Child Development, 9th Edition

By Laura E. Berk

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A best-selling, topically organised child development text, Berk’s Child Development is relied on in classrooms worldwide for its clear, engaging writing style, exceptional cross-cultural and multi-cultural focus, rich examples, and long-standing commitment to presenting the most up-to-date scholarship while also offering students research-based, practical applications that they can relate to their personal and professional lives.

Berk takes an integrated approach to presenting development in the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social domains; emphasises the complex interchanges between heredity and environment; and provides exceptional attention to culture.

Laura Berk, renowned professor and researcher, presents the latest theories and findings in the field to students in a manageable and relevant way. Berk’s signature storytelling style invites students to actively learn beside the text’s “characters,” who experience real issues in development, including physical, cognitive, and peer challenges, as well as parenting and educational concerns. Berk also helps students connect their learning to their personal and professional areas of interest. Her voice comes through when speaking directly about issues students will face in their future pursuits as parents, educators, heath care providers, social workers, and researchers. As members of a global and diverse human community, students are called on to intelligently approach the responsibility of understanding and responding to the needs and concerns of children.

While carefully considering the complexities of child development, Berk presents classic and emerging theories in an especially clear, engaging writing style, with a multitude of research-based, real-world, and cross-cultural examples. Strengthening the connections among developmental domains and among theory, research, and applications, this edition's extensive revision brings forth the most recent scholarship, representing the changing field of child development.
Laura E. Berk is a distinguished professor of psychology at Illinois State University, where she has taught child and human development to both undergraduate and graduate students for more than three decades. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in child development and educational psychology from the University of Chicago. She has been a visiting scholar at Cornell University, UCLA, Stanford University, and the University of South Australia.

Berk has published widely on the effects of school environments on children’s development, the development of private speech, and recently, the role of make-believe play in development. Her research has been funded by the U.S. Office of Education and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. It has appeared in many prominent journals, including Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, Development and Psychopathology, and Early Childhood Research Quarterly. Her empirical studies have attracted the attention of the general public, leading to contributions to Psychology Today and Scientific American. She has also been featured on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and in Parents Magazine, Wondertime, and Reader’s Digest.

Berk’s books include Private Speech: From Social Interaction to Self-Regulation, Scaffolding Children’s Learning: Vygotsky and Early Childhood Education, Landscapes of Development: An Anthology of Readings, and A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool: Presenting the Evidence. In addition to Child Development, she is author of the best-selling texts Infants, Children, and Adolescents and Development Through the Lifespan, published by Pearson. Her book for parents and teachers is Awakening Children’s Minds: How Parents and Teachers Can Make a Difference.

Berk is active in work for children’s causes. In addition to service in her home community, she is a member of the national board of directors and chair of the Chicago advisory board of Jumpstart, a nonprofit organization that provides intensive literacy intervention to thousands of low-income preschoolers across the United States, using college and university students as interveners. Berk is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, Division, 7: Developmental Psychology.
1. Thoroughly Engaging Writing Style
Laura Berk makes the study of child development both involving and pleasurable for students. Child Development is written in an engaging, personal style -- one that is highly accessible -- and contains real-life human-interest stories. The author encourages students to relate what they read to their own lives.

2. Appealing and Meaningful Applications
Child Development’s practical applications show students how their learning relates to real-world situations. Applications are relevant to students pursuing a variety of fields, including psychology, education, health sciences, sociology, anthropology, family studies, social services, and health sciences.

3. Exceptional Integration of Culture and Diversity
Multicultural and cross-cultural material is presented not only in the text’s research and in many positive and diverse examples, but also through rich photos, figures, and children’s art, which enhance student interest and understanding.

4. Unparalleled Breadth and Depth of Research
Child Development is well known for its up-to-date and comprehensive research coverage, presented with clarity and ease, making the study of child development current, relevant, and enjoyable for students.

5. New and Enhanced Material in Each Chapter
Added and revised material reflects major changes and discoveries in the field. This edition includes over 1,400 new reference citations.

6. Beautiful Artwork, Graphics, and Photographs
Visually stunning, the art, graphics, and photos effectively illustrate major points and enhance student interest and understanding.

