Lifespan Development: A Psychological Perspective
Martha Lally, College of Lake County
Suzanne Valentine-French, College of Lake County
Copyright Year: 2017
Publisher: Martha Lally, Suzanne Valentine-French
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The text itself is comprehensive, with each topic organized into logical and interesting sub-topics. The sub-topics are written comprehensively in easy-to-digest paragraphs. There is no glossary or index, however. read more
The text itself is comprehensive, with each topic organized into logical and interesting sub-topics. The sub-topics are written comprehensively in easy-to-digest paragraphs. There is no glossary or index, however.
The information in this text is accurate, current, and relatively bias-free. Good (brief) section in Early Childhood on transgender kids, for example.
This text has a good balance of grand theories and current research. It will (like all texts) require continual revising as new theories emerge and new areas of focus become important for developmental psychologists.
The writing is clear and understandable.
Good internal consistency!
This is a strength of this text. Each subsection can be used on its own, or part of the whole.
Overall, the text is well organized, though I think I would prefer a text that has more layers of organization. This text has 10 chapters, each with numerous sub-headings, but without clear delineations between domains of development.
I did enjoy the interface - though this is essentially one long PDF document, which may be confusing or problematic for some students.
The text includes weaves in topics related to several lenses of identity, including race, class, sexualities, and gender identity. It does not challenge, however, the enduring structures of oppression in the field of psychology and society at large - though this is probably considered outside the scope of developmental psychology.
I enjoyed the text! I would consider adapting it if I could find ancillary materials.
Very clearly laid out with ten chapters ranging from prenatal to death. Table of contents acts also as an index of sorts, with specific topics within each stage clearly defined and page numbers provided. Could benefit from a glossary (either at... read more
Very clearly laid out with ten chapters ranging from prenatal to death. Table of contents acts also as an index of sorts, with specific topics within each stage clearly defined and page numbers provided. Could benefit from a glossary (either at the end of each chapter or at the end of the text as a whole) and/or separate index for concepts that are present throughout multiple chapters.
An overall comprehensive view of development with special consideration for culture and diversity. Text also discusses how views have changed over time (e.g., in relation to intellectual disabilities; gender roles, etc.), and uses the most current terms. Text also provides information on many developmental theories (as opposed to pigeonholing information to few), and continually spirals back to these topics to reinforce them. A few small errors (e.g., “tabula rosa” instead of “tabula rasa”, pg. 16), but by and large information is up to date, and clearly explained.
All information is up to date, and uses current citations. Authors also did a great job with citing and providing sources as well so that readers can find additional information on topics from the primary sources. In addition to current parenthetical citations, the writers provide context to let the reader know when the data were taken, which allows a more informed understanding of the numbers provided. Authors show data trends over time that will be easy to update as newer data are published. One area where there could be additional relevant information would be in regards to substance use, and the recent legalization of marijuana across U.S. states and Canada, and how this legalization may affect understanding and interventions related to marijuana and other substance use.
Writing is very accessible, and clear. Jargon terms are defined as part of the text and the flow of the book as a whole is logical. Main topics (i.e., developmental theories) are revisited and applied to specific life stages with relevant examples to connect to larger themes.
Major concepts are revisited in each chapter, and examples for application of knowledge are given. Further, the formatting itself is consistent, leading to an overall clean and intuitive look. Authors are also consistent with the use of discussion questions for each chapter.
Very well organized. Great use of headings, subheadings, bold, italics, color, and other formatting to break up ideas into intuitive sections. The chapters are broken up logically based on developmental periods. Could have benefited from additional focus specifically on early adolescence considering the importance of this stage of life (relative to others—similar to how the text broke up childhood into early ‘childhood’, and ‘middle & late childhood’)
Clear organization throughout. Good use of boxes, figures, graphs, etc. to enhance understanding and draw readers’ attention to important concepts or illustrations. Logically sequenced chapters and sections.
Very well-organized and good use of images/charts to enhance understanding. Text provides links to images, graphs, references for further reading, which enhances the interactivity of the text. Text would benefit from the ability to “jump” to chapters or sub-sections by clicking on that particular section in the table of contents.
Aside from the aforementioned “tabula rosa” being used instead of “tabula rasa” (p.16), this book reads well and is grammatically sound.
Shows appreciation and consideration of the effect of culture and intersectional identity on development. Provides international perspectives on development as well. The only criticism would be that the vast majority of the images used are of white people.
Solid text. Rivals books that are $100+.
This 468 page book covers all of the major stages and domains of development. The book begins with a detailed overview of the field of lifespan development and then goes into great depth on the common issues and areas of interest for each major... read more
This 468 page book covers all of the major stages and domains of development. The book begins with a detailed overview of the field of lifespan development and then goes into great depth on the common issues and areas of interest for each major stage.
The book appears to provide information from various perspectives allowing the student/reader to apply critical thinking to evaluate each topic.
This book was published in 2017, the majority of references are less than 10 years old. The topics are covered with several recent examples but also uses many of the historically popular studies that will remain relevant (for example Harlow's work on attachment).
This was actually my favorite part of the book. I found it very easy to read and feel as though my students would as well.
The book builds on some of the most reputable theories in lifespan development (Piaget, Erikson, Vygotsky).
I like that each stage of development is covered in separate chapters but it also results in very long chapters. For example chapter 3 is 44 pages long. That is a lot for students to digest so I would need to assign page numbers instead of chapters.
I like the breakdown of chapters into the developmental stages.
The book downloaded as a free PDF, no problems navigating.
No issues with grammar were noted.
Text and images appears to represent a wide arrange of different cultures.
The length of this book is a little intimidating but the content is excellent.
