Dev Psych

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bel01_xxxii-033hr4.qxd

16-09-2009

10:14

Page xxxii

Anne Douglas - Troy University eCampus Worth Publishers NOT FOR REPRODUCTION

bel01_xxxii-033hr4.qxd

16-09-2009

10:14

Page 1

The Foundation
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This two-chapter part offers you the foundations for understanding the lifespan journey.

Chapter 1—The People and the Field introduces all the major concepts and themes in this course. In this first chapter, I’ll familiarize you with our discipline’s basic terminology, provide a bird’s-eye view of the evolving lifespan, offer a framework for how to think about world cultures, and highlight some new twenty-first-century life stages. Most important, in this chapter you will learn about the major theories and research strategies that have shaped our field. Bottom line: Chapter 1 gives you the basic tools you will need for understanding this book.

PART I
1

Chapter 2—Prenatal Development, Pregnancy, and Birth lays out the foundation for our developing lives. Here, you will learn about how a baby develops from a tiny clump of cells, and get insights into the experience of pregnancy from the point of view of mothers- and fathers-to-be. This chapter describes pregnancy rituals in different cultures, discusses problems (including infertility) that may lie on the prenatal pathway, and offers an in-depth look at the miracle of birth.

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Anne Douglas - Troy University eCampus Worth Publishers NOT FOR REPRODUCTION

bel01_xxxii-033hr4.qxd

16-09-2009

10:14

Page 2

Chapter 1
CHAPTER OUTLINE
WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE STUDY SETTING THE CONTEXT The Impact of Cohort The Impact of Socioeconomic Status The Impact of Culture and Ethnicity The Impact of Gender THEORIES: LENSES FOR LOOKING AT THE LIFESPAN Behaviorism EXPERIENCING THE LIFESPAN:

Dear Students, Welcome to lifespan de velopment! This course is about your past, your future, and who yo u are now. It’s about yo ur parents and grandpa ents, friends and colleag rues, the children you ha ve or expect to have. If you plan to work with ch ildren, adults, or older people, this course will give you an important fou ndation for your career. This semester, starting with the first minutes in the womb, you will ge t a motion picture of human life. As we travel through the lifespan, I urge you to loo k outward to the wider world. While reading the infancy chap ters, notice babies at restaurants. In the secti ons on childhood and ad olescence, pay attention to boys and girls at a playground, spend an afternoon with a 4year-old, watch pre-teen s at the mall. Then obse rve married couples. Interview a middle-aged relative. Talk to a 60-ye ar-old about to retire or an 85-year-old coping wi th the physical challenge s of old age. The purpose of this class is to widen your horizons, to enable you to look at each stage of life in a mo re empathic way. How can you fully enjoy the scenery on this seme ster-long trip and still get a great grade in this course? Following the principle that the more emotionally enga ged we are, the more we learn, once again: Make it relevant; make it perso nal; see the concepts co me alive in the world. To help you, I’ve begun each chapter with a vig nette. Enjoy the vignette It’s been constructed to . alert you to the major ch apter themes. Look at the photos, charts, and the summary tables. Co mplete each hands-on activity. They also are pla nned to help you effort lessly solidify the key concepts in mind. My go al is to have you reach the end of each chapter and realize, “I learned a tremendous amount, but this reading never fel like a chore. This is NO t THING like a dry, ‘textb ook-like’ text.” Now that you know my main agendas (stay tun ed for more scholarly ones later), let’s ge t started. This chapter int roduces all of the basic themes in the course. We begin by introducing the characters that you will be meeting in the int roductory vignettes.

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