Understanding Emotional Development: Providing insight into human lives, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Understanding Emotional Development

Providing insight into human lives, 1st Edition

By Robert Lewis Wilson, Rachel Wilson


274 pages | 20 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781848723047
pub: 2014-12-08
Hardback: 9781848723030
pub: 2014-12-10
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315849331
pub: 2014-11-27
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Understanding Emotional Development provides an insightful and comprehensive account of the development and impact of our emotions through infancy, childhood and adolescence. The book covers a number of key topics:

  • The nature and diversity of emotion and its role in our lives
  • Differences between basic emotions, which we are all born with, and secondary social emotions which develop during early social interactions
  • The development of secondary social emotions; and the role of attachmentand other factors in this process which determine a childs’ emotional history and consequental emotional wellbeing or difficulties.
  • Analysing, understanding and empathising with children experiencing emotional difficulties.

Drawing on research from neuroscience, psychology, education and social welfare, the book offers an integrated overview of recent research on the development of emotion. The chapters also consider child welfare in clinical and educational practice, presenting case studies of individual children to illustrate the practical relevance of theory and research.

Written in an engaging and accessible style, the book includes a number of useful pedagogical features to assist student learning, including chapter summaries, discussion questions, and suggested reading. Understanding Emotional Development will provide valuable reading for students and professionals in the fields of psychology, social work, education, medicine, law and health.


In this charming book, Lewis and Rachel Wilson offer their own perspective on emotional development and its implications for those who work with children and adolescents. Full of clinical wisdom, research knowledge, and concern for children facing emotional challenges, their account insightfully places emotional development at the center of human growth. A valuable resource for social workers, teachers, psychologists, nurses, and other professionals who work with children. – Ross A. Thompson, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of California, Davis, USA

Table of Contents

Preface Developing Insight into Emotional Development 1. The Importance of Emotion 2. What is Emotion? 3. The Basis of Development 4: Emotional Development in Infancy 5. Emotional Development in Toddlerhood 6. Dependency, Attachment and Temperament 7. Parenting, Care and the Development of Secondary Emotions 8. Emotional Development In Early and Middle Childhood 9. Oppositional Behaviour, Aggression and Anxious Behaviour 10. Emotional Development in Adolescence 11. Understanding Children in Social/Emotional Difficulty

About the Authors

Robert Lewis Wilson has almost 50 years’ experience as a practising child psychologist and academic at Charles Sturt University, Australia.

Rachel Wilson has degrees in psychology, audiology and education. After seven years of clinical work with children, she moved into research and is currently a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Child