Fundamentals of Developmental Psychology  book cover
2nd Edition

Fundamentals of Developmental Psychology

ISBN 9781848720510
Published December 14, 2012 by Psychology Press
320 Pages

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Book Description

This new edition of the highly successful Fundamentals of Development: The Psychology of Childhood has been thoroughly revised and updated to reflect the exciting new findings in the thriving area of developmental psychology.

The book addresses a number of fascinating questions including:

  • Are children born good or bad?
  • What do children understand about the mind?
  • What roles do nature and nurture play in child development?

As in the previous edition, the book follows a thematic approach and outlines the main areas of developmental psychology, including classic theories and studies, and offers a broad overview of contemporary research in the field.  Each chapter addresses a key topic – such as theory of mind, attachment, and moral development - and is self-contained and comprehensive in its coverage. New chapters in this edition include a detailed look at methods in developmental psychology, an overview of developmental disorders, and an introduction to the burgeoning area of numerical development.

The book is student-friendly, with all topics described in straightforward language, illustrated in full colour, and organized as standalone chapters. The text will make an excellent companion to introductory courses on developmental psychology, and for instructors there are high-quality lecture slides, and a bank of multiple choice questions. The text is written to be both accessible and comprehensive, and to provide an engaging overview for students and professionals who have little or no background in this area.

Table of Contents

1. Themes and Perspectives in Developmental Psychology. 2. Methodological Approaches. 3. The Development of Thinking. 4. Does Piaget’s theory stand up to examination? 5. What children understand about the mind. 6. Developmental disorders. 7. Autism. 8. Numerical development: What do young children understand about the world of numbers? 9. Developing an ability to see the world. 10. Developing an ability to draw. 11. The role of heredity and environment in intelligence. 12. Language development. 13. Developing an ability to communicate. 14. Parenting and the development of love and attachment. 15. Moral development. 16. Development of anti-social behaviour. 17. Freud’s theory of personality development. 18. References. 19. Glossary

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Peter Mitchell is Professor in Cognitive Development in the School of Psychology at the University of Nottingham. His main research interests are the development of an understanding of the mind in typical and atypical development and visuo-spatial abilities in autism. He has served as Chair of the Developmental Section of the British Psychological Society (2004-2006) and since 2007 he has served as editor of the British Journal of Psychology.

Fenja Ziegler is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Lincoln. Fenja's main research interest is in imagination and how it relates to social decision-making, mentalising and perspective-taking in narrative and space, which she studies in children and adults.


"Mitchell and Ziegler’s revised Fundamentals of Developmental Psychology is a delight. Whilst certain to become the standard text for many introductory and foundation courses in developmental psychology, it will also have a much broader appeal to professionals in health, education and social work. Throughout the book the authors develop their arguments utilizing a clever balance of classic texts and new research evidence to guide the reader through the big issues in developmental psychology. Their excellent style draws you in and makes learning fun." - David Coghill, University of Dundee, UK

"This is an excellent introduction to the field of developmental psychology. I especially liked its coverage of developmental disorders, including ADHD, autism, SLI, and Williams Syndrome." - Robert Siegler, Carnegie Mellon University, USA

"Mitchell and Ziegler’s Fundamentals of Developmental Psychology is an engaging introduction to the field of child development, current knowledge in the area, and the historical figures who brought us there. The addition of new chapters has added to the value of the book by introducing a greater discussion of scientific methodology, and by addressing developmental disorders." - Karen Turner, University of Queensland, Australia

"This book covers all the basic topics one would expect in an introductory textbook of this sort. The authors are clearly experts in the field – their discussion of theory and methodology is detailed and appropriate, and the literature referenced is current. The book also contains chapters on specific topics that I have not seen in other textbooks, and I think the additions and revisions to this new edition have strengthened the book considerably. The result is a clear, thorough, and engaging introduction to the key ideas and methods of developmental psychology." - David Peebles, University of Huddersfield, UK