This is a very comprehensive Lifespan Developmental Psychology textbook (465 pgs). It covers not only psychology but also a fair amount of biology as well, and almost any other topis I can think of including relatively up-to-date research... read more
This is a very comprehensive Lifespan Developmental Psychology textbook (465 pgs). It covers not only psychology but also a fair amount of biology as well, and almost any other topis I can think of including relatively up-to-date research findings. However, one may say that it is good for neither one thing nor the other. Although comprehensive, this book lacks details in theory and data for upper level Developmental Psychology courses for our Psych majors. The book simply scratches the surface of many topics. On the other hand, there is simply too much information for our Gen Ed Human Development. What this means is that the instructors are required to work quite a bit before adopting it for a particular course, at least initially (e.g., finding supplemental readings for our majors, selecting small portions of this textbook appropriate for our Gen Ed students, etc.).
It is accurate for the topics it covers, but the discussions are often limited in details for the Psych majors.
Content is relatively up-to-date. However. with any textbook with cutting-edge research evidence, it is inevitable that that part of the book will require further editing in the near future.
It is clearly written and readable for any level of undergrads.
I noticed several sections with duplication (i.e., cut/paste) that needs editing
For those instructors who are adopting a part of this book (e.g., easy sections for Intro Developmental), it would be helpful if the subsections in each chapter were numbered (2-1, 2-2, etc.) so that they can be specified in the syllabus.
I like the fact that the References are provided not at the end of the book but immediately after each chapter. This allows the readers an easier access to the references if needed. Personally, however, I prefer a topic by topic (rather than chronological) arrangement of the chapters.
There are lots of Figures (mostly photographs from public domains) throughout the book that do not have any caption. I couldn’t tell what these pictures were for.
It includes a fair amount of cross-cultural studies
Having presented pros and cons above, would I adopt this book? Yes, I would for my Gen Ed course. That means after thoroughly reading this book, I have to handpick those sections that are general enough for the freshman/sophomore students, specify the pg numbers in syllabus, and align the contents with the exams that I already have for the course.
This book covers all of the age groups covered in a lifespan class, but consolidates some age groups to lengthy chapters. read more
This book covers all of the age groups covered in a lifespan class, but consolidates some age groups to lengthy chapters.
The book appears to be straight-forward and accurate. Several topics could use up-dating and it surprised me that it was last updated in 2019.
The photos seemed dated and some of the topics could be refreshed, but it did not impact my perception of the book as a whole.
Topics were clearly written and were approachable to a reader.
The writing and terminology appears to be consistent throughout the text.
The chapters were long and I feel like it may be difficult to divide into modules. I'm not sure how I would assign the readings in a fully online class if I adapted this text.
This is a book organized from birth to death, which is how I like to teach Lifespan. Someone who teaches a topical approach would struggle using this text.
You have to scroll through the text to find your page. There are not easy ways to jump to various sections of the text. I wanted to read particular sections that I feel are my areas of expertise and I found it cumbersome.
What I read appears correct and well-written.
Some of the pictures are culturally diverse, but I would like more examples and descriptions of other cultures within the text.
I appreciate that this book is available, but I am hesitant to adopt it at the moment. If it was updated, made easier to navigate and more cultural diversity was added, I would definitely switch.
The text was comprehensive and well-planned. Addresses major concepts and theories with numerous online links to facilitate further inquiry. read more
The text was comprehensive and well-planned. Addresses major concepts and theories with numerous online links to facilitate further inquiry.
Accurate content with good coverage of material. Commendable addition of inclusion of some “nontraditional” areas in developmental psychology.
Good use is made of numerous and diverse live links allowing readers to access various resources.
Written in a clear and coherent manner with some excellent examples. Content was presented in a manner that made it useful to varying levels of learners.
Chapters are well-structured and organized in a clear manner throughout.
Chapters contain logical sections with subheadings. Developmental Psychology lends itself well to a chronological format as used in this text.
Well-organized with consistency in addressing domains. Chapter sections well-segmented.
This text worked well with the online format. Contains numerous helpful graphs, diagrams, etc.
Grammatical errors were not apparent however a few spelling errors that one would hope would have been caught on review - “constructivitst’ and “constrctivist” in the same sentence cluster.
This book consistently incorporated attention to diversity. The unique influences of various cultures on developmental stages was well-addressed.
A comprehensive textbook that works well as an OER. I am intrigued by the possibility of using this as my primary text.
The text covers a wide range of topics related to development, including current trends and issues. read more
The text covers a wide range of topics related to development, including current trends and issues.
The text is accurate and includes a large number of references. It also includes important critiques of major theorists.
The structure of this text will allow it to be easily updated and continue to address important trends and issues.
Educational Psychology texts are often written with dense academic language that makes it a challenge for students to easily process and understand. This OER is written in a way that makes the information more accessible to students and will help keep their interest.
There is a consistent format and structure used throughout the text.
While the overall organization of the text is through chronological age, each chapter addresses many of the same topics in a way that would make it easy to focus on specific topics across different ages/chapters.
The text follows a consistent and logical organization.
The material is presented in a fashion that makes it easy to read and navigate.
No major grammatical errors or patterns were detected.
This text specifically addresses cultural differences related to the topics at hand in a way that is respectful and will help anyone working with a variety of cultures in the classroom.
Very comprehensive! All the major concepts and ideas are addressed, although sometimes briefly (as is necessary in a lifespan text). read more
Very comprehensive! All the major concepts and ideas are addressed, although sometimes briefly (as is necessary in a lifespan text).
On the whole, the content is accurate and consistent with most developmental texts. There are elements in the pre-natal development section (particularly around teratogens) that I do not believe are fully up-to-date and provide inaccurate or misleading information.
Content is highly relevant to the topic. While there are some topics that some would consider “supplemental” throughout, there is enough variety that individual instructors can tailor inclusion of these materials as they desire.
Material is presented in a clear and coherent manner throughout the text.
The structure within in chapter reflects consistent approaches to the material. The writing and thoughtfulness is consistently strong throughout.
Organization and structure lend themselves to including or excluding various elements as one chooses. Major sections are easily identified and segmented.
The overall organization is very good for a chronological developmental text. Within chapters, there is a consistent organization of physical, then cognitive, then psychosocial issues and within these sections, when relevant, consistencies in the order of presentation of theories and concepts.
