This new edition of the bestselling text, Nurturing Natures, provides an indispensable synthesis of the latest scientific knowledge about children’s emotional development. Integrating a wealth of both up-to-date and classical research from areas such as attachment theory, neuroscience developmental psychology and cross-cultural studies, it weaves these into an accessible enjoyable text which always keeps in mind children recognisable to academics, practitioners and parents.
It unpacks the most significant influences on the developing child, including the family and social context. It looks at key developmental stages from life in the womb to the pre-school years and right up until adolescence, covering important topics such as genes and environment, trauma, neglect or resilience. It also examines how children develop language, play and memory and, new to this edition, moral and prosocial capacities. Issues of nature and nurture are addressed and the effects of different kinds of early experiences are unpicked, creating a coherent and balanced view of the developing child in context.
Nurturing Natures is written by an experienced child therapist who has used a wide array of research from different disciplines to create a highly readable and scientifically trustworthy text. This book should be essential reading for childcare students, for teachers, social workers, health visitors, early years practitioners and those training or working in child counselling, psychiatry and mental health. Full of fascinating findings, it provides answers to many of the questions people really want to ask about the human journey from conception into adulthood.
"Nurturing Natures was an instant classic, and this greatly enhanced second edition will further consolidate and widen its reputation. Music is the David Attenborough of child development research, combining passion for his subject, encyclopaedic knowledge, with crystal-clear communications skills that never succumb to oversimplification or tendentiousness. His balanced sifting of the literature and clinical expertise makes this an indispensable vade mecum for all who work with children at all levels of training and practice." Jeremy Holmes MD FRCPsych, University of Exeter, UK
"A wise and balanced account of human development. Graham Music accurately summarises many complex issues with a light touch which makes it a delight to read. This is a book that you will want to keep coming back to." Sue Gerhardt, psychoanalytic psychotherapist and co-founder of the Oxford Parent Infant Project, UK
"Graham Music has established himself as one of the foremost experts in the integration of social-emotional development and the rapidly advancing field of neuroscience. He brings discoveries to life in the context of clinical priorities in a way that no other author has been able to achieve. This book is an absolute gem and reading it is edifying at the same time as enormously pleasurable." Peter Fonagy, Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis and Head of the Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, UCL; Chief Executive, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, UK.
" It is a weighty tome, but it is one that will repay your attention and help to provide a wider context around the world of the children who attend your setting […] This book comes highly recommended for anyone working with young children." Neil Henty, EYE
Praise for the First Edition:
"This book targets a wide array of professional disciplines and is highly accessible to multiple levels. It is a scientifically sound book, each chapter rich in references to crucial research. The author seems to effortlessly integrate cutting-edge research on attachment theory, neuroscience, and developmental psychology into a book that is a page-turner." - Anilla Del Fabbro, M.D., in Infant Mental Health Journal
"Not only is it enjoyable, uplifting and hugely informative, but, within its chosen terms of reference, faultless. … This is a superb work of popular science, destined to become an instant classic. As a single author volume it is an extraordinary achievement. Music’s even-handed mastery of the latest findings in neurobiology, child development, attachment theory, psychoanalysis and sociology put him in a class of his own. All intellectually-honest child-care professionals will want and need this volume as their vade mecum; any parent or prospective parent could benefit from reading it; and it sets out a pioneering pathway for researchers and clinicians for a decade at least." - Jeremy Holmes, University of Exeter, UK, in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
"I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book from cover to cover. … I would definitely recommend Nurturing Natures for the service library … (and) those with a particular interest in this area (should) consider buying a copy themselves. … I have already found it influencing my training and casework with schools and families." - Julia Clements, Educational Psychologist, Hertfordshire County Council, UK, in Educational Psychology in Practice
"It was a pleasure to review this book which is very timely in its publication. The stated aim is "to convey an understanding of recent research that has illuminated how the human child develops in its context". I found that the book achieves this with clarity of language and cogency of reasoning that makes it easy to read and think about. " - Carole Kaplan, Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, St Nicholas Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, in the British Journal of Psychiatry
"Everyone working in mental health and children’s services should read and imbibe this book. With its up-to-date references, it is useful to trainees and established practitioners alike. … The book concludes on an optimistic note: ‘there are many interventions, and many levels of intervention, that can alter worrying trajectories and can give us hope that change is possible.’ Oh, and politicians should read it too." - Dame Jane Roberts, Consultant Child Psychiatrist and Chair of Parenting UK, in Child and Adolescent Mental Health
"The book is well researched, written, and documented. Music uses attachment theory as a framework for discussing emotional and social development, and emphasizes the importance of early experiences on brain development and behavior. He explains difficult material in an understandable manner, often using good examples to illustrate difficult concepts. The book is written for anyone interested in the social and emotional development of children, and does not require expertise in understanding. It is appropriate for undergraduate students interested in the topic, as well as social workers and clinicians. It could be used in an undergraduate psychology course devoted to the study of social and emotional development of children." - Marta E. Losonczy-Marshall, Associate Professor of Psychology, Salisbury University, Maryland, USA, in International Social Science Review
