Development Through the Lifespan

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-08-05
  • Publisher: Pearson
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Laura Berk’s Development Through the Lifespan is relied upon in classrooms worldwide for its clear, engaging writing style, exceptional multicultural and cross-cultural focus, cutting-edge consideration of the interrelationships between heredity and environment, rich examples, and long-standing commitment to presenting the most up-to-date scholarship. This new edition continues to offer students research-based practical applications that they can relate to their personal and professional lives.


Laura Berk, renowned professor and researcher, has revised the text with new pedagogy, a heightened emphasis on the interplay between heredity and environment, and an enhanced focus on many social policy issues, while emphasizing the lifespan perspective throughout. The latest theories and findings in the field are made accessible to students in a manageable and relevant way. Berk’s signature storytelling style invites students to actively learn beside the text’s “characters.” Students are provided with an especially clear and coherent understanding of the sequence and underlying processes of human development, emphasizing the interrelatedness of all domains—physical, cognitive, emotional, social—throughout the text narrative and in special features.


Berk also helps students connect their learning to their personal and professional areas of interest.  Her voice comes through when speaking directly about issues students will face in their future pursuits as parents, educators, health care providers, social workers, and researchers.  As members of a global and diverse human community, students are called to intelligently approach the responsibility of understanding and responding to the needs and concerns of both young and old.     


While carefully considering the complexities of human development, Berk presents classic and emerging theories in an especially clear, engaging writing style, with a multitude of research-based, real-world, cross-cultural, and multicultural examples. Strengthening the connections among developmental domains and of theory and research with applications, this edition's extensive revision brings forth the most recent scholarship, representing the changing field of human development.


NOTE: This is the standalone book, if you want the book/access code package order the ISBN below.


0205968988 / 9780205968985 Development Through the Lifespan Plus NEW MyDevelopmentLab with Pearson eText -- Access Card Package

Package consists of:   

0205909744 / 9780205909742 NEW MyDevelopmentLab with Pearson eText -- Valuepack Access Card -- for Laura E. Berk

0205957609 / 9780205957606 Development Through the Lifespan



Author Biography

Laura E. Berk is a distinguished professor of psychology at Illinois State University, where she has taught 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 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 a research editor for Young Children and a consulting editor for Early Childhood Research Quarterly. Currently, she is an associate editor for 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 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). She is the coauthor of the forthcoming chapter on make-believe play and self-regulation in the Sage Handbook of Play in Early Childhood.


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 Exploring Lifespan Development, she is author of the best-selling texts Child Development and 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

Chapter 1: History, Theory, and Research Strategies

  • A Scientific, Applied, and Interdisciplinary Field
  • Basic Issues
  • The Lifespan Perspective: A Balanced Point of View
  • Scientific Beginnings
  • Mid-Twentieth-Century Theories
  • Recent Theoretical Perspectives
  • Comparing and Evaluating Theories
  • Studying Development
  • Ethics in Lifespan Research

Chapter 2: Genetic and Environmental Foundations

  • Genetic Foundations
  • Reproductive Choices
  • Environmental Contexts for Development
  • Understanding the Relationship Between Heredity and Environment

Chapter 3: Prenatal Development, Birth, and the Newborn Baby

  • Prenatal Development
  • Prenatal Environmental Influences
  • Childbirth
  • Approaches to Childbirth
  • Medical Interventions
  • Preterm and Low-Birth-Weight Infants
  • Birth Complications, Parenting, and Resilience
  • The Newborn Baby’s Capacities
  • Adjusting to the New Family Unit

Chapter 4: Physical Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood

  • Body Growth
  • Brain Development
  • Influences on Early Physical Growth
  • Learning Capacities
  • Motor Development
  • Perceptual Development

Chapter 5: Cognitive Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood

  • Piaget’s Cognitive-Developmental Theory
  • Information Processing
  • The Social Context of Early Cognitive Development
  • Individual Differences in Early Mental Development
  • Language Development

Chapter 6: Emotional and Social Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood

  • Erikson’s Theory of Infant and Toddler Personality
  • Emotional Development
  • Temperament and Development
  • Development of Attachment
  • Self-Development During the First Two Years

Chapter 7: Physical and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood

  • Physical Development
  • A Changing Body and Brain
  • Influences on Physical Growth and Health
  • Motor Development
  • Cognitive Development
  • Piaget’s Theory: The Preoperational Stage
  • Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory
  • Information Processing
  • Individual Differences in Mental Development
  • Language Development

