Lifespan Development: A Psychological Perspective
Martha Lally, College of Lake County
Suzanne Valentine-French, College of Lake County
Pub Date: 2017
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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I found at least one instance of out of date information- in Chapter 2 it discusses the law that went into effect in Tennessee that women who use drugs while pregnant can be charged, however that bill was allowed to sunset in 2016 and that is no longer the case so this is outdated information.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.