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Laura E. Berk is a distinguished professor of psychology at Illinois State University, where she has taught child and human development to both undergraduate and graduate students for more than three decades. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in child development and educational psychology from the University of Chicago. She has been a visiting scholar at Cornell University, UCLA, Stanford University, and the University of South Australia.
Berk has published widely on the effects of school environments on children’s development, the development of private speech, and recently, the role of make-believe play in development. Her research has been funded by the U.S. Office of Education and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. It has appeared in many prominent journals, including Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, Development and Psychopathology, and Early Childhood Research Quarterly. Her empirical studies have attracted the attention of the general public, leading to contributions to Psychology Today and Scientific American. She has also been featured on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and in Parents Magazine, Wondertime, and Reader’s Digest.
Berk has served as research editor of Young Children and consulting editor of Early Childhood Research Quarterly. Currently, she is associate editor of the Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology. She is a frequent contributor to edited volumes on early childhood development, having recently authored chapters on the importance of parenting, on make-believe play and self-regulation, and on the kindergarten child. She has also written the chapter on development for The Many Faces of Psychological Research in the Twenty-First Century (Society for the Teaching of Psychology), the article on social development for The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion, the article on Vygotsky for the Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science, and the chapter on storytelling as a teaching strategy for Voices of Experience: Memorable Talks from the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology (Association for Psychological Science).
Berk’s books include Private Speech: From Social Interaction to Self-Regulation, Scaffolding Children’s Learning: Vygotsky and Early Childhood Education, Landscapes of Development: An Anthology of Readings, and A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool: Presenting the Evidence. In addition to Child Development, she is author of the best-selling texts Infants, Children, and Adolescents and Development Through the Lifespan, published by Pearson. Her book for parents and teachers is Awakening Children’s Minds: How Parents and Teachers Can Make a Difference.
Berk is active in work for children’s causes. In addition to service in her home community, she is a member of the national board of directors and chair of the Chicago advisory board of Jumpstart, a nonprofit organization that provides intensive literacy intervention to thousands of low-income preschoolers across the United States, using college and university students as interveners. Berk is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, Division, 7: Developmental Psychology.
Table of Contents
Part I: Theory and Research in Child Development
1 History, Theory, and Applied Directions
The Field of Child Development
Recent Theoretical Perspectives
Comparing Child Development Theories
Applied Directions: Child Development and Social Policy
2 Research Strategies
From Theory to Hypothesis
Common Research Methods
Reliability and Validity: Keys to Scientifically Sound Research
General Research Designs
Designs for Studying Development
Part II: Foundations of Development
3 Biological Foundations, Prenatal Development, and Birth
Prenatal Environmental Influences
Approaches to Childbirth
Heredity, Environment, and Behavior: A Look Ahead
4 Infancy: Early Learning, Motor Skills, and Perceptual Capacities
The Organized Newborn
Motor Development in Infancy
Perceptual Development in Infancy
Early Deprivation and Enrichment: Is Infancy a Sensitive Period of Development?
5 Physical Growth
The Course of Physical Growth
Factors Affecting Physical Growth
Puberty: The Physical Transition to Adulthood
The Psychological Impact of Pubertal Events
Puberty and Adolescent Health
Part III: Cognitive and Language Development
6 Cognitive Development: Piagetian, Core Knowledge, and Vygotskian Perspectives
Piaget’s Cognitive-Developmental Theory
The Sensorimotor Stage: Birth to 2 Years
The Preoperational Stage: 2 to 7 Years
The Concrete Operational Stage: 7 to 11 Years
The Formal Operational Stage: 11 Years and Older
Piaget and Education
The Core Knowledge Perspective
Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory
Vygotsky and Education
Evaluation of Vygotsky’s Theory
7 Cognitive Development: An Information-Processing Perspective
The Information-Processing Approach
General Models of Information Processing
Developmental Theories of Information Processing
Applications of Information Processing to Academic Learning
Evaluation of the Information-Processing Approach
Definitions of Intelligence
Recent Advances in Defining Intelligence
What Do Intelligence Tests Predict, and How Well?
Ethnic and Socioeconomic Variations in IQ
Explaining Individual and Group Differences in IQ
Early Intervention and Intellectual Development
Giftedness: Creativity and Talent
9 Language Development
Components of Language
Theories of Language Development
Prelinguistic Development: Getting Ready to Talk
Development of Metalinguistic Awareness
Bilingualism: Learning Two Languages in Childhood
Part IV: Personality and Social Development
10 Emotional Development
Functions of Emotions
Development of Emotional Expression
Understanding and Responding to the Emotions of Others
Temperament and Development
Development of Attachment
Attachment, Parental Employment, and Child Care
11 Self and Social Understanding
Emergence of Self and Development of Self-Concept
Self-Esteem: The Evaluative Side of Self-Concept
Constructing an Identity: Who Should I Become?
Thinking About Other People
Understanding Conflict: Social Problem Solving
12 Moral Development
Morality as Rooted in Human Nature
Morality as the Adoption of Societal Norms
Morality as Social Understanding
Development of Morally Relevant Self-Control
The Other Side of Self-Control: Development of Aggression
13 Development of Sex Differences and Gender Roles
Gender Stereotypes and Gender Roles
Influences on Gender Stereotyping and Gender-Role Adoption
To What Extent Do Boys and Girls Really Differ in Gender-Stereotyped Attributes?
Developing Non-Gender-Stereotyped Children
Part V: Contexts for Development
14 The Family
Origins and Functions of the Family
The Family as a Social System
Socialization Within the Family
Family Lifestyles and Transitions
Vulnerable Families: Child Maltreatment
15 Peers, Media, and Schooling