Learning Objectives in each chapter were clear, if exclusively at the lower levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. I found the use of headings within chapters to be difficult to follow. It wasn’t always easy to see which sections where sub-sections of which ideas. Overall, this text is less visually “fun” than the big publisher versions, however, it is full of colorful photos, relevant graphs and diagrams.
Excellent! This text is easy to read, but is still written in an appropriate manner for lower-level college students.
There is excellent coverage of ideas for a United States audience relevant to US-centric concerns (for example, there are very good sections on LGBTQIA issues). However, mention of topics outside a US context are somewhat thin (especially in the first half of the text). To be fair, this reflects weaknesses in the field more generally (which are slowly being rectified). There is more comprehensive consideration of cross-cultural issues in later chapters. The prenatal development section felt somewhat maternal-blaming. While there were some explicit mentions that environmental factors were important, there was strong implication that most things which could go wrong were the “fault” of the mother. Nothing was explicitly stated in this way, but I felt there was too little explicit and implicit acknowledgement of the randomness that can sometimes cause less-than-ideal outcomes during pregnancy and birth.
I am grateful to our colleagues who have worked to put together this excellent resource! And in particular that you have chosen to make it available in a way that invites ongoing use/changes/updates! It allows me to use the many, many, MANY wonderful elements and tweak the few things that are not quite my personal pedagogical approach. I anticipate adopting this text next year!
The book provided good coverage of developmental psychology concepts. There was no index or glossary included, although the fact that the book is in an electronic format makes this less problematic than for a hard copy book. read more
The book provided good coverage of developmental psychology concepts. There was no index or glossary included, although the fact that the book is in an electronic format makes this less problematic than for a hard copy book.
The book seemed to present information accurately and presented multiple theories/perspectives on topics without getting too technical/detailed.
The book covers developmental psychology historical information and developmental basics well. More recent research is incorporated as well. The book's format seems to allow for updates to be easily made.
The book is easy to understand. In some cases illustrative examples help explain concepts that may be new to the reader. The reader would benefit from the use of additional examples.
The book's internal consistency is good, with chapters being organized in a similar format.
Developmental psychology allows for ease of modularity, and this text uses a chronological lifespan format.
The book was organized in the typical developmental psycology chronological format and then further broken down within each chapter by developmental domain: physical, cognitive, social. That was easy to follow. As future editions of the book lead to revisions within each domain, domain-specific organization and transitions can be reconsidered.
Navigation of the book was easy and seemed to work well in the electronic format. No display issues were noted.
The book had grammatical/typographical errors comparable in number to published textbooks.
A variety of examples were provided related to diversity of race, ethnicity, and background. Authors should continuously strive to enhance incorporation of these topics into books.
I appreciate the authors making this book available. I look forward to using it as a devopmental psychology text.
The text covers lifespan development content from birth until death. There is an Table of Contents with chapter sections and page numbers for reference. read more
The text covers lifespan development content from birth until death. There is an Table of Contents with chapter sections and page numbers for reference.
I found no grammatical errors, bias or inaccurate content.
The content of the textbook should become more and more relevant as the country recognizes the importance of understanding and responding to the needs of an aging generation of baby boomers. For the most part, content has been more focused on early childhood and infant development. When comparing the content to older lifespan development textbooks, I did not see many issues where changes in a short period of time were necessary for updating the text. For the most part, issues of development covered here have remained relatively unchanged over time. Particularly in an introductory survey course, more in-depth analysis of changes and consequences such as those resulting from science or technology, are not expected here but can be further explored in graduate or higher level specialized courses on a topic.
The textbook is written at a level appropriate for the students at my HBCU, many of whom are first generation college students. Terminology, when used, is defined. Figures and Tables assist in interpreting the prose.
The terminology and framework in the text is internally consistent and is particularly suited to a lifespan approach. It helps to understand the continuity of life from birth to death and how earlier stages of development impact later ones when the terminology and framework are consistent.
I would have preferred that the text was divided into more chapters than 10 to better align with a typical semester of 15 weeks. Students tend to understand and work better on a chapter by chapter basis than on subsections in my experience.
After a well written introduction, the text presented the chapter is a logical fashion that followed the normal human developmental process from birth to aging/death.
I was able to both view the textbook online and download it and make a copy. I had no interface, navigational or display feature problems in either context. I intend to offer this textbook in an online format.
I found no grammatical errors, and I am a stickler for that in the academic setting.
I teach at an HBCU with mainly non-traditional students so cultural sensitivity is important to me in choosing content. The cover of the textbook is of a diverse family which is immediately welcoming. In the chapter are other culturally diverse images such as in Figure 1.1.
I have adopted this book for my Spring 2020 course CDFS 303 Lifespan Development in the Family. I am happy to give the students the benefit of not having to purchase an expensive textbook, which many of them were unable to do, and still benefit from the readings. I have recommended this book to my colleagues as well.
This text addresses all aspects of human growth and development that I cover in my course. read more
This text addresses all aspects of human growth and development that I cover in my course.
This text is accurate up to its published date, 2017.
Published in 2017, so relatively up to date, but there's always few opportunities for updates here and there.
This text is quite user friendly and quick to read.
The text has solid internal consistency.
This book covers all the basics, but just the basics. This text does not contain a lot of additional fluff that other texts contain.
This text was well organized.
No issues with navigation.
I found no grammatical issues.
The text does a fine job covering the basics, but the field of psychology in general has a ways to go to become inclusive.
I chose this text for an accelerated course- I needed a book that accurately and concisely covered all my key concepts, which this did. However, this text did not have as many opportunities/ asides to provide further reading for students interested in specific areas as I have seen in other textbooks. If you are looking for fluff, this is not your textbook. However, I intend on continuing to use this text in my accelerated classes, as it was perfect for a quick overview that my students could manage in a short amount of time.
