Infants, Children, and Adolescents

Allyn & Bacon
Laura E. Berk  
Total pages
January 2011
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Product Edition Date Price CHF Available
Infants, Children, and Adolescents
7 January 2011 202.00
Infants, Children, and Adolescents
8 March 2015 253.90


A best-selling, chronologically organized child development text, Berk's Infants, Children, and Adolescents is relied on in classrooms worldwide for its clear, engaging writing style, exceptional cross-cultural focus, rich examples, and long-standing commitment to presenting the most up-to-date scholarship while also offering students research-based, practical applications that they can relate to their personal and professional lives.  Berk takes an integrated approach to presenting development in the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social domains; emphasizes the complex interchanges between heredity and environment; and provides exceptional attention to culture. 


Laura Berk, renowned professor and researcher, presents the latest theories and findings in the field to students in a manageable and relevant way. Berk's signature storytelling style invites students to actively learn beside the text's “characters,” who experience real issues in development, including physical, cognitive, and peer challenges, as well as parenting and educational concerns.  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, heath care providers, social workers, and researchers.  As members of a global and diverse human community, students are called on to intelligently approach the responsibility of understanding and responding to the needs and concerns of children.     


While carefully considering the complexities of child development, Berk presents classic and emerging theories in an especially clear, engaging writing style, with a multitude of research-based, real-world, and cross-cultural 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 child development.


This book is also available in an abridged paperbound version, Infants and Children: Prenatal Through Middle Childhood, comprised of the complete Chapters 1-13. 


Hallmark features


  •  Meticulously researched material, including over 1500 new reference citations, is conveyed to the student in a clear, story-like fashion that humanizes the complex developmental process.
  • Outstanding pedagogical features support students' mastery of the subject matter:

o   Stories and vignettes of real children, a Berk signature feature, open each chapter and continue throughout the text to illustrate developmental principles and teach through engaging narrative.  This book “teaches while it tells a story.”

o   “Milestones” tables summarize major physical, cognitive, language, emotional, and social achievements of each age period.  Besides offering an overview of change, each entry is page-referenced to provide the student with a convenient tool for review.  The seventh-edition tables contain beautiful new photos illustrating children’s achievements during each stage.

o   “Ask Yourself” critical thinking questions have been thoroughly revised and expanded into a unique pedagogical feature that promotes four approaches to connecting with the subject matter.  The questions encourage students to review information they have just read, apply it to new situations, connect it to other age periods and domains of development, and reflect on how theory and research are personally relevant in their own lives.

o   Look and Listen, a new feature to this edition, presents students with opportunities to see everyday illustrations of development by observing what real children say and do or by attending to influences on children in their everyday environments. Look and Listen experiences are tied to relevant text sections, with the goal of making the study of development more authentic and meaningful.

o   Take a Moment…, an active-learning pedagogical feature built into the text narrative, asks the reader to "take a moment" to think about an important point, integrate information on children's development, or engage in an exercise or an application to clarify a challenging concept. Take a Moment . . . highlights and reinforces the text's strength in conversing with and actively engaging the student in learning, and in inspiring critical thinking.

o   Chapter Openers, illustrated with exceptionally beautiful and unique children’s art, prepare students for what they will learn through both a prose description and an outline, which provides a quick look at major topics to be covered.

o   Chapter summaries include bolded terms, organized by learning objectives and major section headings, as well as a page-referenced terms list for convenient and focused student review.

o    “Applying What We Know” tables provide practical real-life applications based on theory and research and findings.  Berk speaks directly to students, offering real-world advice on how to provide sensitive, responsible care for children, both as parents and through the pursuit of a variety of careers and areas of study, including psychology, health care, teaching, social work, and counseling.   

o   Three types of thematic boxes complement the text:

  § “Social Issues” boxes discuss the impact of social conditions on children and emphasize the need for sensitive public policies to ensure their well-being. They are divided into two types:

  § Social Issues: Health boxes address values and practices relevant to children’s physical and mental health.

  § Social Issues: Education boxes focus on home, school, and community influences on children’s learning.

  § “Cultural Influences” boxes emphasize multicultural and cross-cultural variations in development.

