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Higher Education

Essentials of Human Development: A Life-Span View, 2nd Edition

  • Robert V. Kail
  • John C. Cavanaugh
  • ISBN-10: 1305504585
  • ISBN-13: 9781305504585
  • 576 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2014
  • COPYRIGHT: 2017 Published
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About the Product

ESSENTIALS OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT: A LIFE-SPAN VIEW, 2nd Edition fills the need for a shorter text that emphasizes the essential, defining features of modern research and theory in human development. Using a chronological approach modified to provide topical treatment to key topics and emphasizing the biopsychosocial framework, the text provides: a readable account of human development across the life span; conceptual foundations that enable students to become critical interpreters of developmental information; and an introduction to relevant research and its application to key issues. The text also emphasizes the application of human development research across diverse professional settings, making it ideal for students who are pursuing a career related to psychology or areas such as education, health, and human sciences. Succinct and filled with real-life examples, this text will capture your students' interest while introducing them to the essential issues, forces, and outcomes that make us who we are.


  • The text follows a chronological approach, with coverage that is evenly divided among adolescence, adulthood, and aging to provide a richer and more complete description of human development. The text periodically provides topical treatment for key topics. It text also adopts the biopsychosocial framework to organize and tie themes together.

  • Features include Linking Research to Life boxes that show how findings from research can be used to improve human development throughout the life span; Spotlight on Research boxes that help students understand the science and scope of life-span development; Real People: Applying Human Development boxes that illustrate how a development issue is manifested in the life of a real person; and Human Development in Action features, which encourage students to imagine themselves in a specific professional setting and apply knowledge of human development to a specific problem.

  • Learning Objectives, followed by brief vignettes, open the major sections in each chapter. Each major section is numbered for easy assignment and concludes with concept-reinforcing Test Yourself sections (with answers provided upside down for immediate feedback). Summaries are organized around the Learning Objectives, reinforcing key concepts.

  • Up-to-date findings and references introduce students to the perspectives of those who are currently shaping the field and those who pioneered it. The inclusion of many diversity examples makes the material appealing to the broadest possible range of students. In addition, a diversity and neuroscience index precedes Chapter 1.

About the Author

Robert V. Kail

Robert V. Kail is Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University. His undergraduate degree is from Ohio Wesleyan University and his Ph.D. is from the University of Michigan. Kail is editor of Child Development Perspectives and editor emeritus of Psychological Science. He received the McCandless Young Scientist Award from the American Psychological Association, was named the Distinguished Sesquicentennial Alumnus in Psychology by Ohio Wesleyan University, and is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. Kail has also written CHILDREN AND THEIR DEVELOPMENT and SCIENTIFIC WRITING FOR PSYCHOLOGY. His research focuses on cognitive development during childhood and adolescence.

John C. Cavanaugh

John C. Cavanaugh is President and CEO of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware and his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. Cavanaugh is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Gerontological Society of America, and has served as president of the Adult Development and Aging Division (Division 20) of the APA. Cavanaugh has also written (with the late Fredda Blanchard-Fields) ADULT DEVELOPMENT AND AGING. His research interests in gerontology concern family caregiving as well as the role of beliefs in older adults' cognitive performance.

Table of Contents

1. The Study of Human Development.
2. Biological Foundations: Heredity, Prenatal Development, and Birth.
3. Tools for Exploring the World: Physical, Perceptual, and Motor Development in Infancy and Early Childhood.
4. The Emergence of Thought and Language: Cognitive Development in Infancy and Early Childhood.
5. Entering the Social World: Socioemotional Development in Infancy and Early Childhood.
6. Off to School: Cognitive and Physical Development in Middle Childhood.
7. Expanding Social Horizons: Socioemotional Development in Middle Childhood.
8. Rites of Passage: Physical and Cognitive Development in Adolescence.
9. Moving into the Adult Social World: Socioemotional Development in Adolescence.
10. Becoming an Adult: Physical, Cognitive, and Personality Development in Young Adulthood.
11. Being With Others: Forming Relationships in Young and Middle Adulthood.
12. Work: Occupational and Lifestyle Issues in Young and Middle Adulthood.
13. Making It in Midlife: The Unique Challenges of Middle Adulthood.
14. The Personal Context of Later Life: Physical, Cognitive, and Mental Health Issues.
15. Social Aspects of Later Life: Psychosocial, Retirement, Relationship, and Societal Issues.
16. The Final Passage: Dying and Bereavement.