The textbook covers human development across the lifespan. It is presented in the chronological framework. Each chapter provides an in-depth look at that stage of development. However, there is no glossary of key terms or index. Students would... read more
The textbook covers human development across the lifespan. It is presented in the chronological framework. Each chapter provides an in-depth look at that stage of development. However, there is no glossary of key terms or index. Students would have to rely on the search text feature of their PDF reader.
To the best of my knowledge, the information presented within the textbook is accurate. The one area for improvement in relational to accuracy would be the updating some of the sections to use more inclusive terminology (e.g., Children with Disabilities, p. 176).
The textbook is was last revised in 2017. I did come across one or two content areas that should have been updated for the latest edition (e.g., Box 2.3 on p. 50--the Tennessee Law has since been changed; Figure 1.18 p. 2006--it would be very easy to update the years on the basic figure as the years do not relate to any specific study it is simply a schematic of research design).
The textbook is written at a level that lower-level undergraduate students can understand.
Terminology and framework is consistent throughout textbook.
The text is divided into 10 chapters. There are subsections within each chapter if the instructor wishes to break up readings assignments into smaller chunks.
Chronological presentation of human development.
Textbook is easy to navigate within your PDF reader. Tables and Figures are clear. Each hyperlink I tested within the textbook worked properly.
No to minimal grammatical errors.
The textbook does an adequate job describing that human development occurs in variety of contexts, one of those contexts being culture. However, the textbook could provide a more in-depth description of the impact of culture on various developmental concepts. For example, the textbook frequently states, "in some cultures, ...." but, more often then not, textbook does not describe the different patterns of behavior or specify what culture is being referenced.
It is great to have an open textbook aimed at lifespan development however I would like to see a few improvements to make it more competitive against the ebooks for-profit publishers are providing: 1) glossary of terms and/or definitions in the margins 2) improved figures and creation of figure captions 3) inclusion of examples of applications of concepts that show students how the information can be directly applied to various careers 4) hyperlinks within the text--for example if students click on one of the learning objectives at the beginning of the chapter, they are taken to the section of that chapter that addresses that specific objective. 5) inclusion of reading comprehension questions for students to check themselves on before moving on to next section.
The comprehensiveness of the textbook is interesting, as there are only ten chapters. In other words, the authors pack a great deal of information into each chapter. This book covers all of the requisite topics for an introductory or survey... read more
The comprehensiveness of the textbook is interesting, as there are only ten chapters. In other words, the authors pack a great deal of information into each chapter. This book covers all of the requisite topics for an introductory or survey developmental psychology course.
This is an introductory level textbook, so specific research found in higher level courses would be missing. For the most part, this text covers the basics well, and any inaccuracies are negligible and can be overcome with good discussion.
The thoroughness of the coverage, which is a strength, makes this text very relevant to get a good discussion of actual human development going.
This textbook is very easy to read and follow. Any technical terms and theoretical concepts are well defined and illustrated within an applicable context.
There is no real individual psychological perspectives evident here beyond the basic introduction to this context of human psychology. For this reason, all areas of the human lifespan get fair coverage and presentation.
With a lifespan development course, it is easier to present material that can be discussed as physical, cognitive, or socioemotional. This textbook is divided by stage of life alone. For this reason, it may be difficult to separate chapters into smaller reading sections easily.
The text follows a nice, logical pathway through the human lifespan with a pretty strong connection between stages of development.
Technically, the presentation of the textbook comes without flaw.
There is no consistently evident problem with grammatical errors.
There is a pleasant focus on diversity and inclusion in both the text and the illustrations. There is some attempt to apply the principles discussed beyond the dominant culture of America, without this being forced and artificial.
I would highly recommend this textbook for an introductory, 200-level developmental psychology course. It hits all the right points and is engaging enough to stimulate some good class discussions.
This textbook is VERY comprehensive and covers lifespan development from prenatal development to death and dying. There is a very detailed Table of Contents; making it easy to find age groupings, theories, or concepts in development. There is no... read more
This textbook is VERY comprehensive and covers lifespan development from prenatal development to death and dying. There is a very detailed Table of Contents; making it easy to find age groupings, theories, or concepts in development. There is no glossary, which would be helpful to find mentions of a specific term. Overall this textbook covers a great deal of material, without delving into the topic of atypical development.
The developmental theories and definitions were accurate.
Most of the content is still current, and the publication dates for this text is 2017. However there is an emphasis on Howard Gardener's Multiple Intelligence theory in Chapter 5 which has much research against it currently. Rather in the field we now advocate for more of a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approach or a multi-sensory/hands-on approach to learning. Neither of which are mentioned in the text.
This text would be easy to read and accessible for an undergraduate course in child/adolescent/lifespan development.
Yes, this text is internally consistent.
I plan on using only several chapters of this textbook for a focus on child development ages 3-elementary; chapters 1, 4, and 5. These chapters do make sense on their own and will work as good content for my child development course. However, I wished that the theories that were mentioned, a few in each chapters, either could have all been combined in one chapter, or were easier to pull for individual readings for an online course.
Other than the theories, the book moves in a linear fashion from prenatal development to death and dying. Theories are interspersed in a variety of chapters.
It was easy for me to navigate through the textbook. Images and charts were clear.
This textbook used accurate grammar and writing conventions.
The book does not mention cultural diversity, cultural bias, diversity of children and families, and other key topics needed in a child development text. Supplemental material will be needed to focus on this subject.
On the whole, the book is very comprehensive, though there were a few places where it could have used a bit more. I did not see much on atypical development outside early childhood years which would be beneficial to include. It would also be... read more
On the whole, the book is very comprehensive, though there were a few places where it could have used a bit more. I did not see much on atypical development outside early childhood years which would be beneficial to include. It would also be nice to see a wider range of cultural studies. The text does not utilize a glossary, but the words are defined in the chapters and you can search the document if using as an e-book to find words which is even easier than a traditional glossary. Though if a student wants to print out the text, a glossary would be helpful.
