There are many developmental psychology textbooks on the market and it is often hard to choose between them. Key Concepts takes a very different approach and fills a particular niche very effectively… This book will be an excellent companion to any developmental textbook.

—Vicky Lewis, The Open University

This book serves as a guide to the principal concepts currently in use in Developmental Psychology and is perfect for courses in child development or developmental psychology.

‘Concepts’ are the mental tools that help us to think about a topic; they impose meaning on an assembly of diverse facts and are thus essential to the task of categorizing, explaining, and understanding. This book not only defines but also describes and discusses each of the concepts selected in relation to its theoretical, historical, and empirical background, with the aim of informing the reader about its place in the discipline, its origins, the purpose for which it was intended, and the extent to which it has been found useful.

Arranged thematically in sections corresponding to chapter headings usually found in textbooks, this book could act as either a primary or secondary source for students wanting an accessible book to enrich their learning experience. At the same time the book will enable academics and advanced students to check their own ideas about particular concepts in order to consider how far meanings attached to these concepts are shared.

Key Features:

Provides an overview of the place of each concept in Developmental Psychology under three headings, namely its meaning, origins and current usage; Concepts are grouped into sections corresponding to the main themes usually covered in teaching; Relevant concepts in the book are emboldened and linked by listing at the end of each concept; Guidance is provided to further reading on each of the concepts discussed

The book is centrally important to undergraduate students who need to learn the language used by developmental psychologists in describing their studies, but also helps more advanced readers in checking their ideas regarding the nature and usage of particular concepts.

Mechanisms of Change
Mechanisms of Change

The concepts described above in Section 1 are primarily concerned with the how of development, i.e. with the way we can describe the course of change over age. In addition, however, there is also the why of development, namely the need to explain the mechanisms that account for change. Children in general become more competent with age; however, age itself is not an explanation but only an index of development, and a rough one at that. It covaries with both biological maturation and social experience, and to sort out the relative influence of these two sets of forces (nature and nurture respectively) has been one of the main preoccupations of developmental psychologists since the emergence of the discipline. Description and ...

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