1st Edition

Childhood into Adolescence
Growing up in the 1970s

ISBN 9781138565968
Published October 1, 2018 by Routledge
242 Pages

USD $48.95

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Book Description

This book is about the lives of 11-year-old children growing up in a Midlands city in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Based on interviews with their parents, it describes family life at the time, as well as the experiences, hopes and concerns of the children as they themselves become adolescents. The book reflects upon the changes that occur for children in the transitional period between childhood and adolescence. It looks at the friendship patterns of eleven-year-olds, their special interests and activities and how they spend their leisure time as well as describing the children’s worries and concerns as perceived by their parents. It also considers family life and parental issues in the context of children’s growing independence and their developing sexual maturity.

Originally written in the 1980’s but recently discovered and published now for the first time, this is the fifth book in the series of long-term investigations of child up-bringing, by John and Elizabeth Newson, distinguished child psychologists at the University of Nottingham. Their research began in the late 1950s when the cohort of children was a year old; their mothers were subsequently interviewed at intervals as the children grew up. This fifth volume draws links between the material from interviews with parents when their sons and daughters were seven, eleven, sixteen and nineteen years, and also invites comparison with the lives of children growing up now. The final chapter reviews the book series and the Newsons’ research programme.

This exceptional book will be of interest to psychologists and other academics interested in child development, as well as professionals involved in work with children and adolescents such as teachers, doctors, nurses and social workers. It also has great historical significance with its potential for comparisons between the lives of children and adolescents now with those growing up some 50 years ago.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Setting the scene

Chapter 2 Continuity and change: the 11-year-old in context

Chapter 3 Enduring friends and foes

Chapter 4 Great busyness

Chapter 5 Risk, anxiety and frankness as children grow up

Chapter 6 Uncertainty and incomplete answers

Chapter 7 Making good

Chapter 8 Styles and outcomes

Chapter 9 Childhood into Adolescence: the importance of the parent’s perspective

Appendix 1 Interview schedule

Appendix 2 Sampling and statistics

Appendix 3 Local and topical references


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John and Elizabeth Newson were both Professors of Developmental Psychology at the University of Nottingham. In 1967 they established the Child Development Research Unit in the Department and were its Co-Directors. Their research study of child-rearing practices in a sample of 700 families in Nottingham is well known in the field and is highly respected and widely cited. In 1994 the Early Years Diagnostic Centre was renamed the Elizabeth Newson Centre. In 1999 Elizabeth Newson was appointed an OBE for her services to children on the Autistic Spectrum.


Peter Barnes was Research Officer in the Child Development Research Unit at the University of Nottingham from 1970 to 1977, working closely with John and Elizabeth Newson. He subsequently worked at The Open University, where he became Director of the Centre for Childhood, Development and Learning.

Susan Gregory was a student and then Research Officer in the Child Development Research Unit at the University of Nottingham with John and Elizabeth Newson. Following a senior lecturer post at the Open University, she was appointed Reader in Deaf Education at the University of Birmingham.


‘A hugely impressive achievement, offering a broad panoply of understandings of development from a wide diversity of perspectives and disciplines, spanning all the key areas, and forming a comprehensive, detailed  and extremely useful text for students and practitioners alike.’ Dr. Graham Music, Consultant Psychotherapist, Tavistock Clinic London, UK

This book provides an extensive overview of the field of developmental psychology. It illustrates how knowledge about typical and atypical development can be integrated and used to highlight fundamental processes of human growth and maturation. The author has written an accessible text which will be of value to undergraduates and postgraduates alike. I can strongly recommend it to all who are keen to learn about this fascinating and rapidly changing field. Dr. John Coleman, PhD, OBE, UK

‘This book is magnificent. It is an extraordinary blend of depth of scholarship with a lucid, and engaging, writing style. Its coverage is impressive: both thorough and timely. An admirable feature of the book is its skillful presentation of typical and atypical development in each chapter. The book is comprehensive, instructive and inviting. Both new and advanced students will love the coverage of this text, will appreciate its use of headers and enjoy its illustrations.’ Professor Joseph Campos, University of California, USA

An amazing achievement. Stephen von Tetzchner's volume has an encyclopedic breadth combined with an unerring eye for the central research across developmental psychology, particularly for the period of its explosive growth since the 1960s. It is remarkable for its even-handed representation of the American and European literatures. Both a text and a reference work, this will be the go-to resource for any teacher, researcher or student of the discipline for the foreseeable future. Professor Andy Lock, University of Lisbon, Portugal

"The editors present recently discovered unpublished research by eminent psychologists John and Elizabeth Newson written in 1980, covering the development of 11-year-old children growing up in the midlands in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is part of their longitudinal studies of children’s upbringing mainly through the eyes of mothers, based on detailed interviews with parents about their sons and daughters when they were 7, 11, 16 and 19 years old. The present book is not only of historical value but also reminds us of the universal issues of childrearing and their implications for the offspring." – Ursula Cornish, British Psychological Society Division of Educational and Child Psychology