This textbook is a straightforward discussion of human life span development which, as a field, is always growing. This book is largely current and accurate, but there should be updates as some references are older. Though the information is presented without bias and with references for further research.
The book is current and mostly up to date (as of 2019), though some of the references are a bit old. It worked when the authors were using the original work for a theory but other sources could be updated. For example, the media and development section didn’t touch social media. Including some of the newer studies would increase relevance to the technological age we are in.
The text is clear, easy to read, and understandable while still providing in-depth information. The graphics helped to clarify ideas, especially when explaining or comparing theories.
The look and feel of the text hold consistency through the document. Chapters were presented with continuing themes (such as Erikson’s stages in each life stage) and all work is referenced.
This text is sectioned into logical chunks that can be taught individually or in conjunction with each other. You do not need to read one chapter to understand the following one meaning the book could be taught any number of different ways to match with a variety of courses.
The book is organized into age periods, which is the way I think about the course information, though not the way I have always seen it presented in a text. So, the overall organization matched my thinking quite nicely. This organization also makes it easy to break the text into sections if the entire life span is separated over multiple classes (for example, if someone taught birth through adolescence only).
The text is pleasant to look at with calming colors and a variety of images and graphics that represent cultural diversity. There are no digital or navigational issues with the book.
I did not find any grammatical errors or issues.
The text is not offensive or insulting to any group and handles discussions of differences well. There are some representations of cultures and ages, though this book would benefit from a wider range of faces in images and of experimental studies conducted by / for nonwhite populations.
The book is quite comprehensive. It addresses all developmental milestones and the major theories that accompany them. It provides appropriate depth to each topic and offers a thorough explanation of the subject. The book does not possess an... read more
The book is quite comprehensive. It addresses all developmental milestones and the major theories that accompany them. It provides appropriate depth to each topic and offers a thorough explanation of the subject. The book does not possess an index and/or glossary but defines all terminology in each chapter.
The book is accurate, error-free and unbiased. It is a straightforward presentation of Lifespan material in and objective and researched light. There are references at the end of each chapter to support the context of the text. There are no attempts to persuade the reader into to thinking that there is a correct or incorrect way to think about the material presented in each chapter. It is factual and the facts are supported by multiple references in most cases.
The content is currently up-to-date (as of 2/2019). There are a variety of references provided for the material presented. Some of the references are current and some are rather dated. In some cases the authors went to the original source for a theory or study, which is fine for most clearly presenting the idea; however, at other times the references for material in the text were from the 1980's or 1990's and could soon be or already be considered obsolete. On the bright side, the material is written in such a way that it should not be difficult to up-date this text with more modern references throughout the book.
The book is very clear and written in easily understandable terms. Everything is defined and explained in a thorough manner for most undergraduate readers. Yet, it is sophisticated enough that I am planning on adopting it for my graduate human development course. This is because while it defines most terms and explains most theories, it does so in such a way that it provides enough depth to substantiate the theory or term presented.
This book is presented in order of development from pre-birth to old age and dying, touching upon milestones and developmental considerations along the way. It is internally sound and all work is referenced and themes are carried from chapter to chapter. For example, Erikson's Psychosocial Stages are presented in each chapter, as well as physical aspects of development. As noted earlier, all terminology is supported by referenced material which addes to the structural integrity of this text.
The book is readily divided up into different modules. One chapter is not dependent upon the next for a thorough understanding of each stage of development. The book could be assigned in any order without difficulty or too much self-referencing.
The book is organized in the most logical fashion for a developmental textbook: from birth to old age. It breaks down into the following chapters: An introduction; Heredity, Prenatal Development, Birth; Infancy & Toddlerhood; Early Childhood; Middle & Late Childhood; Adolescence; Emerging and Early Adulthood; Middle Adulthood; Late Adulthood; Death & Dying. It is free from technical jargon and presents material in a logical and understandable manner.
The images and diagrams in the text represent diverse populations in terms of age, gender, race and LGBTQA populations. The images and diagrams enhance the text and are pleasing to look at.
The book has excellent grammar and is free from typographical errors.
The text is not culturally offensive and the pictures are very diverse. The text itself makes good references and is inclusive of the LGBTQA populations. There are not too many other diverse populations represented, apart from age and gender. There are some considerations given to racial and ethnic differences but not enough. The book would benefit from more multicultural references.
The courses I teach primarily cover birth through middle childhood, so my review focused most heavily on chapters 1-5. The text is comprehensive in that it covers a wide range of topics you would expect in such a book. However, it may be... read more
The courses I teach primarily cover birth through middle childhood, so my review focused most heavily on chapters 1-5. The text is comprehensive in that it covers a wide range of topics you would expect in such a book. However, it may be improved by providing more depth in many of the areas. Even for use in a broad survey course, it would be nice to have more examples to help students understand the basic concepts they are reading about. For example, when covering longitudinal research, I might expect the author to mention an example of landmark longitudinal research in the field. There are certainly some examples (e.g., mentions Piaget when discussing case studies), but not to the degree I'm accustomed to in other textbooks. This text would also benefit from a glossary. While an eText allows students to search for terms easily, for those students who print the pdf (for preference or issues of accessibility), a glossary would be helpful.
A few errors stood out, and makes me imagine there are others in areas outside my expertise that I did not catch. One small example is the author lacks accuracy in stating: "Although the behaviorists were incorrect in their beliefs that it was not possible to measure thoughts and feelings". This is a misunderstanding and oversimplification of Skinner's analysis of public versus private events. Skinner, and other subsequent radical behaviorists, welcomed the scientific analysis of private events, and noted each individual is the observer of their own thoughts. The view that private events have no place in science was that of Watson and the methodological behaviorists. Being a half century past the shift to radical behaviorism, it may be time to start representing the field of behaviorism more accurately.