7. Outstanding Pedagogical Features
Exceptional pedagogical features support students’ mastery of the material.


Chapter Introductions, Learning Objectives, and End-of-Chapter Summaries

  • Each chapter begins with an outline and an engaging real-life story.
  • NEW Learning objectives appear at the start of their corresponding sections to guide students in their reading.
  • Chapter summaries are organised by learning objective, encouraging active study. They also include bolded key terms, which help students acquire and master the vocabulary of the field.

Take a Moment . . .
Built into the text narrative, this feature engages students by asking them to “take a moment” to think about an important point, integrate information on children’s development, or engage in an exercise or an application to clarify a challenging concept.

Look and Listen
This NEW active-learning feature asks students to observe what real children say and do, speak with or observe parents and teachers, and inquire into community programs and practices that influence children.

Ask Yourself Questions
These questions build on one another and engage students by asking them to Review what they have read, Connect what they have read to build an image of the whole child, Apply the material to controversial issues, and then Reflect on their own development and life experiences.

  • Review questions help students recall and comprehend information they have just read.
  • Connect questions help students build an image of the whole child by integrating what they have learned across age periods and domains of development.
  • Apply questions encourage the application of knowledge to controversial issues and problems faced by children, parents, and professionals who work with them.
  • Reflect questions help make the study of child development personally meaningful by asking students to reflect on their own development and life experiences.

Thematic Boxes
Social Issues boxes discuss the impact of social conditions on children and emphasise the need for sensitive social policies to ensure their well-being:

  • NEW! Social Issues: Education boxes focus on home, school, and community influences on children’s learning. Examples include Baby Learning from TV and Video: The Video Deficit Effect; Media Multitasking Disrupts Attention and Learning; The Head Start REDI Program: Strengthening School Readiness in Economically Disadvantaged Preschoolers; and Magnet Schools: Equal Access to High-Quality Education.
  • NEW! Social Issues: Health boxes address values and practices relevant to children’s physical and mental health. Examples include Family Chaos Undermines Children’s Well-Being; A Cross-National Perspective on Health Care and Other Policies for Parents and Newborn Babies; and Does Child Care Threaten Infant Attachment Security and Later Adjustment?

Biology and Environment boxes highlight the growing attention to the complex, bidirectional relationship between biology and environment. Examples include A Case of Epigenesis: Smoking During Pregnancy Alters Gene Expression; Prenatal Iron Deficiency and Memory Impairments in Infants of Diabetic Mothers: Findings of ERP Research; Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; and “Mindblindness” and Autism.

Cultural Influences boxes deepen the attention to culture threaded throughout the text and accentuate both cross-cultural and multicultural variations in child development–for example, Immigrant Youths: Adapting to a New Land; Cultural Variation in Sleeping Arrangements; Identity Development among Ethnic Minority Adolescents; and The Impact of Ethnic and Political Violence on Children.

Applying What We Know Tables
This feature summarises research-based applications, speaking directly to students as parents or future parents and to those pursuing different careers or areas of study, such as teaching, health care, counseling, or social work.

Milestones Tables
These beautifully illustrated tables summarise major developments within each topical area, providing a convenient overview of the chronology of development.

In-Text Highlighted Key Terms with Definitions, End-of-Chapter Term List, and End-of-Book Glossary

Mastery of terms is promoted through in-text highlighting of key terms and definitions. Key terms also appear in an end-of-chapter page-referenced term list and an end-of-book page-referenced glossary.

Product details
Published date
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Pearson Higher Ed USA
Table of contents
  • Part I: Theory and Research in Child Development
  • 1 History, Theory, and Applied Directions
  • 2 Research Strategies
  • Part II: Foundations of Development
  • 3 Biological Foundations, Prenatal Development, and Birth
  • 4 Infancy: Early Learning, Motor Skills, and Perceptual Capacities
  • 5 Physical Growth
  • Part III: Cognitive and Language Development
  • 6 Cognitive Development: Piagetian, Core Knowledge, and Vygotskian Perspectives
  • 7 Cognitive Development: An Information-Processing Perspective
  • 8 Intelligence
  • 9 Language Development
  • Part IV: Personality and Social Development
  • 10 Emotional Development
  • 11 Self and Social Understanding
  • 12 Moral Development
  • 13 Development of Sex Differences and Gender Roles
  • Part V: Contexts for Development
  • 14 The Family
  • 15 Peers, Media, and Schooling