  §  “Biology and Environment” boxes highlight the growing attention in the field to complex, bidirectional relationships between biological and environmental influences.

  • Practical applications are integrated into the discussion throughout the text to show students how sound practice stems from theory and research.
  • Beautiful artwork, graphics, and photographs are visually stunning, effectively illustrate major points, and enhance student interest and understanding.
  • Available for Adopters: A DVD (Explorations in Child Development for Infants, Children, and Adolescents) with accompanying Instructor's Guide. Please contact your local Pearson representative for more information.

New to this Edition

A Sampling of Updated and New Content for This Edition


Many new topics have been introduced or enhanced throughout the seventh edition, including:


Chapter One

• Introduction to the concept of plasticity

• Revised section on developmental cognitive neuroscience as a new area of investigation

• Expanded discussion of research ethics, including informed consent and the use of deception in research with children


Chapter Two

• Expanded introduction to family influences on development, including the importance of coparenting

• Updated research on neighborhood influences on children's physical and mental health, including contributions of social support

• Expanded section on epigenesis, with new examples of environmental influences on gene expression, including prenatal smoking


Chapter Three

• New research on fetal sensory and behavioral capacities

• Expanded consideration of a wide range of teratogens

• New evidence on the long-term consequences of emotional stress during pregnancy

• New Biology and Environment box on prenatal iron deficiency and memory impairments in infants of diabetic mothers

• New Social Issues box on the Nurse-Family Partnership-reducing maternal stress and enhancing child development through social support


Chapter Four

• Updated research on the impact of medical interventions during childbirth on maternal and infant health and post-birth adjustment

• New findings on preterm and low-birth-weight infants, including interventions that foster development

• Expanded Social Issues box on health care and other policies for parents and newborn babies

• New research on factors that affect adjustment to new parenthood, including marital quality and partner support

• Updated Biology and Environment box on both maternal and paternal depression and its impact on child development


Chapter Five

• New research on children adopted from Romanian orphanages, including neurophysiological evidence, bearing on whether infancy is a sensitive period of development

• New section on infants with growth faltering, highlighting joint contributions of a disturbed parent-infant relationship and feeding difficulties

• New research on development of object perception, including the role of object manipulation

• Expanded section on intermodal perception, including its contributions to all aspects of psychological development


Chapter Six

• Revised section on infant and toddler imitation, revealing toddlers' ability to infer others' intentions

• New section on symbolic understanding, including toddlers' developing grasp of words and pictures as symbolic tools

• New Social Issues box on baby learning from TV and video, including discussion of the video deficit effect

• Expanded section on development of attention

• Revised section on categorization, including various explanations of babies' remarkable categorization skills


Chapter Seven

• New findings on the early emergence of self-conscious emotions

• New research on consequences of effortful control-the self-regulatory dimension of temperament-for cognitive, emotional, and social development

• Updated evidence on contextual factors that contribute to changes in attachment pattern over time

• New findings on contributions of parental sensitivity in toddlerhood to early peer sociability and to social competence in early childhood

• New research on cultural influences on early self-development


 Chapter Eight

• Updated consideration of advances in brain development in early childhood, with special attention to the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala

• Updated statistics and research on the health status of U.S. young children, including tooth decay, childhood immunizations, and overall health status

• New research on ethnic variations in early childhood sleep habits and problems

• New findings on the contributions of child temperament, parenting practices, and societal conditions to unintentional injury in early childhood

• Revised and updated Cultural Influences box on child health care in the United States compared with other Western nations, including implications of the U.S. Health-Care Reform Act


Chapter Nine

• New Social Issues: Education box on children's questions as a catalyst for cognitive development

• New research on Tools of the Mind, a preschool program inspired by Vygotsky's theory

• New evidence on cognitive attainments and social experiences that contribute to mastery of false belief

• Updated discussion of educational media, including effects of television and computers on academic learning and social experiences

• Expanded and updated research on the diverse strategies preschoolers use to figure out word meanings


Chapter Ten

• New evidence on preschoolers' self-concepts, including their emerging grasp of personality traits

• New section on the role of positive peer relations in school readiness

• New evidence on the Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) curriculum, a widely applied intervention for enhancing preschoolers' social problem solving