Mostly relevant with many 2016 citations. As a 2017 publication however, I would have expected the author to use more up-to-date data in some areas. For example, the author referenced a 2012 CDC publication with autism prevalence data from 2008 (1 in 88 children in US). It would have been more relevant to use 2016 publications which showed CDC prevalence rates were then 1 in 68 children in the US. With that said, the text is written in a way that could be easily updated (2018 publication of CDC numbers estimate the prevalence of ASD to be 1 in 59 in US).
I believe students would enjoy the clarity of this text, in terms of its concise writing. This text does a nice job of avoiding jargon, or clearly explaining the terminology when it is used. Where I think it could improve is in providing some additional examples to illustrate some concepts. Additional figures or links to videos might really benefit readers in their ability to quickly digest material.
There seems to be a clear framework that is easy to follow across all chapters. The text is easy to navigate in terms of its internal consistency.
This text could be used in a modular fashion. I could easily see taking chapters 1, 4 & 5 to use in my course on early and middle childhood. One area that adversely impacts modularity, which I touch on in the organization section as well, is how the book covers individuals with disabilities. For example, discussion of ASD is self contained in the chapter on early childhood. While the author briefly touches on the ability of adults with autism to live and work independently, this would be missed if using a modular approach of only assigning the chapter on adulthood.
As is typical of many other human development texts, the author does a nice job of consistently referencing hallmark theories (e.g. Erikson's stages of development) across the chronological chapters. This allows for the reader to build upon prior knowledge, but is done in a way that doesn't limit modularity too much. One area for improvement would be looking at atypical development and individuals experiencing disabilities across all chapters. Discussions of lifelong disabilities, such as Down syndrome, tended to be concentrated in early chapters, without touching on how individual's lives might be impacted in adulthood. This tends to be a problem with other human development texts as well, where atypical development is treated more as a token issue, often as a standalone chapter.
Images and charts are all clearly displayed in the pdf. While navigation could be improved by including links to more outside sources, or the ability to easily jump between chapters and topics by clicking on the index, there are no significant interface issues. I think users of eTexts have come to expect them to be a little easier to navigate through internal links between chapters or to a glossary (if it had one).
Grammatical errors did not strike me as an issue when reading this text.
While no text is perfect, as described by some other reviewers, I found myself wanting a greater focus on diversity. It would have been nice to see a focus not only on issues of race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, but also on topics like military culture, immigrant culture, and disability culture.
Overall, I found this to be one of the strongest OER options for human development I've come across, at least for an undergraduate survey course. It is easy to think about topics that could be enhanced, such as cultural perspectives, but I think it is worth remembering that there is a finite amount of content that can be covered in one semester. No one text can meet the needs for all courses in developmental psychology or human development, but I thank the authors for creating and sharing something that likely fits the needs for some course very well.
Overall I found this text to be very comprehensive in covering all of the developmental stages and topics that I have used in other textbooks. It has a good layout of information that is for the most part relevant and up to date. read more
Overall I found this text to be very comprehensive in covering all of the developmental stages and topics that I have used in other textbooks. It has a good layout of information that is for the most part relevant and up to date.
I found at least one instance of out of date information- in Chapter 2 it discusses the law that went into effect in Tennessee that women who use drugs while pregnant can be charged, however that bill was allowed to sunset in 2016 and that is no longer the case so this is outdated information. Hopefully this OER text will be reviewed regularly and updated.
I noticed that in discussing Children and The Media in Chapter 4 there is but a brief paragraph or two and it only pertains to tv not social media or any devices such as smartphones or tablets which are a huge topic of developmental discussion. Also, I do not see any mention of social media and it's influence on teens in the chapter on adolescence. Would need to provide up to date and supplementary materials.
Yes I found the text and writing to be very precise, clear and easy to comprehend for students. Didn't seem to be too much terminology and if used it was defined pretty well.
Yes the layout and structure in which material/theories were covered was consistent throughout the text. The reader knows what to expect in terms of presentation and formatting.
There are quite a few sub-headings and divisions or modulations within the chapters. It isn't the easiest to "pull out a chunk of material" because of the pdf formatting. Would prefer linking to different sections.
I found the text to be fairly well organized.
I just have to say I am not a fan of the pdf format. I have used several other OER texts and they all have the ability to link to different sections within the text or chapters and you can present by Chapter instead of directing someone just to a certain page/chapter. As a hardcover book that is fine, however, I think that online users are expecting more functionality. Also, there aren't any links to supplemental videos, articles or activities which is another aspect that needs improvement.
Grammar was fine.
I appreciated the section on cultural differences in end of life decisions in the final chapter. Also, the section on gay and lesbian elders was refreshing to see included and something that is not currently in a text I use. I liked that!
Overall it is an ok option if you just essentially want an ebook, however as I stated above I think other OER resources have a lot more functionality than this text which is in a pdf format. Not very user friendly and wouldn't be my first choice to use for my students.
The research and experiment chapter was easily readable, attractive and enticing. Good, solid, well rounded text. I will highly recommend this text. read more
The research and experiment chapter was easily readable, attractive and enticing. Good, solid, well rounded text. I will highly recommend this text.
The content is accurate. A bit of bias is felt. However, due to readers biases the authors did a good job of masking biases with good solid research that was sited and created unbiased accurate content.
Graphics and photos are helpful and are nicely relevant and certainly adds great clarity. The text easily blends the valid content and includes relevant updates that flow nicely. Organized to easily create new updates. Epigenetics could have been more thoroughly covered.
The text is written with excellent clarity with a simplification of jargon that makes material easy to grasp quickly.
The text is consistent, with topics flowing together and broken up into easily readable subheadings, and tables/graphs/charts/images all flowing nicely. Terminology is consistent.
Good modularity which is consistent throughout the text. Subheadings are clear, easy to read and flow nicely to the eye. Self-referential is not present. Text is easily divisible into smaller reading sections that make it easy to grab topics out of their context. Modularity is also well balanced with the flow, fluidity and relatedness of previous subunits. Especially good flow for online reading and easy page accessibility.
