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Child and Adolescent Development

Child and Adolescent Development
A Behavioral Systems Approach

January 2004 | 632 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
`The book very nicely incorporates behavior analysis and modern developmental theories. . . . Another nice feature is that it is not encyclopedic; it organizes the disparate developmental phenomena in terms of principles and mechanisms. . . . The writing style is easy to follow and suitable for college students. The scholarship and coverage are excellent' - Jesus Rosales-Ruiz, University of North Texas

`The book is a very good read. It is also truly unique in the field of developmental psychology…a field in which far too little attention is typically paid to the obvious fact that children's development involves learning' - Michael W. Vasey, The Ohio State University

`Presents behavioral principles in a systematic and fairly sophisticated manner (as contrasted with the simplistic treatment those principles often receive in textbooks of introductory or developmental psychology), while linking up with contemporary conceptions of dynamic systems. . . straightforward and clear, accessible to undergraduates without coming across as simplistic' - Philip N. Hineline, Temple University

`Most useful for the subset of college instructors who are process oriented and focus upon a sophisticated multilevel conceptual approach that considers the environmental impact on behavioral development and the concurrent impact of the developing individual upon the significant figures in its environment. . . . No other undergraduate text presents such a clear interweaving of developmental considerations and concepts with learning concepts' - Jacob L. Gewirtz, Florida International

`This book is unique because of its blending of behavior analysis and its dynamical systems point of view. . . . The authors' writing style is very engaging and accessible to undergraduate level students [and] the level of scholarship is excellent, particularly in its depth when dealing with theoretical issues. . . . A cutting-edge look at a behavior analytic view of child and adolescent development' - Pete Peterson, Johnson County Community College

There are two fundamental questions in developmental psychology – what develops and how does it develop? The "what" is largely a question of developmental structure and describes development, while the "how" is primarily a question of function or process and explains development. Developmental psychology has become increasingly focused on the process aspect, but many texts do not provide readers with a clear perspective of how development actually occurs.

Child and Adolescent Development: A Behavioral Systems Approach integrates the views of dynamical systems concepts with a behavioral view of development. This combination of perspectives is unique and from it something new emerges – "a behavioral systems approach" to development. It is an approach that incorporates both personal and environmental influences and the constant reciprocal interactions between nature and nurture.

The book emphasizes learning as the major process for change in development and the integration of environmental influences with genetic and historical factors. Authors Gary Novak and Martha Pelaez provide a coherent understanding of the learning process in childhood and adolescence and present successful interventions to minimize typical problematic behavior during this period.

About the Authors
1. Introduction
A Behavioral Systems Approach

A Dynamical Systems Approach

What Is Development?

A Natural Science Approach to Development

The Continuum of Scientific Disciplines

Metaphors for Understanding Developmental Levels

Reductionism and Antireductionism

Behavioral Systems and Developmental Psychology

The Central Role of Learning for Development

The Evolutionary Significance of Learning

A Parallelism Between Evolution and Learning

What Do Developmental Psychologists Do?



2. Modern Developmental Theory
The Importance of Theory

Four Dimensions on Which Theories Differ

Judging Developmental Theories: Seven Criteria

Research Designs in Behavioral Development

A Behavioral Systems Approach

Principles of Dynamical Systems

Organism-Environment Model

Developmental Questions for Research



3. Behavior Genetics
The Human Genome

Controversy: The Role of Genetics in Development

Behavior Genetics: The Structures

Genetic Functions

Genetic Variability

Sources of Development: The Combined Roles of Heredity and Environment

Does Behavioral Development Result From Interactions?

What Factors Transact In Human Development?

How Do Genes and Environment Interact?

A Behavioral View: Person-Environment Interactions

A Behavioral Systems Approach



4. Prenatal, Birth, and Postnatal Periods
Periods of Prenatal Development

Principles of Prenatal Development

The Earliest Environment

A Closer Look at Teratogens

Reproductive Risk Versus Caretaking Casuality

Getting Ready for the World

Postnatal Development: The Remarkable Newborn

The Neonate's Ability to Respond to the Environment

Sensory Abilities

Perceptual Abilities as Universal Behaviors

Reflexes as Universal Behaviors

How Do Reflexes Change?



5. Learning I: Habituation and Respondent Learning
Learning as a Natural Selection Process

Classifying Stimuli

Functional Stimulus Classes

Types of Learning


Contiguity and Learning

Respondent Learning

The Treatment of Fears and Phobias: An Application of Respondent Learning

Operant Learning

Response Classes and Operants

How Do Operants and Respondents Differ?



