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Although the title and subjects covered may sound quite daunting this text is in fact eminently readable. It includes learning from other cultures and covers all stages of development from pre-birth to adolescence.
The author has drawn from a wealth of the most up-to-date research to inform his writing and has simplified it enough to make the theory accessible to almost any reader. At the same time he maintains the integrity of the ideas. He sets emotional development in the context of the family and society, considering contemporary factors such as same-sex parents, step-parenting, absent biological fathers and the influence of “non-parental” child care.
As an early years specialist myself, I particularly favour the concept that good early experiences are “innoculatory”: the building blocks of resilience against the inevitable knocks and traumas of growing up.
Lynda Hassall is a retired head of Sure Start Carlisle South Children’s Centre