Chapter 8: Emotional and Social Development in Early Childhood

  • Erikson’s Theory: Initiative versus Guilt
  • Self-Understanding
  • Emotional Development
  • Peer Relations
  • Foundations of Morality
  • Gender Typing
  • Child Rearing and Emotional and Social Development

Chapter 9: Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle Childhood

  • Physical Development
  • Body Growth
  • Common Health Problems
  • Motor Development and Play
  • Cognitive Development
  • Piaget’s Theory: The Concrete Operational Stage
  • Information Processing
  • Individual Differences in Mental Development
  • Language Development
  • Learning in School

Chapter 10: Emotional and Social Development in Middle Childhood

  • Erikson’s Theory: Industry versus Inferiority
  • Self-Understanding
  • Understanding Others: Perspective Taking
  • Moral Development
  • Peer Relations
  • Gender Typing
  • Family Influences
  • Some Common Problems of Development

Chapter 11: Physical and Cognitive Development in Adolescence

  • Physical Development
  • Conceptions of Adolescence
  • Puberty: The Physical Transition to Adulthood
  • The Psychological Impact of Pubertal Events
  • Health Issues
  • Cognitive Development
  • Piaget’s Theory: The Formal Operational Stage
  • An Information-Processing View of Adolescent Cognitive Development
  • Consequences of Adolescent Cognitive Changes
  • Sex Differences in Mental Abilities
  • Learning in School

Chapter 12: Emotional and Social Development in Adolescence

  • Erikson’s Theory: Identity versus Role Confusion
  • Self-Understanding
  • Moral Development
  • Gender Typing
  • The Family
  • Peer Relations
  • Problems of Development

Chapter 13: Physical and Cognitive Development in Early Adulthood

  • Physical Development
  • Biological Aging Is Under Way in Early Adulthood
  • Physical Changes
  • Health and Fitness
  • Cognitive Development
  • Changes in the Structure of Thought
  • Expertise and Creativity
  • The College Experience
  • Vocational Choice

Chapter 14: Emotional and Social Development in Early Adulthood

  • A Gradual Transition: Emerging Adulthood
  • Erikson’s Theory: Intimacy versus Isolation
  • Other Theories of Adult Psychosocial Development
  • Close Relationships
  • The Family Life Cycle
  • The Diversity of Adult Lifestyles
  • Career Development

Chapter 15: Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle Adulthood

  • Physical Development
  • Physical Changes
  • Health and Fitness
  • Adapting the Physical Challenges of Midlife
  • Cognitive Development
  • Changes in Mental Abilities
  • Information Processing
  • Vocational Life and Cognitive Development
  • Adult Learners: Becoming a College Student in Midlife

Chapter 16: Emotional and Social Development in Middle Adulthood

  • Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development in Midlife
  • Stability and Change in Self-Concept and Personality
  • Relationships at Midlife
  • Vocational Life

Chapter 17: Physical and Cognitive Development in Late Adulthood

Physical Development

·         Life Expectancy

·         Physical Changes

·         Health, Fitness, and Disability

Cognitive Development

·         Memory

·         Language Processing

·         Problem Solving

·         Wisdom

·         Factors Related to Cognitive Change

·         Cognitive Interventions

·         Lifelong Learning


Chapter 18: Emotional and Social Development in Late Adulthood

  • Erikson’s Theory: Ego Integrity versus Despair
  • Other Theories of Psychosocial Development in Late Adulthood
  • Stability and Change in Self-Concept and Personality
  • Contextual Influences on Psychological Well-Being
  • A Changing Social World

Chapter 19: Death, Dying, and Bereavement

  • How We Die
  • Understanding of and Attitudes Toward Death
  • Thinking and Emotions of Dying People
  • A Place to Die
  • The Right to Die
  • Bereavement: Coping with the Death of a Loved One
  • Death Education

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Very Good February 25, 2015
Bought it for less than half of what the bookstore was charging.
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Excellent Representation July 7, 2014
Probably the most concise and comprehensive developmental psychology textbook I have used to teach from. Berk knows the topic well, which is why this is a perennial bestseller.
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Development Through the Lifespan: 5 out of 5 stars based on 2 user reviews.

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