…have no fear of reading The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Child and Adolescent Psychology. I was thrilled to find a comprehensive, well-researched and highly readable introduction to the history, current research findings and up-to-date trends in child psychology. I especially appreciate how co-authors Jack C. Westman M.D., M.S. and Victoria Costello have organized the book in such a way that makes for very accessible and reader-friendly use. Beginning with Discovering Childhood followed by Foundations of Personality, this textbook flows naturally into A Child Is Part of a Family before addressing The Big Picture (outlining emotional, moral and cognitive development). If interested in specifics you can then focus more in-depth on Ages and Stages. Finally, they highlight important challenges in the section Issues in Child Psychology, and how to deal with them in Therapeutic Approaches. Key definitions are described in simple yet effective terms; the co-authors also offer specially highlighted sections for insights and complications surrounding important developments. Another great feature is ‘Least You Should Know’ – succinct snippets of key chapter points, ideal for the busiest of readers. How I wish such a welcoming textbook were available all those years ago when I was in college!
Linda A. Janssen is a writer and American expat living in the Netherlands. She writes primarily on expat issues, and blogs at www.adventuresinexpatland.com ; she is currently writing a book on the importance of emotional resilience in expatriate life.