The uniqueness of Child and Adolescent Life Stories lies in the multiple perspectives drawn from youth, their parents, and their teachers. These perspectives provide a range of lenses through which a student or beginning teacher may view child and adolescent development. The complex processes of development occur within a social context, and therefore a professional teacher, administrator, or school psychologist will need to be able to view developmental stages from youths' perspectives as well as from their various social settings.
The twelve cases in this book were compiled from interviews and observations done with youth, their parents, and their teachers. The cases were then written from multiple perspectives, allowing the reader an opportunity to understand the influence of family, school, and society on the youths' development. Each case tells a youth's life story, including the events and relationships that have influenced the child and his or her cognitive, social, and emotional development. The youth in these cases represent a cross section of ages and socio-economic levels and exhibit diversity in their ethnic backgrounds, religious/spiritual beliefs, gender, family structures, and disabilities.
The cases are intended to elicit discussion on a wide range of issues in development. To this end, this book explores many critical (and sometimes controversial) topics, such as teen pregnancy, sexual orientation, disabilities, child abuse, domestic violence, death of a parent, and more. This will allow instructors the greatest possible flexibility in supplementing their courses with life histories and cases. These cases are the perfect illustration of the complexity of a full life history.
• Each case includes discussion questions and research and classroom activities, allowing students to further examine the issues presented in the case
• Matrix organizes cases by subject's socio-economic level, ethnic background, gender, etc., allowing instructors and readers to pinpoint the most relevant cases for their study
• "Connecting Across Cases" feature poses questions that encourage students to consider developmental issues in two or more cases
• Cases cover the full range of development, from ages 4 to 18, which mirrors the range covered in most child and adolescent development courses and texts
"This collection of stories provides some of the rich descriptive detail needed to put the complex process of development into perspective."
—Miles Irving, Georgia State University
"This is an excellent endeavor—well conceptualized and well executed. I would most definitely like to use this text in my undergraduate development classes."
—Judith Rhoden, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
"These case studies allow the reader a glimpse at the individual, family, and community dynamics that go into making each child who he or she is. This text will make a wonderful supplement for courses dealing with child development, educational psychology, families, communities, and parenting."
—Deanna Nekovei, Texas A&M University
This book is a welcome addition to the literature. As a reader one gets the sense that these cases are real. The authors do a great job of providing enough detailed information without overloading the reader. Such details allow the reader an opportunity to apply theory to real life examples. And, as a course instructor, these cases will provide me an opportunity to assess whether my students have a firm grasp of the concepts.
—Karen M. Dutt-Doner, Niagara University