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Human Development Across the Lifespan


This introduction to human development will be of particular interest to education, nursing and psychology students taking single-semester classes on ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of Human Development Across the Lifespan

Overall customer rating: 3.000
Alicen S

Great book and interesting!

by Alicen S on Jun 1, 2012

I had to get this book for a Lifespan Development class, and it is a really good book! I love the little extra excerpts they put in the chapters about random topics!

Debbie  J

Loved it!

by Debbie J on Mar 13, 2011

Great book for anyone in the helping profession wanting to learn about stages of human development.


Verbose, Inaccurate, Biased, Unfair

by Derrick on Feb 14, 2010

Homosexuality is given a scant two pages out of 587, and most of these two pages consists of a photo from an AIDS awareness march. The heading of this section, "Homosexual Behavior," is a misnomer, because no discussion of behavior takes place. Instead, the CAUSES of homosexuality are discussed. The authors adopt a pathological view that homosexual behavior is a sickness, and every sickness must have a cause. The first cause given is the psychoanalytic one, blaming parents for the homosexuality of their offspring. The second cause claims that homosexuals LEARN to be gay from an unknown source. Underwear advertisements in the newspaper? The third cause dwells on what the authors call "biopsychosocial factors." (The word "biopsychosocial" is a favorite of the authors. It means "we don't have an effin' clue.") Following this insult upon homosexuals are four pages with the heading, "Heterosexual Behavior." Now the authors show no interest in CAUSES whatsoever. Instead, they actually discuss heterosexual behavior. The disparity between the treatment of homosexuality and heterosexuality is clear both here and elsewhere. Throughout the text, the authors claim that opposite-sex attraction is a "necessary" part of human development and that those who do not progress to that stage are stuck in an infantile stage (e.g. the anal stage of Freud). The authors praise bigot G. Stanley Hall to the heavens, because he advocated beating gays with fists, stones, and clubs, and ostracizing promiscuous women (see p.292 for a passage that receives no admonishment whatsoever). On p. 315, one of the warning signs for suicidal adolescents, besides substance abuse, is "being homosexual," as though queer identity automatically comes with a death wish. No advice, insight or information is offered to gay readers, not even once throughout 587 pages, suggesting that the authors would really prefer gays to kill themselves. Half of p. 33 is devoted to a picture of a heterosexual couple holding hands, while Erikson is quoted: "A sense of intimacy with another person of the opposite gender SHOULD DEVELOP between the ages of 18 and 35. IF IT DOES NOT, A SENSE OF ISOLATION RESULTS." This is another gratuitous slap in the face by the authors. For my part, I do not feel isolated, but perhaps they missed me, during their worldwide survey of all the homosexuals. On p. 345, in the blue segment, fourth paragraph, homosexuality is acknowledged as one of the areas of greatest change in our attitudes toward sexuality. But in the very next paragraph, the authors equate homosexuality with a "problem" facing adolescents along with such horrors as AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy. Conservatives cannot be fond of a text that splashes the Democratic President on pgs. 3-4 along with a fawning biography. Republicans may no longer regard the Kennedys as a threat, but that prominent Democratic family receives adulation on pgs. 199 and 270. On p.263, the authors make the unscientific claim that self-control consists of "RESTRICTING drinking" while "REFUSING drugs," implying that liquor is normal and healthy, whereas marijuana is abnormal and unhealthy. Do alcoholics have greater self-control than someone who smokes a joint once a month? On p.88, the authors claim that marijuana causes early neurological problems in fetuses and "unknown long-term effects," without specifying the nature of these supposed "neurological problems." Ironically, on p.19, one of them writes, "We examine the correlation between variables to see how high they are. If high, we may want to set up experiments to further examine the relationship." The authors want "self-control" of their own. This tedious text has 587 error-strewn pages because the authors have no conception of editing. A hundred words are used whenever a dozen would suffice. Obvious statements are made without any regard for the reader's time. For example, on p. 24, "The adult years are no longer seen as a time devoid of change until decline sets in." That's a relief, isn't it? Adults are capable of change? Who knew? Half the book consists of fluff like that, elements of common sense that any reader knows before picking the book up. The authors neglect to identify themselves when they digress into their insipid asides, leaving it a mystery as to who the "I" is in their personal anecdotes. See p. 270, where one of the three authors (who knows which one) devotes half a page to criticizing one of his (or her) former employers. Was this relevant to the topic at hand, "Do Teachers Make a Difference?" No, because it was a criticism of an ineffective school principal. It is unlikely anyone is ever going to publish the authors' autobiographies, so they inserted bits and pieces like that one into the textbook, whether a good fit could be made or not. To compensate for their poor writing ability, they litter the book with quotes from famous people, a common device of amateur writers. Most of their quotes are inappropriate, such as the one on p.260, under the heading, "The Changing Sense of Self," which quotes Neitzche: "If we have our own 'why' of life, we can bear almost any 'how'." The real 'why' is, 'why did they insert that quote? Neitzche inspired both the Nazis and the authors as well, for reasons that are left to the reader's imagination. I was enraged that this textbook was assigned in my Psychology course and that I had to pay $125 for it. For that amount of money, I could have purchased all the works of Shakespeare. Dacey, Travers and Fiore ought to be ashamed of themselves for churning out drivel of this nature and then extorting such a large sum of money from poor students already beset with escalating tuition costs. There is no doubt in my mind that I will sell this hack job after my class is over. It is biased, inaccurate, unscientific, verbose, and gives far too much emphasis on discredited opinions from long ago that suit the authors' agenda.

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