"This book is a very impressive and solid achievement. … I think the book has the capacity to act as a 'meeting place', to enlarge the possibilities of dialogue, between child psychotherapists and these relevant others. Particularly for child psychotherapists working in NHS settings, that dialogue is now at the very heart of things. … The challenge remains how to formulate a realistic, manageable overall policy for the profession, clarifying clinical pathways, articulating what we aim to do in relation to the different things other colleagues are doing and in relation to the research literature. This isn't an easy task and can't be done quickly. We should value highly contributions that further this task, as Nurturing Natures certainly does." - Alan Shuttleworth in the Journal of Child Psychotherapy
"This is an excellent book, deeply scholarly, yet one which makes the complicated child development research it describes lively and accessible. … I believe that all psychotherapists would benefit from having the understanding that is conveyed by the research and the use that Music makes of it. I echo the praise given by Fonagy ("beautifully written, highly accessible and inspiring") and others and strongly recommend this book." - Janine Sternberg, The Portman Clinic, London, UK, in the British Journal of Psychotherapy
"[Nurturing Natures] serves as a good collection of research related to the field of social and emotional development. It would serve well as a basic text for beginning developmental science students or as an accessible primer for professionals who work with children and are looking for important information. Music doesn’t settle the nature-versus-nurture debate in his book, but that is not his intent. Instead, he provides interested readers with an important and accessible text that will educate their own opinions on the matter." - Brien K. Ashdown, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, USA, and Natalie Homa, Saint Louis University, USA, in PsycCRITIQUES
"The author appears comfortable in balancing different fields and in distilling their contributions in an objective and thoughtful style. … Skillfully presented … The book will be of great interest to child mental health professionals from different disciplines, including non-specialists, both for assessment and therapeutic purposes. It will also be a valuable tool for undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and for researchers in this field." - Panos Vostanis, Professor of Child Psychiatry, University of Leicester, UK, in Adoption & Fostering
"This is an extraordinary book. … It deserves a place on the bookshelf (having been read as well as a reference source) of everyone involved with work with infants, children and adolescents. … We owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his scholarship and generosity in making the multi layered, multifaceted, multiple vertices of thought and research findings available to us for our use in a manner which is accessible and understandable." - Ricky Emanuel in Infant Observation
"This book is such an exciting read that I can’t recommend it highly enough to any professional working with children. … I love the way recent research is presented … I also like the balance of theory and themes running through the book. … Any extremely thought-provoking read." - Anthea Harding, in Counselling Children and Young People
"This book will be invaluable to anyone interested in child development from birth to adolescence. Written with clarity and elegance, it will be equally accessible to professional and general readers. … Particularly impressive is the author’s maintenance of a non-judgemental stance and his emphasis on cultural variability. … [Nurturing Natures is] a lively and informative book." - Eileen Aird in Therapy Today
"It is well researched and written and has a natural flow from beginning to end. … This book will appeal to a wide audience – from therapists and clinicians to social workers, psychology students and child care workers. It is detailed but not too complicated. It can be read cover to cover as I have done or used as reference; each chapter offers concise and informed description and discussion." - Dr. Elaine Creith, in Young Minds Magazine
"[Nurturing Natures] is eminently readable. … 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." - Lynda Hassall, Retired Head of Sure Start Carlisle South Children's Centre, on www.communitycare.
"All in all, this book is informative and I would recommend it as a point of reference for the subjects covered" - Hannah Man, PTUK Certified Play Therapist
"Using recent research findings from across the world, Graham Music has written a truly compelling and comprehensive summary of factors affecting social and emotional development. (…) This book encapsulates our understanding of human development, successfully blending scientific research, social understanding and the awareness that therapeutic thinking adds to this. Music's ability to communicate complex information in such an accessible way is of great value." - Heather Geddes, The Journal of Educational Psychotherapy
List of Figures: Acknowledgements; 1.Introduction: The Blind men and the elephant; Part One: Beginnings of Emotional and Social Development; 2. Life Begins: From conception to Birth 3. Born to Relate 4.Infant Coping Mechanisms, Mismatches, and repairs in relation 5. Empathy, self and other minds; Part Two: Overarching Bodies of Ideas; 6. Attachment 7. Culture 8. Biology and the Brain 9. Epigenetics, Evolution and How nature meets nurture; Part Three: Developmental Capacities and Stages; 10. Language, words and Symbols 11. Memories: Learning who we are and what to expect 12. Play: Fun, symbolising, practising and mucking about 13. Boys, girls, and gender; Part Four: Not Just Mothers; 14. Nonmaternal care and childcare 15. Middle childhood, siblings, peers and group life 16. The Place of Fathers 17. Moving towards adulthood; Part Five: Consequences of Early Experiences; 18. Trauma, neglect and their effects 19. Resilience and good feelings 20. Moral Development, antisocial and prosocial behaviour 21. Conclusions: Earlier experience and its longer-term consequences; Glossary; references; author index; subject index