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Developmental Psychology by Elizabeth Hurlock: A Review

Developmental Psychology by Elizabeth Hurlock: A Review

Developmental psychology is the scientific study of how humans grow and change throughout their lifespan. It covers various aspects of physical, cognitive, social and emotional development from conception to old age. One of the classic textbooks in this field is Developmental Psychology by Elizabeth Hurlock, first published in 1953 and revised several times until the fifth edition in 1980.

The book is divided into four parts: Part I deals with the principles and methods of developmental psychology; Part II covers the prenatal and postnatal development from birth to two years; Part III focuses on the childhood and adolescence stages from two to twenty years; and Part IV examines the adulthood and old age stages from twenty to eighty years. Each part consists of several chapters that explore the main topics and issues related to each stage of development, such as physical growth, motor skills, perception, learning, memory, language, intelligence, personality, emotions, socialization, morality, sexuality and adjustment.


The book is written in a clear and engaging style, with numerous examples, illustrations and tables to support the theoretical concepts and empirical findings. The book also provides a historical and cross-cultural perspective on developmental psychology, highlighting the contributions of various pioneers and researchers from different countries and cultures. The book also reflects the author's own extensive experience as a teacher and a researcher in developmental psychology.

The book is intended for undergraduate students who are interested in learning about human development. It can also be useful for graduate students, teachers, parents, counselors and anyone who wants to understand themselves and others better. The book is available in PDF format for free download from various online sources[^1^] [^2^]. However, some readers may prefer to buy a hard copy or an e-book version from online or offline bookstores.In this article, I will review some of the main themes and topics covered in each part of the book. I will also highlight some of the strengths and limitations of the book, as well as some of the updates and changes that have occurred in the field of developmental psychology since the last edition of the book.

Part I: Principles and Methods of Developmental Psychology

This part introduces the basic concepts and terminology of developmental psychology, such as development, maturation, learning, heredity, environment, continuity, discontinuity, stages, norms and individual differences. It also discusses the goals and methods of developmental psychology, such as observation, experimentation, longitudinal and cross-sectional studies, case studies and surveys. It also explains the ethical issues and challenges involved in conducting research with human subjects, especially children.

One of the strengths of this part is that it provides a comprehensive and accessible overview of the foundations and scope of developmental psychology. It also helps the reader to understand the assumptions and limitations of different approaches and techniques used in studying human development. One of the limitations of this part is that it does not include some of the newer and emerging methods and perspectives in developmental psychology, such as neuroimaging, genetics, epigenetics, evolutionary psychology and cultural psychology.

Part II: Prenatal and Postnatal Development

This part covers the development of the human organism from conception to two years of age. It describes the processes and stages of prenatal development, such as fertilization, implantation, embryonic development, fetal development and birth. It also explains the factors that can affect prenatal development, such as maternal health, nutrition, stress, drugs, alcohol, infections and environmental hazards. It also discusses the methods and outcomes of prenatal diagnosis and intervention.

It also covers the development of the newborn and infant in terms of physical growth, reflexes, sensory capacities, motor skills, sleep patterns, feeding habits and emotional expressions. It also describes the cognitive development of infants in terms of perception, learning, memory and language. It also examines the social development of infants in terms of attachment, temperament, self-awareness and social interaction.

One of the strengths of this part is that it provides a detailed and accurate account of the biological and psychological aspects of prenatal and postnatal development. It also emphasizes the importance of early experiences and interactions for shaping later development. One of the limitations of this part is that it does not include some of the recent advances and discoveries in prenatal and postnatal development, such as epigenetic influences, fetal learning and memory, neonatal imitation and social cognition.

Part III: Childhood and Adolescence

This part covers the development of children and adolescents from two to twenty years of age. It describes the physical growth and changes that occur during this period, such as height, weight, body proportions, sexual maturation and puberty. It also explains the factors that can affect physical development, such as nutrition, exercise, illness 0efd9a6b88

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