6. Operant Learning
The Contributions of B. F. Skinner (1904-1990)

What Is a Contingency?

The Three-Term Contingency

The Four-Term Contingency

The First Term: The Response

The Second Term: The Consequence

The Third Term: The Discriminative Stimulus (Sd)

The Fourth Term: The Setting Event (SE) or Establishing Operation (EO)

What Changes? The Development of Acquired Reinforcing Stimuli

Operant Learning and Dynamical Principles of Development



7. Cognitive Development
Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development

Vygotsky's Theory of Cognitive Development

Behavioral Approaches to Cognitive Development

Fischer's Skill Learning Approach to Cognitive Development

Skill Theory and Behavior Analysis

Stimulus Equivalence and Cognitive Development



8. The Development of Communication
Structure Versus Function: Clashing Theories

A Structural Approach: Psycholinguistics

A Functional Approach: The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

Early Stages of Language Development

Language Development as Skill Learning


9. Personality and the Self
Personality: Biological Theories

Personality: Behavioral Approaches

A Behavioral Systems Approach to Personality

Gender Differences

The Self



10. Social and Emotional Development
Why Study Social and Emotional Development?

Processes in Social Behavior

Social Behaviors as Reinforcers

Observational Learning

Prosocial Transactions: Intuitive Parenting

The Origins of Social Phenomena

The Power of Touch


Social Referencing

Sibling Rivalry and Jealousy

Social Cognition and Environment

Prosocial Behaviors in Early Childhood

The Development of Morality



11. Development of Antisocial Behaviors
What Are Antisocial Interactions?

The Origins of Aggression

A Behavioral Systems Approach

Coercive Family Process: Basic Training of Antisocial Behavior in the Home

The Development of Aggression

Changing the Behavioral Systems: Parent Training

Three Keys to Effective Parenting

A Behavioral Systems View of Physical Child Abuse


12. The Family System
Families as the Mediators of Society and Culture

The Universal Functions of Parenting

The Social and Cultural Context of Families

The Family as a System of Systems

The Functions of Family Members

Levels of Systems: How Society Influences Child Development

What Happens When the Role is Absent or Changed?

The Effects of Divorce

Patterns of Family Discipline

Children in the Context of Poverty



13. Schools
The Schools as Agents of Society and Culture

The Functions of Education

Type S and Type F Systems

Learning and Teaching

Teaching as Applied Developmental Psychology

What Makes for Effective Teaching

What and How to Teach: Final Comments



14. Adolescence
What Is Adolescent Behavioral Development?

Physical Development and Behavior

Environmental Factors Affecting Puberty

Moral Behavior and Reasoning

Personality Development During Adolescence

Parenting Style

Family and Social Support Systems

Behavioral Disorders During Adolescence

Love and Romantic Relations

Adolescent Attachment and Separation


15. Behavior Disorders of Childhood
What Are Behavioral Disorders?

Behavior Disorders Usually First Diagnosed in Infancy, Childhood, or Adolescence

What Causes Behavior Disorders?

Assessment of Behavior Disorders

Types of Behavioral Disorders


Name Index
Subject Index

This book works well as a text book for those wishing to research deeper into areas of development, down to the individual cell level. There are however, a number of chapters on development that would benefit the post registration community public health nursing students.

Mr Brian Shilton
Community Health , Glamorgan University
December 13, 2012

This is a clear and well presented book, will be encouraging my students to get this book

Mrs Emma Bartlett
Care and Health, City of Bristol College
October 14, 2012

The text provides an interesting perspective on child and adolescent development for the students in their Developmental Perspectives module. The text is suitable for the year 1 FdA students and I imagine that they will also find it beneficial in Year 2 of their studies as a point of reference. The text provides a useful glossary for students and is set out clearly for general reference. Students will find the chapter on cognitive development particularly useful and I will set this as recommended reading.

Mr Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
early years and education, Cornwall College
April 3, 2012

This book has a good depth although it is american. May be heavy going for lower level learners.

Mr David Corry-Bass
CCLD / H&SC , South Leicestershire College
August 25, 2011

This book will be used to contribute to students understading of the influence of developmental issues on the roles and interventions used by sport psychologists.

Dr Tracey Devonport
Sports, Wolverhampton University
January 5, 2010

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ISBN: 9780761926986

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