The Psychological Development of Girls and Women

Rethinking change in time, 2nd Edition

By Sheila Greene

© 2015 – Routledge

198 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415730174
pub: 2014-12-01
US Dollars$53.95
Hardback: 9780415730181
pub: 2014-12-10
US Dollars$155.00

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About the Book

This thoroughly revised new edition updates Sheila Greene's original transformative account of the psychological development of girls and women and the central role of time in shaping human experience. Greene critically reviews traditional and contemporary theoretical approaches – ranging from orthodox psychoanalysis to relational and post-modern theories – and argues that even those that claim to focus on development have presented a view of women's lives as fixed and determined by their nature or their past. These theories, she believes, should be rejected because of their inherent lack of validity and their frequently oppressive implications for women.

Essential but often neglected insights from the more compelling developmental and feminist theories are woven together within a theoretical framework that emphasizes temporality, emergence and human agency. The result is a liberating theory of women's psychological development as constantly emerging and changing in time rather than as static and fixed by their nature, socio-cultural context and personal history.

Updated for a new generation of readers, The Psychological Development of Girls and Women will continue to be essential reading for students and researchers in the psychology of women, developmental psychology and women's studies.


"The Psychological Development of Women and Girls is as relevant today as it was in its original publication. Students and established professionals alike will find that Sheila Green’s reframing of human development provides a fresh perspective on girls and women and is a vital resource for learning and research." – Annie G. Rogers, School of Critical Social Inquiry, Hampshire College, USA

Praise for the first edition

"An important corrective to 'malestream' developmental psychology. Deserves to be standard reading on all developmental psychology courses." Valerie Walkerdine, Centre for Critical Psychology, University of Western Sydney, Australia

"Greene’s argument for greater cohesion between the psychology of women and developmental psychology fields motivates the reader to reconsider notions of women and girls. The book provides researchers and educators new ways of understanding and promoting diversity and independence for girls and women." Annette Hatcher Parkerson in Educational Researcher, Vol 33, No 6

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Building blocks for a critical analysis 2. Developmental psychology: New perspectives 3. Female development: Traditional approaches 4. Woman-centred developmental theories 5. Biology and the changing body 6. The making of the female self 7. Social change and social clocks 8. Thinking about time and the psychological development of girls and women

About the Author

Sheila Greene is Professor and Fellow Emeritus at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, where she was co-founder of the Children’s Research Centre and the Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies. Her research interests include the psychology of women and gender, child development and children’s issues and developmental theory.

About the Series

Women and Psychology

This series brings together current theory and research on women and psychology. Drawing on scholarship from a number of different areas of psychology, it bridges the gap between abstract research and the reality of women's lives by integrating theory and practice, research and policy.

Each book addresses a 'cutting edge' issue of research, covering topics such as postnatal depression and eating disorders, and addressing a wide range of theories and methodologies.

The series provides accessible and concise accounts of key issues in the study of women and psychology, and clearly demonstrates the centrality of psychology debates within women's studies or feminism.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies