From Birth to Sixteen: Children's Health, Social, Emotional and Linguistic Development

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9780415602655: From Birth to Sixteen: Children's Health, Social, Emotional and Linguistic Development
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From Birth to Sixteen outlines children’s physical, social, emotional, and language development from infancy through to adolescence. In both its practical application of research and its contribution to the assessment of child development, this text provides essential reading for those studying child development, and indeed those practising, in the fields of nursing, play work, youth work, play therapy, early years education, teaching, social work, and occupational therapy.

Accessible and engaging, this innovative text includes case studies, tables, and references to relevant studies – making links to professional practice throughout. Designed to fit with the requirements of the Common Assessment Framework, it presents developmental models for the years from birth to sixteen under each of the following themes:

  • Children’s rights and responsibilities
  • Relationships in the family
  • Relationships in day care, at school, and with the peer group
  • Language and communication
  • Children and the media
  • Health issues in childhood and adolescence
  • Emotional well-being and resilience

A dedicated companion website offers additional teaching and learning resources for students and lecturers, including an interactive timeline, further case studies and extensive self-assessment material.

The text appreciates the diversity of ways in which children develop, taking into account gender, ethnicity, social background, and disability, and values children’s resilience in conditions of adversity. From the foundations of the subject through to its application in practice, From Birth to Sixteen provides an indispensable companion to child development courses and beyond.

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'The book is structured according to [Helen Cowie's] avowed belief in the necessity for those working with young people to embrace ... diversity and get to grips with the social and cultural contexts of young people’s lives. She places the development of children and young people squarely in the context of their lived experience rather than in the framework of abstract developmental theory. ... Cowie’s value base is clear. Her concern for the social, emotional and physical health and well-being of children is evident ... Cowie offers a critical perspective on how the UK measures up. It makes sobering reading. At the same time, however, she offers hope that things can change and improve. In several of the chapters, ways to achieve such change are proffered and explored, drawing on research into different UK and European initiatives. This ‘looking beyond’ the UK is both interesting and useful. ... Rather than, as traditionally, placing ‘aberrant development’ as an adjunct to or deviation from ‘normal development’, Cowie puts diversity and differences at the heart of her approach. ... Readers are encouraged to engage actively in the lived experience of children and young people through a series of case studies and discussion questions which are directed at practice and the concerns of both practitioners and parents alike. It demands the ability to shift one’s focus between theoretical ideas and real-life experiences and to create a bridge between them. This approach is repeated in each of the subsequent chapters. It is an approach that gives this book its particular appeal to a lecturer who tries continuously to encourage students to develop this ability (not always successfully); it is heartening, therefore, to find a book that demonstrates the approach so clearly. ... The topical relevance of each of the chapters is a particular strength of this book, as is its cultural and contemporary relevance to lived experience. It is informed, well integrated and comprehensive. It is impressive how Cowie has managed to cover so much ground in what is a relatively slim volume.' - Pauline Ashworth, University of York, UK, in The British Journal of Social Work

'A valuable and timely source of information on child development, from birth to sixteen. This text addresses key issues and theories in relation to the developing child in a clear and contemporary manner with enough detail to facilitate understanding of key concepts.' - Wendy Sims-Schouten, University of Portsmouth, UK

'This is an excellent book and a must for all practitioners working with children and young people. The author encompasses a wide range of relevant and sensitive issues in a thorough, practical and informed way. Not only is this text a sound contribution to our understanding of childhood from birth to sixteen but it is also a most enjoyable read.' - Sean MacBlain, University College Plymouth St Mark & St John, UK

'From Birth to Sixteen provides an excellent comprehensive coverage of the main areas affecting children and early teenagers. It explores key areas of development, emotional health, communication and behaviours and is an essential core text for both students and practitioners alike. The book successfully integrates theoretical and real world perspectives in an accessible and meaningful way. I would highly recommend this text for those studying issues affecting children.' - Will Medhurst, University of Portsmouth, UK

About the Author:

Helen Cowie is Professor Emeritus and Director of the UK Observatory for the Promotion of Non-Violence ( at the University of Surrey in the Faculty of Health and Medicine. A psychologist by background, she teaches a range of education, psychology, and health and social care students. For over 20 years she has specialized in strategies to counteract school bullying, including peer support as an effective intervention that empowers children and young people to take action themselves to help other young people who are experiencing social and emotional difficulties. Her widely-used training manual Peer Support in Action, co-authored with Patti Wallace, influenced practice in the UK and other European countries. In 2009 it was translated into Japanese following a long-standing collaboration with the Japanese Peer Support Association.

In Managing School Violence, she and co-author Dawn Jennifer designed training for a whole-school approach to reduce and prevent bullying, while New Perspectives on Bullying emphasized the importance of fostering positive relationships in the school community as a whole and provided a wealth of evidence-based good practice for professionals. Her co-authored book Understanding Children's Development remains one of the most popular undergraduate psychology textbooks in the field and a fifth edition was published in 2011.

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