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.

Social and Emotional Development

Social and Emotional Development

Social and emotional development

Learning Objectives

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

  • recognise individual differences in patterns of attachment behaviour;
  • understand how early experiences of attachment behaviour relate to feelings of (in)security across an individual's life span;
  • understand how temperamental differences interrelate with attachment behaviours and parental (in)sensitivity;
  • recognise how children come to understand, and respond to, the feelings of others and how to regulate their own emotions.


The first part of this chapter examines attachment theory and provides the basis for coming to understand how children's emotional worlds are shaped by their experiences. The influence of temperament on behavioural style and the relationship of temperament with attachment and parental (in)sensitivity are introduced. It then draws upon research findings from prominent theorists to ...

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