Attachment and Children's Emotional, Sociocultural and Brain Development
By Graham Music
Psychology Press – 2011 – 320 pages
Psychology Press – 2011 – 320 pages
This book provides an indispensable account of current understandings of children’s emotional development. Integrating the latest research findings from areas such as attachment theory, neuroscience and developmental psychology, it weaves these into a readable and easy-to-digest text.
It provides a tour of the most significant influences on the developing child, always bearing in mind the family and social context. It looks at key developmental stages, from life in the womb to the pre-school years and right up until adolescence, whilst also examining how we develop key capacities such as language, play and memory. Issues of nature and nurture are addressed and the effects of different kinds of early experiences are unpicked, looking at both individual children and larger-scale longitudinal studies. Psychological ideas and research are carefully integrated with those from neurobiology and understandings from other cultures to create a coherent and balanced view of the developing child in context.
Nurturing Natures integrates a wide array of complex academic research from different disciplines to create a book that is not only highly readable but also scientifically trustworthy. Full of fascinating findings, it provides answers to many of the questions people really want to ask about the human journey from conception into adulthood.
Visit Graham Music's personal site at http://www.nurturingminds.co.uk/.
"This book targets a wide array of professional disciplines and is highly accessible to multiple levels. It is a scientifically sound book, each chapter rich in references to crucial research. The author seems to effortlessly integrate cutting-edge research on attachment theory, neuroscience, and developmental psychology into a book that is a page-turner." - Anilla Del Fabbro, M.D., in Infant Mental Health Journal
"Not only is it enjoyable, uplifting and hugely informative, but, within its chosen terms of reference, faultless. … This is a superb work of popular science, destined to become an instant classic. As a single author volume it is an extraordinary achievement. Music’s even-handed mastery of the latest findings in neurobiology, child development, attachment theory, psychoanalysis and sociology put him in a class of his own. All intellectually-honest child-care professionals will want and need this volume as their vade mecum; any parent or prospective parent could benefit from reading it; and it sets out a pioneering pathway for researchers and clinicians for a decade at least." - Jeremy Holmes, University of Exeter, UK, in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
"I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book from cover to cover. … I would definitely recommend Nurturing Natures for the service library … (and) those with a particular interest in this area (should) consider buying a copy themselves. … I have already found it influencing my training and casework with schools and families." - Julia Clements, Educational Psychologist, Hertfordshire County Council, UK, in Educational Psychology in Practice
"This book is a tour de force, integrating the most significant advances from developmental science and neuroscience with key clinical concerns relevant to all those working with children and young people. It is beautifully written, highly accessible and inspiring. I cannot think of a better text to use with those who are in the process of acquiring clinical skills or advanced practitioners wanting to update their understanding of modern science. This superb book should be on the bookshelf of all child mental health professionals." - Peter Fonagy, University College London, UK
"It was a pleasure to review this book which is very timely in its publication. The stated aim is “to convey an understanding of recent research that has illuminated how the human child develops in its context”. I found that the book achieves this with clarity of language and cogency of reasoning that makes it easy to read and think about. " - Carole Kaplan, Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, St Nicholas Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, in the British Journal of Psychiatry
"Everyone working in mental health and children’s services should read and imbibe this book. With its up-to-date references, it is useful to trainees and established practitioners alike. … The book concludes on an optimistic note: ‘there are many interventions, and many levels of intervention, that can alter worrying trajectories and can give us hope that change is possible.’ Oh, and politicians should read it too." - Dame Jane Roberts, Consultant Child Psychiatrist and Chair of Parenting UK, in Child and Adolescent Mental Health
“The book is well researched, written, and documented. Music uses attachment theory as a framework for discussing emotional and social development, and emphasizes the importance of early experiences on brain development and behavior. He explains difficult material in an understandable manner, often using good examples to illustrate difficult concepts. The book is written for anyone interested in the social and emotional development of children, and does not require expertise in understanding. It is appropriate for undergraduate students interested in the topic, as well as social workers and clinicians. It could be used in an undergraduate psychology course devoted to the study of social and emotional development of children.” - Marta E. Losonczy-Marshall, Associate Professor of Psychology, Salisbury University, Maryland, USA, in International Social Science Review
"This book is a very impressive and solid achievement. … I think the book has the capacity to act as a 'meeting place', to enlarge the possibilities of dialogue, between child psychotherapists and these relevant others. Particularly for child psychotherapists working in NHS settings, that dialogue is now at the very heart of things. … The challenge remains how to formulate a realistic, manageable overall policy for the profession, clarifying clinical pathways, articulating what we aim to do in relation to the different things other colleagues are doing and in relation to the research literature. This isn't an easy task and can't be done quickly. We should value highly contributions that further this task, as Nurturing Natures certainly does." - Alan Shuttleworth in the Journal of Child Psychotherapy
