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Susan R. Burns

In: 21st Century Psychology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 54: Childhood and Adolescence

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Childhood and Adolescence
Childhood and adolescence

The developmental processes of children and adolescents have intrigued theorists and researchers for centuries. Prior to the time of John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, during the late 17th and early 18th centuries, most people viewed children as miniature adults. During the Middle Ages children as young as six years of age were often sent off to work as apprentices in professions such as farming, blacksmithing, and carpentry. However, toward the end of the Middle Ages, the economic situation dramatically shifted; many occupations switched from requiring manual labor to necessitating academic skills. Thus, the treatment of children became refocused, away from integration with adults and toward educational instruction. This chapter is designed to introduce readers to topics (i.e., physical, cognitive, language, ...

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