This book introduces the inter-disciplinary study of childhood and youth and the multi-agency practice of professionals who serve the needs of children, young people and their families. Exploring key theories and central ideas, research methodology, policy and practice, it takes a holistic, contextual approach that values difference and diversity. It examines concepts such as identity, representation, creativity and discourse and issues such as ethnicity, gender and the ‘childhood in crisis’ thesis. Furthermore, it challenges opinion by exploring complex and controversial modern-day issues, and by engaging with a range of perspectives to highlight debates within the field.

The Origins of Human Behaviour

The Origins of Human Behaviour

The origins of human behaviour

Learning Objectives

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • understand how behaviour contributes to survival;
  • understand that behaviour patterns are complex and interrelated;
  • recognise how an understanding of animal behaviour contributes to an understanding of human behaviour;
  • be aware of some of the recent uses of technology in our understanding of learning and the brain.


This chapter explores some of the biological background to behaviour that may help to provide insights into the behaviour of human beings. In doing so it reviews some of the ideas and terms that arise from recent history and contemporary work in an attempt to answer questions such as the following. Do humans share similar behaviour to other animals? What is instinct? What ...

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