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4.6 out of 5 stars25
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 29 April 2007
I am undertaking a social work degree and this book is on our recommended reading list. It is a brilliant book - very readable - very understandable - and with loads of information related to psychological theories of human development. I thoroughly recommend this to future students.
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on 7 March 2008
I too am completing my Social Work Degree and this text was recommended for my psychology module and it has been an invaluable text. Beckett writes in a clear manner that is easy to understand and each chapter is well written. Theories are explained clearly in such a way that makes them easier to understand, particularly as psychology can be very over loading! I would recommend this book to anyone completing their Social Work Degree and I am sure you will find it just as useful. Best of luck!
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on 1 December 2010
I'm currently in my second year of my social work degree. I bought this book in relation to my communication and development module in uni. So far, the book has been brilliant. It has given me a lot of information regarding lifespan and social work theory. When showing this to friends, they also rated this book very high. It's a very easy read, breaking it down nicely however still being informative at the same time.

Overall, a good buy!!!!
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on 28 March 2010
Given that this is a specific module on my Social Work MA, I was surprised that there were few books that offered a decent introduction to this broad topic. Thankfully this book is utterly brilliant. Beckett writes in an accessible way that allows you to make this book the ideal platform for deeper study into the psychoanalytical perspectives. It has saved me time and has helped make my study more focused. There is no hyperbole, it is well structured, and most importantly of all it is easy to read. In a field swamped by books that are poorly structured, with latinate language used purely for faux-academic postering, this stands out as a shining exception to the norm.
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on 9 January 2010
I purchased this book to assist me in writing my Human Growth and Development assignment at university. I am a second year social work student and I must say, I found the book clear, well written and understandable. Well worth purchaing and I'm sure I will be dipping in and out of it for the remainder of my studies.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 December 2008
This is very much a student textbook and presented in a very accessible format for anyone undertaking studies, the contents are clear, as is the index, each chapter begins with a helpful break down into sub-headings and these sections are interspaced with "activities".

A topic is partially presented, in a style which is informal, using lots of commonplace language and minising academic or professional jargon.

Each topic leads into an activity which is generally a simple question and answer format, encouraging the reader to examine their own perspectives, opinions or bias and then a pretty clear explanation of why these questions and scenarios are important follows.

The complete lifespan is covered, from birth to death and the author begins and finishes with a pretty literary or story format, the book is very much worth buying for the chapters on attachment theory and family systems theory alone.

If you are altogether new to the material I suspect that you'll be more impressed with it than I was, I couldnt give the book more than four stars because I felt that while I could understand the authors goal in adopting a particular writing style and aims in introducing the activities it was pretty pedantic.

A lot of the time I felt like I was being talked down to or being given the idiots line on complex debates like nature vs. nurture, equally I felt that the critical perspective on theory, all theory what so ever, was overdone and seriously invited some sloppy post modern relativism. Too much of it appeared to be for the sake of argument and I could easily see it translating into someones first year technical college or university essay format of presenting one view and then following it with "on the other hand" without much thought.

Although those complaints pale into insignificance when I consider the ways in which Hobbes, Locke and Marx are pretty selectively quoted. I really did think the author had only a passing acquaintence with any of them, which is a shame because he seems like a really knowledgeable guy and manages to cover a lot of ground in a compact format.

So, if you're a student, new to the material and primarily interested in the single purchase which will be most helpful in developing reflective thinking and essay writing skills (maybe you're on a tight budget and can only afford to go for one big theory book) this is it. If you're more familiar with a lot of the theories presented here in you might want the book because they are all presented in a single volume but I'll bet you'll feel let down.
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on 6 January 2012
I brought this book along with some others on Human Growth and Development for a module on my social work degree. I found this book is easy too read as i am dyslexic compared to some of the really academic books and provides enough detail to gain a good concrete understanding of sociological and psychological theories to then attack some of the 'heavier' books for assignments.

Would recommend this to everyone
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on 28 August 2012
I bought this product for my cousin abroad and when she received she was surprised as it did not match the original book she saw. The front page was blank and even the hard cover is not as the one shown on the website. The original book had a CD that came with it but this one did not have anything.Human Growth and Development Buying it for £68 and not meeting the standards is annoying.
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on 1 March 2015
I currently undertaking an HNC in Children's and Young People's Workforce. I have especially found this book to be very useful within the Developmental Perspectives section of my course. The book would also be useful if you were in the second year of a Children's and Young People's Workforce degree.
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on 3 February 2013
This is a good text for undergrad study of the subject. The material is well laid out and the style is accessible. The text has boxes inserted to help the reader reflect on issues raised in a helpful manner
Good basic text, useful in several subject areas.
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