• New longitudinal evidence on the relationship of early corporal punishment to later behavior problems, including aggression

• New section on social information-processing deficits of aggressive children

• New section on cultural variations in communication within gender-segregated peer groups


Chapter Eleven

• Updated coverage of brain development in middle childhood and related gains in efficient, flexible, and adaptive information processing

• Revised and updated section on overweight and obesity, including current U.S. prevalence rates, international comparisons, and coverage of contributing factors and health and psychological consequences

• Updated evidence on outcomes of participation in youth sports programs


Chapter Twelve

• New research on development of planning in middle childhood, including the influence of adult support and encouragement

• New evidence on how culturally acquired knowledge affects reasoning on mental test items

• Attention to the impact of the U.S. No Child Left Behind Act on quality of U.S. education

• New Social Issues box on magnet schools as a means of attaining equal access to high-quality education

• Expanded treatment of the impact of computer use on academic learning, with special attention to Web access


Chapter Thirteen

• New research on the impact of gender-stereotyped expectations on school-age children's self-esteem

• Updated research on cultural variations in children's moral judgments of truthfulness and lying

• Enhanced section on development of racial and ethnic prejudice and strategies for reducing children's prejudices

• Enhanced attention to parenting of school-age children, including consequences of paternal involvement for children's development

• New evidence on the impact of self-care and after-school programs on school-age children's adjustment


Chapter Fourteen

• New evidence on adolescent brain development, with special attention to the imbalance in changes in the social/emotional network and the cognitive control network, with implications for teenage emotional reactivity, reward-seeking, and risk-taking

• New evidence on contributions of early family experiences to timing of puberty

• New research on media exposure to sexual content and teenage sexual activity

• Updated evidence on contextual factors affecting long-term adjustment of adolescent parents and their children

• New findings on key elements of effective sex education programs, including recent evaluations of U.S. abstinence education


Chapter Fifteen

• Expanded and updated research on adolescent decision making

• Updated consideration of factors contributing to sex differences in verbal, mathematical, and spatial abilities

• New research on peer influences on adolescents' school achievement

• New Social Issues: Education box on the impact of “media multitasking” on attention and learning

• Updated Social Issues: Education box on high-stakes testing

• Updated discussion of factors contributing to dropping out of school

• Updated consideration of sex differences in career aspirations and attainment


Chapter Sixteen

• Updated and enhanced section on development of self-esteem in adolescence

• Updated Cultural Influences box on identity development among ethnic minority youths

• New research on influences on adolescent moral reasoning, including parenting practices and peer interaction

• New evidence on gender intensification in adolescence, with special attention to the impact of gender-typed pressures to compromise one's own authenticity

• New findings on Internet friendships, with special attention to teenagers' use of social networking sites

• Updated findings adolescent suicide, including the role of cultural disintegration in high suicide rates among Native American youths


 Chapter Seventeen

• New cultural influences box addressing the controversy over whether emerging adulthood really is a distinct period of development

• New research brain development in emerging adulthood, especially the prefrontal cortex and its connections with other brain regions

• Current evidence on the debate over whether today's young people forge self-centered worldviews

• Updated findings on college students' expectations of engaging in community service

• Enhanced consideration of parenting and adjustment in emerging adulthood, including findings on parental overprotection and psychological control