It is easy to page up and down and clearly see the logical organization, again especially as an online pdf. The organization is excellent!
The charts, images, photos and graphics are free of distractions regarding interface issues. They are nicely placed and spaced throughout the text and fall appealingly on the page. Easy for the eye to track and to organize.
The textbook is grammatically correct.
Love the picture on the cover! Great start. Excellent examples that are culturally relevant, especially in the “classroom” section of chapter 5 and remain consistently exceptional throughout the text.
I will use this textbook the next opportunity I have to teach Human Development with the option of choosing which text to use!!!!
Much of the content presented in the chapters is standard for most lifespan development textbooks. read more
Much of the content presented in the chapters is standard for most lifespan development textbooks.
I did not notice many errors, however there were places in the the textbook where the authors clearly presented their bias. For example, in chapter 4 when discussing childhood disciplinary practices the authors only discussed the harmful affects of corporal punishment; however, there are other scholars who have highlighted the benefit of such disciplinary practices especially among different cultural groups. Both perspectives should have been presented.
In some areas, the content was not up to date. For example, in chapter 10 which contains information about death and dying the authors only mentioned that in 1997 Oregon had laws which facilitate dignity in dying where patients can choose to die on their own terms. However, since 1997 I believe there are three states (California, Colorado, and Hawaii) and Washington DC who all have passed these laws. This needs to be updated in the textbook. Also in chapter 8 the authors really did not discuss how women are delaying marriage and child-bearing along with the content related to marriage. And the information on marriage could have included more topics related to cultural diversity because African American women tend to have the highest rates of being single than other ethnic groups. This was left out of the textbook. Another omission was in discussing maternal mortality. The authors only cited PID as the cause for infertility but PCOS and endometriosis are two other conditions which could contribute to infertility in women. So the authors should update this too.
The textbook was written in clear and uncomplicated way. The information presented in this textbook is succinct and brief which may make undergraduate students more apt to read this textbook. It was very simple and easy to read.
I really liked how the authors used Erickson's lifespan development across several chapters. I have used other lifespan development textbooks that followed this same format. This consistency allowed the reader to have easy access to the theory so that they could apply it to various stages of development.
Each chapter had several subheadings and headings. The material was arranged in such a way that the content flowed very well. The subheadings made sense and were relevant to the larger headings.
The chapters followed the normal stages of development and were well organized.
I am not sure if this would be possible but it would be helpful if the reader could click onto the chapter and just pull it up. Since the document is in a pdf format, the reader has to scroll up and down if they wanted to move back and forth in the textbook. This was a bit cumbersome.
I did not notice any grammatical errors.
The authors made an effort to include cultural diversity and LGBT issues in the textbook. I certainly applaud their efforts, but in some ways things fell a little short in this area. For example, issues of adverse childhood experiences was not mentioned. Social issues like poverty, childhood homelessness and incarcerated parents were also omitted. It seems as though the book could also benefit from including some sociological perspectives to deepen their attempts to include diversity. They also did not include all types of families in chapter 5. They did not include trans-racial adoption or multicultural families where the parents are of different races. So the area of cultural diversity could be enhanced.
Overall this textbook would be useful in a undergraduate course. The instructor would definitely have to supplement the materials to include content that is not only up to date but also includes more sociological perspectives in understanding lifespan development.
The book content matches what I currently teach. read more
The book content matches what I currently teach.
I did not find any big errors. They do discuss how the Attachment Q-Sort is a solid, contemporary way to measure attachment, but there are issues with this method.
I did not notice any issues with relevance.
The prose is clear and easy to understand.
There are some topics that are not discussed enough (e.g., temperament), and some topics that are not even developmental in scope that are covered in too much detail (e.g., components of memory).
There are subheadings.
There are several chapters that seem choppy (i.e., the sections stand alone and are not well connected).
I had no issues.
Nothing stood out.
Culture is covered, but I believe it could be covered even more.
Overall, I believe this textbook provides a good overview on human development. The writing is well-suited for introductory students. Some of the concepts that were included that stand out in a positive way include: (a) a good description of how the field has changed from just looking at childhood to looking at the whole lifespan; (b) the use of the multidimensional, multidirectional, multidisciplinary, multicontextual, and plastic approach to development; (c) the inclusion of a description about archival data/secondary analysis, because a lot of developmental data is longitudinal; and (d) the theories of aging (i.e., why do we age). Some of the more minor issues include: (a) There were some structure issues. I think some of this could be solved by including more clear headings or including an outline of the topics that would be covered in each chapter. It does feel a little like, “Here’s everything you need to know about this age,” without good transitions or an understanding of how topics are related to one another. Students may struggle with processing all of the information as it is presented. (b) There were some citation issues. I want students to have good models for their own writing. There were several sections of the book that made claims about research findings without a single citation. As examples, SES was linked to poor health and various other outcomes (p. 11) without a single citation. Also, the section on genetics (Ch. 2) does not have enough citations to support the claims stated. This citation issue was not found in every chapter – some sections were better than others—but it happened enough to where I took notice. (c) I would ideally like more discussions of culture; however, the book does talk about some aspect of culture in every chapter. (d) There were some topics that were discussed in too much detail given that the topics are not inherently developmental. For example, the authors go into a lot of detail about the different types of memory in chapter 4 (e.g., discusses rehearsal, different types of declarative memories) and into a lot of detail about sex in chapter 7 (e.g., phases in sexual response cycle, role of the hypothalamus, STIs). (e) And there are some topics that, while they may be developmental, are described in more detail than I have seen before in a developmental textbook. For example, (a) there was more detail than other books on prenatal development, pregnancy, and childbirth;(b) I have never seen as much detail about Piaget’s theory in any textbook (not even a child development book that has more time to focus on Piaget); (c) there was a lot of detail on sports and sports involvement, and (d) the sections on childhood issues (e.g., genetic disorders, childhood disabilities, communication disorders) were too detailed given that they seemed more biological or medical than psychological. Note that I am not saying that these issues do not have