The Psychology of Early Childhood: A Study of Mental Development in the First Years of Life, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Psychology of Early Childhood

A Study of Mental Development in the First Years of Life, 1st Edition

By C.W. Valentine


522 pages

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Originally published in 1942, this title attempted to trace, from their very earliest appearances after birth, all aspects of mental development in childhood up to the age of about 4 or 5. It is based largely on the author’s almost daily observations of his own five children, over a period of some twenty years, supplemented by numerous tests and experiments.

The first purpose of this book was to advance our knowledge of the psychology of childhood. The importance of such knowledge had become increasingly recognised. Even if not all is completely determined in the first 4-5 years, there was little doubt by this time that these first years are of profound significance for future development: and the better understanding and training of the young child may be at the root of many of our educational and social problems.

Table of Contents

1. Introductory 2. Methods of the Study of Infant Psychology 3. Fundamental Factors in Mental Development: Maturation, Exercise and Physiological Conditions 4. Further Aspects of Development 5. Endowment and Behaviour of the New-Born Infant 6. Spontaneous Movements and the Beginning of the Control of Movements 7. The Earliest Expressions and Causes of Feelings or Emotions 8. Reflexes: Their Development, Variability and Evanescence and their Relation to Voluntary Movements and Instincts 9. The Beginnings and Significance of Play 10. The Psychology of Imitation 11. The Innate Bases of Fears 12. Genetic Psychology of Laughter 13. Suggestion and Suggestibility 14. Anger and Pugnacity 15. Self-Assertion, Submission, Display and Shyness 16. Sympathy and Affection 17. Affection for Parents and the Supposed Oedipus Complex 18. The Development of Sex and Sex-Interests in Infancy 19. Learning and Remembering 20. The Beginnings and Developments of Language 21. Ideational or Thought Processes 22. Some Special Abilities and Ideas. Appendix 1: Stages of Development. Appendix 2: Right- and Left-Handedness. Appendix 3: The Earliest Dreams of B. Index.

About the Series

Collected Works of C.W. Valentine

Charles W. Valentine (1879-1964) is an important figure in the history of educational psychology. Leaving school at 17 to become a teacher, he continued to study himself at the same time, gaining degrees from London, Cambridge and St. Andrews. He was professor of education at the University of Birmingham in 1919 until his retirement in 1946, then president of the British Psychological Society for 1947-1948. His research covered many areas including child development, imagery, mental testing, home and classroom discipline. Out of print for many years the Collected Works of C.W. Valentine is an opportunity to revisit many of his finest works.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Educational Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Child
PSYCHOLOGY / Education & Training