Kansas State University
Ghost from the Nursery: A Book Review by Claudia
In the ‘Ghost from the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence’, the authors set out with the goal to make readers aware of the importance of the first period of a child’s life. They are seeking to explain the rise of violence in the United States, with children being the fastest growing criminal population. The authors are steering and urging us to look to the first period of life, prenatal development, and the first two years following birth. During these critical thirty-three months of infancy, an individual forms the core of moral sense by developing the ability to trust and relate to others, and lay down the foundation for their lifelong learning and thinking. The authors take the stance that the majority of intricate factors leading to violence take root in the nursery. The authors present us with evidence that early chemical and physical harm to the fetus, by prenatal exposure to alcohol and drugs, can alter infant and toddler's minds enough that their cognitive processes are later unable to learn about, understand, and cope with life's difficulties. By reference to the life of, ‘Jeffrey’ a young murderer; the authors have set out to identify the key factors characterizing the profile of a violent and impulsive murder at 16. They do this by examining aspects of Jeffrey’s life, drawing on current knowledge in child development, identifying possible contributing factors, and most importantly, identifying areas where intervention may assist. Parenting is hard work, and it is especially hard for those who have not had the benefit of good role models or practical support. So therefore, the authors are making a plea for us to become a more compassionate society that values our babies and young children enough to promote policies focusing on improving their welfare....