior.

An Introduction to Theories of Human Development is an accessible text for advanced undergraduate students in the social and behavioral sciences including such fields as psychology, education, human services, nursing, sociology, social welfare, and human development and family studies.

Lev Vygotsky's Sociocultural Theory of Development
Lev vygotsky's sociocultural theory of development

Where was I when you were born?

—3-year-old boy to his father

Thought is not merely expressed in words; it comes into existence through them.

—Lev Vygotsky

Many theories of development have had important influences on the way we view the growth of cognition in human beings. Piaget's stage-oriented approach may be the most popular (and some might say the most influential) of these, but others are also important, perhaps for different reasons. Developmental psychologist Lev Vygotsky (1896–1934) is responsible for one such theory.

Vygotsky's view emphasizes the importance of the sociocultural matrix of which the individual is a part—that is, according to his theory, social interaction plays a fundamental role in the development of cognition. In addition ...

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