A CHILD'S JOURNEY: Forces That Shape the Lives of Our Young by Julius & Herbert Yahraes Segal
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A CHILD'S JOURNEY: Forces That Shape the Lives of Our Young

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Segal and Yahraes' broad, even-handed overview covers the network of interconnecting factors which influence a child's development; they extract from modern research studies the more significant findings and explore their implications. For purposes of discussion, each subject is accorded a separate chapter--Schooling in one, Fathers in another--an arrangement which reflects how research is conducted rather than the authors' view of children. Overall, they tend to respect a child's natural temperament (in recognition of the Chess and Thomas longitudinal work) and they keep each issue in perspective: father's influence has probably been underestimated, peer pressure may rank a notch below or even equal parental authority, and all those birth-order studies don't mean much now that families are so small. And, in what may be a precedent, they speak up in defense of the Jewish mother (""these were the mothers who cared--and weren't afraid to show it""), citing a Selma Fraiberg statement for added support. The section on abused children has an ambiguously worded sentence which implies that homosexuals experienced physical abuse as children, but in general this will be well received, even by rival factions in the field. A valuable reference equally appropriate for parents, who won't find it too academic, and for students of child development, who will appreciate the fine synthesis of information and the bibliographical listings.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1978
Publisher: McGraw-Hill