"This is an excellent book, deeply scholarly, yet one which makes the complicated child development research it describes lively and accessible. … I believe that all psychotherapists would benefit from having the understanding that is conveyed by the research and the use that Music makes of it. I echo the praise given by Fonagy ("beautifully written, highly accessible and inspiring") and others and strongly recommend this book." - Janine Sternberg, The Portman Clinic, London, UK, in the British Journal of Psychotherapy
"Graham Music's book Nurturing Natures is one of the best books I've ever read." - Camila Batmanghelidjh, Kids Company, London, UK
"[Nurturing Natures] serves as a good collection of research related to the field of social and emotional development. It would serve well as a basic text for beginning developmental science students or as an accessible primer for professionals who work with children and are looking for important information. Music doesn’t settle the nature-versus-nurture debate in his book, but that is not his intent. Instead, he provides interested readers with an important and accessible text that will educate their own opinions on the matter." - Brien K. Ashdown, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, USA, and Natalie Homa, Saint Louis University, USA, in PsycCRITIQUES
"The author appears comfortable in balancing different fields and in distilling their contributions in an objective and thoughtful style. … Skillfully presented … The book will be of great interest to child mental health professionals from different disciplines, including non-specialists, both for assessment and therapeutic purposes. It will also be a valuable tool for undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and for researchers in this field." - Panos Vostanis, Professor of Child Psychiatry, University of Leicester, UK, in Adoption & Fostering
"This is an extraordinary book. … It deserves a place on the bookshelf (having been read as well as a reference source) of everyone involved with work with infants, children and adolescents. … We owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his scholarship and generosity in making the multi layered, multifaceted, multiple vertices of thought and research findings available to us for our use in a manner which is accessible and understandable." - Ricky Emanuel in Infant Observation
"This book is such an exciting read that I can’t recommend it highly enough to any professional working with children. … I love the way recent research is presented … I also like the balance of theory and themes running through the book. … Any extremely thought-provoking read." - Anthea Harding, in Counselling Children and Young People
"This book will be invaluable to anyone interested in child development from birth to adolescence. Written with clarity and elegance, it will be equally accessible to professional and general readers. … Particularly impressive is the author’s maintenance of a non-judgemental stance and his emphasis on cultural variability. … [Nurturing Natures is] a lively and informative book." - Eileen Aird in Therapy Today
"It is well researched and written and has a natural flow from beginning to end. … This book will appeal to a wide audience – from therapists and clinicians to social workers, psychology students and child care workers. It is detailed but not too complicated. It can be read cover to cover as I have done or used as reference; each chapter offers concise and informed description and discussion." - Dr. Elaine Creith, in Young Minds Magazine
"[Nurturing Natures] is eminently readable. … The author has drawn from a wealth of the most up-to-date research to inform his writing and has simplified it enough to make the theory accessible to almost any reader. At the same time he maintains the integrity of the ideas." - Lynda Hassall, Retired Head of Sure Start Carlisle South Children's Centre, on www.communitycare.co.uk
"This book demonstrates an extraordinarily wide range of knowledge about different aspects of child and adolescent development. The author takes a refreshingly non-partisan approach to the nature vs nurture debate, describing the latest research on genetics and neuroscience alongside compelling evidence for the impact of culture, class and parenting on the emotional development of the child." - Nick Midgley, Anna Freud Centre, London, UK
"An up-to-date and beautifully integrated account of the new findings in child development and neuroscience. Graham Music wears his scholarship lightly, and the book is a delight to read." - Anne Alvarez, Tavistock Clinic, London, UK
"Music has provided us with a masterly exploration of the latest research, its complimentary translation into relevant concepts and its application into ways of thinking and intervening. A wide range of practitioners, policy makers and students will benefit from this one text alone and in turn, so will many children and young people." - John Simmonds, British Association for Adoption and Fostering, UK
"This is a MUST read for anyone working with children. Music has a talent for translating what is often dense, dry and inaccessible research into a book which is easy to read and fascinating. The tone is human, sensitive and thoughtful. A real treasure in the field of Child Development." - Asha Phillips, Child Psychotherapist
1. Introduction: The Blind Men and the Elephant. Part 1. Beginnings of Emotional and Social Development. 2. Life Begins: From Conception to Birth. 3. Born to Relate. 4. Infant Coping Mechanisms, Mismatches and Repairs in Relating. 5. Empathy, Self and Other Minds. Part 2. Over-Arching Bodies of Ideas. 6. Attachment. 7. The Importance of Culture. 8. Biology and the Brain. Part 3. Developmental Capacities and Stages. 9. Language, Words and Symbols. 10. Memories: Learning Who We Are and What to Expect. 11. Play: Fun, Symbolising, Practising and Mucking About. 12. Boys, Girls and Gender. Part 4. Not Just Mothers. 13. Non-Maternal Care and Childcare. 14. Siblings, Peers, Group Life and Middle Childhood. 15. The Place of Fathers. 16. Moving Towards Adulthood. Part 5. Consequences of Early Experiences. 17. Trauma, Neglect and Their Effects. 18. Resilience and Good Feelings. 19. Genes, Nature and Nurture. 20. Conclusions: Early Experience and its Longer Term Consequences.
Graham Music is a Consultant Child Psychotherapist and Associate Clinical Director at the Tavistock Clinic in London. His main clinical interests are in developing services in community settings such as schools, and in working with children who are Looked After or adopted, and the adults in their lives. He teaches on many courses and trainings in Britain, and abroad, is on the editorial board of the Journal of Child Psychotherapy and has published particularly on the interface of developmental research and therapeutic practice. He is also an adult psychotherapist working in private practice.