Table of Contents

I. Theory and Research in Child Development


1. History, Theory, and Research Strategies

The Field of Child Development

Basic Issues

Historical Foundations

Mid-Twentieth-Century Theories

Recent Theoretical Perspectives

Comparing Child Development Theories

Studying the Child


II. Foundations of Development


2. Biological and Environmental Foundations

Genetic Foundations

Reproductive Choices

Environmental Contexts for Development

Understanding the Relationship Between Heredity and Environment


3. Prenatal Development

Motivations for Parenthood

Prenatal Development

Prenatal Environmental Influences

Preparing for Parenthood


4. Birth and the Newborn Baby

The Stages of Childbirth

Approaches to Childbirth

Medical Interventions

Birth Complications

Precious Moments After Birth

The Newborn Baby's Capacities

The Transition to Parenthood


III. Infancy and Toddlerhood: The First Two Years


5. Physical Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood

Body Growth

Brain Development

Influences on Early Physical Growth

Learning Capacities

Motor Development

Perceptual Development


6. 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


7. Emotional and Social Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood

Erikson's Theory of Infant and Toddler Personality

Emotional Development

Temperament and Development

Development of Attachment



IV. Early Childhood: Two to Six Years


8. Physical Development in Early Childhood

Body GrowthInfluences on Physical Growth and HealthMotor Development


9. Cognitive Development in Early Childhood

Piaget's Theory: The Preoperational Stage

Vygotsky's Sociocultural Theory

Information Processing

Individual Differences in Mental Development

Language Development


10. Emotional and Social Development in Early Childhood

Erikson's Theory: Initiative vs. Guilt


Emotional Development

Peer Relations

Foundations of Morality

Gender Typing

Child Rearing and Emotional and Social Development


V. Middle Childhood: Six to Eleven Years


11. Physical Development in Middle Childhood

Body Growth

Common Health Problems

Health Education

Motor Development and Play


12. Cognitive Development in Middle Childhood

Piaget's Theory: The Concrete Operational Stage

Information Processing

Individual Differences in Mental Development

Language Development

Children's Learning in School


13. Emotional and Social Development in Middle Childhood

Erikson's Theory


Emotional Development

Understanding Others: Perspective Taking

Moral Development

Peer Relations

Gender Typing

Family Influences

Some Common Problems of Development


VI. Adolescence: The Transition to Adulthood


14. Physical Development in Adolescence

Conceptions of Adolescence

Puberty: The Physical Transition to Adulthood

The Psychological Impact of Pubertal Events

Health Issues

Motor Development, Sports Participation, and Physical Activity


15. Cognitive Development in Adolescence

Piaget's Theory

An Information-Processing View of Adolescent Cognitive Development

Consequences of Abstract Thought

Sex Differences in Mental Abilities

Language Development

Learning in School

Vocational Development


16. Emotional and Social Development in Adolescence

Erikson's Theory: Identity versus Identity Confusion


Moral Development

Gender Typing

The Family

Peer Relations

Problems of Development

At the Threshold


17. From Adolescence to Emerging Adulthood

A Period of Unprecedented Exploration

Cultural Change and Emerging Adulthood

Development in Emerging Adulthood

Risk and Resilience in Emerging Adulthood


Berk has published widely on the effects of school environments on children's development, the development of private speech, and most recently, 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 research editor for Young Children and consulting editor for Early Childhood Research Quarterly.  Currently, she is an associate editor of 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 chapter on development for The Many Faces of Psychological Research in the Twenty-First Century (Society for the Teaching of Psychology), 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). 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 Infants, Children, and Adolescents, she is author of the best-selling texts Child Development and Development Through the Lifespan, published by Allyn and Bacon. 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 central region advisory board of Jumpstart, a nonprofit organization that provides early 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.

Reader Review(s)

“An engaging book with current and balanced treatment of all areas of child development.”

"This is a textbook that students actually like to read."
—SHAYLA HOLUB, University of Texas, Dallas

“Comprehensive but readable. Strong connection between research/concepts and how they apply to children in the real world.”
—MEGAN MCLELLAND, Oregon State University

“The cultural diversity representations and references are one of the major strengths of this text … and one of the major reasons I would select it. The content provides the essential basics for what students need to know and presents the information in ways that are relevant, contemporary in application, and backed by solid research.”
—KAREN PETERSON, University of Washington, Vancouver

“A very informative, high-quality, and classy text. It is exceedingly well researched.”
—ROBERT HILTONSMITH, Radford University

“The coverage of diversity and multicultural issues … is one of the strengths of the text and one of the most important reasons that I adopt it for my course on child development.”
—KRISTY BURKHOLDER, University of Wisconsin, Madison

“This text has the best coverage of diversity and multicultural issues of any text on the market.”
—DEBBIE LAIBLE, Lehigh University

“I love the pedagogy of this text—I wouldn’t change it. I think the features … are very helpful in breaking up the text and supporting student learning.”
—TOM POWER, Washington State University

Instructor Resources