New to this edition

  • The text is updated with new graphics and hundreds of references to research completed in the last three years.
  • New, expanded, or significantly revised topics in Part I, "Prenatal Development, Infancy, and Early Childhood," include molecular genetics (Ch. 2); infants' face perception and development of theory of mind (Ch. 3); young children's understanding of robots, ways to help young children pay attention more effectively, the impact of parents' speech on language learning (Ch. 4); children's play with pets, the influence of oxytocin on helping, and gender differences in memory and effortful control (Ch. 5).
  • New material in Part II, "School Age-Children and Adolescents," discusses gifted children and children with ADHD (Ch. 6); spanking, genetic influences on parenting, prejudice, the influence of computers (Ch. 7); the impact of pubertal timing and the factors that contribute to obesity (Ch. 8); and dating violence (Ch. 9).
  • Part III, "Young and Middle Adulthood," and Part IV, "Late Adulthood," include up-to-date discussions of online dating, the hookup culture, same-sex marriage, parenting (Ch. 11); Sheryl Sandberg's concept of women "leaning in," occupational expectations (Ch. 12); mindfulness-based stress reduction (Ch. 13); chronic diseases such as diabetes, genetics and biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (Ch. 14); the death with dignity debate, and new ways of diagnosing persistent vegetative state (Ch. 16).
  • New topics in the Spotlight on Research feature, which highlights studies related to text discussions, include the stability of intelligence from childhood to late life (Ch. 1); links between maternal depression and children's behavior (Ch. 2); infants' grasping (Ch. 3); children's perceptions as to whether behavioral and physical properties of boys and girls are inherent and stable (Ch. 5); ways to make tests less threatening (Ch. 6); programs for preventing eating disorders (Ch. 8); whether prevention programs prevent dating abuse (Ch. 9); and the costs of holding in grief (Ch. 15).
  • A new Real People feature in Chapter 16 spotlights Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old who ended her life through physician-assisted suicide in Oregon in late 2014. This feature provides an opportunity to discuss the right to die movement and the ethical issues involved.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Online Instructor's Resource Manual  (ISBN-10: 1305871111 | ISBN-13: 9781305871113)

Streamline and maximize the effectiveness of your course preparation using such resources as brief chapter outlines, chapter summaries, extensively detailed chapter lecture outlines, lecture suggestions, video suggestions, and creative lecture and teaching suggestions. This manual also contains student learning objectives, key terms, essay/discussion questions, student activities, discussion exercises, and Internet exercises.

Online PowerPoints  (ISBN-10: 130587112X | ISBN-13: 9781305871120)

These vibrant Microsoft® PowerPoint® lecture slides for each chapter assist you with your lecture by providing concept coverage using images, figures, and tables directly from the textbook.

Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305677145 | ISBN-13: 9781305677142)

Cengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to: import, edit, and manipulate content from the text's test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.

Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero®  (ISBN-10: 1305677153 | ISBN-13: 9781305677159)

Cengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to: import, edit, and manipulate content from the text's test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.

MindTap Psychology, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Kail/Cavanaugh Essentials of Human Development  (ISBN-10: 1305858654 | ISBN-13: 9781305858657)

MindTap Psychology Instant Access for Kail/Cavanaugh Essentials of Human Development, 2nd Edition is the digital learning solution that powers students from memorization to mastery. It gives you complete control of your course—to provide engaging content, to challenge every individual, and to build their confidence. Empower students to accelerate their progress with MindTap. MindTap: Powered by You. MindTap gives you complete ownership of your content and learning experience. Customize the interactive syllabi, emphasize the most important topics, and add your own material or notes in the eBook.

Instructor's Edition  (ISBN-10: 1305857674 | ISBN-13: 9781305857674)

Instructor Sample/Review copy of Kail/Cavanaugh's Essentials of Human Development: A Life-Span View, 2nd Edition.

Student Supplements

MindTap Psychology, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Kail/Cavanaugh Essentials of Human Development  (ISBN-10: 1305858654 | ISBN-13: 9781305858657)

MindTap Psychology for Kail/Cavanaugh Essentials of Human Development, 2nd Edition helps you learn on your terms. INSTANT ACCESS IN YOUR POCKET. Take advantage of the MindTap Mobile App to learn on your terms. Read or listen to textbooks and study with the aid of instructor notifications, flashcards, and practice quizzes. MINDTAP HELPS YOU CREATE YOUR OWN POTENTIAL. GEAR UP FOR ULTIMATE SUCCESS. Track your scores and stay motivated toward goals. Whether you have more work to do or are ahead of the curve, you’ll know where to focus efforts. And the MindTap Green Dot will charge your confidence along the way. MINDTAP HELPS YOU OWN YOUR PROGRESS. MAKE YOUR TEXTBOOK YOURS. No one knows what works for you better than you. Highlight key text, add notes, and create custom flashcards. When it’s time to study, everything you’ve flagged or noted can be gathered into a guide you organize.