psychological components, but rather that that is not the way they are presented. They’re presented simply as biological/medical descriptions. (f) There were also some topics that were not detailed enough. My biggest area of complaint in this area relates to temperament. The authors spent too much time focusing on Thomas and Chess, which we know is an outdated view, and spent very little time talking about contemporary approaches to temperament or children’s personality. Some of the more major issues include: (a) One of the things that bothers me about this textbook is that there are VERY few critical thinking questions that lead students to think deeply about the material. Of course, these questions can be addressed in the classroom, but the book does not include any real aspects of active learning. (b) I wish the textbook had more “science” built into it. The introduction sets up the field as scientific, but there is often little discussion about how the scientific method is essential to the findings presented. Chapter 3 stands out as doing this better – there is more incorporation of research methods, study findings, and some issues with measurement – but other chapters were deficient (c) Relatedly, given that I am teaching my lifespan course in a psychology department, we talk about how developmental psychology is much more than understanding the “whats” and the “whens” of development. We really are aiming to uncover the “hows,” “for whoms,” and “under what conditions”. Essentially, I want my students to better understand mechanisms. This book, compared to about five others that I have either used or previously reviewed, seems to talk more about the “whats” and “whens”, and in my opinion, these are less psychological. For example, topics like (a) when to introduce solid foods, (b) toilet training tips, (c) healthy eating, and (d) how to choose between preschool programs seem more suited to students who are taking a child development course in high school rather than students who are pursuing the scientific study of human development. I realize that this may have been the goal of the authors – perhaps they wanted their textbook to have flexibility for different types of courses. For me, this takes away from the messages that I tell my students. Will I use this book in my course? In short, I have not decided yet. As noted above, the content that I normally expect my students to know (except for temperament!) is present within this textbook. However, students are not going to be asked to use their critical thinking or scientific literacy skills in this book as much as other books.
The text is comparative to other texts in the field. However, disability inclusive issues across the lifespan would add for a more comprehensive outlook. read more
The text is comparative to other texts in the field. However, disability inclusive issues across the lifespan would add for a more comprehensive outlook.
Book has used prominent literature to support context.
Information included is relevant to each topic area and today's society.
Book is easy to follow and undergraduate level students will be able to comprehend the information included in the text.
Consistent with related texts.
Book is organized into sections that make it easy to break up reading the content.
The book has a good flow and is easy to understand. Flow is consistent with others in the field.
Images included are appropriate however more vibrant images would make for a more user-friendly book.
Book is not culturally insensitive. However more references to other cultures would make for a more inclusive book.
The book is easy to follow and navigate. Information is consistent with for sale texts in the field.
Overall, the text covers a wide array of topics within this subject, but the degree of depth to which these topics are covered varies. Career development isn’t introduced until the section on emerging adulthood. Research dating back 50+ years... read more
Overall, the text covers a wide array of topics within this subject, but the degree of depth to which these topics are covered varies. Career development isn’t introduced until the section on emerging adulthood. Research dating back 50+ years discusses career development in the context of childhood and adolescence. Not including career development is a disservice to the career development programming that has been done and continues to be done in K-12 settings. The textbook covers many of the theories of human development, but does not introduce all of them in the first chapter. Only a select few are covered in this introduction; other theories are introduced in later chapters in the point in the lifespan during which this theory becomes most salient. This is problematic, as the stages are not firmly restricted to these age bands. A review of all theories in the beginning would be helpful to the reader. The book does not cover some theories (e.g., Spiritual development). Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are not covered at all, and the research has been around for 20 years. Any discussion of human development that does not include this research is incomplete. Other topics (e.g., sexuality, gender identity) are presented in greater detail than other texts I’ve seen. The discussion of grief models, especially refutations of the Kubler-Ross model, are excellent and represent modern research.
The information presented in the text appears to be accurate, with the exception of a few areas that need to be updated with contemporary research.
The text does not include contemporary research on Adverse Childhood Experiences, neuroimaging, and neuropsychology. This contemporary research has enhanced or refuted many long-held theories and must be represented in any discussion of human development
The information presented is written clearly and in a way that is easy to understand and comprehend.
The book appears to be presented in a consistent manner, with regard to terminology, framework, and layout. The authors were not consistent with the depth to which topics are covered; this may be an indication of the authors areas of interest and areas for development.
The book is chunked very well. The chapters are broken down in a rational manner and each chapter includes many smaller sections with headings.
The book is chunked very well. The chapters are broken down in a rational manner and each chapter includes many smaller sections with headings. The authors were not consistent with the depth to which topics are covered; this may be an indication of the authors areas of interest and areas for development.
The book has a very good look. The table of contents is navigable, and there are links to sources embedded within. The graphics, tables, and charts are clear and readable.
The authors use correct grammar and have edited the book well for mechanical and grammatical errors.
The book presents cultural information more completely in some areas and more incompletely in other areas. This is an area of the text that could use additional fine-tuning. Stereotype threat introduced in the section on age, although the research emerged from discussions of race and ethnicity. The book covers sexuality and gender identity in more depth than other texts I’ve used.
Based on the current edition of the text, I cannot say that I would use this book over a traditionally published text without having to provide many additional readings to supplement incomplete areas. At best, there are chapters from this text I could see assigning to supplement additional readings.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Introduction to Lifespan Development
- Chapter 2: Heredity, Prenatal Development, and Birth
- Chapter 3: Infancy and Toddlerhood
- Chapter 4: Early Childhood
- Chapter 5: Middle and Late Childhood
- Chapter 6: Adolescence
- Chapter 7: Emerging and Early Adulthood
- Chapter 8: Middle Adulthood
- Chapter 9: Late Adulthood
- Chapter 10: Death and Dying
About the Book
This textbook introduces the idea of lifespan development from a psychological perspective.
About the Contributors
Martha Lally is an Instructor in the Psychology department at the College of Lake County.
Suzanne Valentine-French is an Instructor in the Psychology department at the College of Lake County.