The story of a human life--in any cultural context--is a rich and compelling drama. The systematic study of human development in context is a challenge for students and researchers alike.Human Development,Ninth Edition, draws from many fields (psychology, biology, sociology, anthropology, history, nursing, medicine, and public health, to name a few), to provide an up-to-date presentation of the key topics, issues, and controversies in the study of lifespan development. In this edition ofHuman Development,I continue to be joined by Don Baucum, an experimental psychologist with clinical training, who draws on his own observations, his eclectic teaching experience, and an engaging writing style to help breathe life and voice into the narrative. We discovered in writing the previous edition that his expertise and mine as an applied developmental psychologist also with extensive teaching experience augment each other well, so Don is now my full co-author. Together, we attempt to provide a sound, often thought-provoking survey of contemporary developmental research and theory as well as applications to everyday life. Because this field is so broad, challenging, open-ended, and controversial, ample opportunities are included for students to consider a wide variety of perspectives and kinds of evidence. Students are encouraged to weigh the evidence against personal experience, and to develop an informed, critical perspective on how we come to be who and what we are as human beings and what each of us can expect in our years to come. Student Diversity Today's college students are more diverse than ever. A given classroom may have a cross-section of students who vary widely in age, ethnicity, personal experiences, and outlook. Today's students also vary in academic background, degree of exposure to the social sciences in particular, and career interests. Each of these factors, and more, create "filters" through which each individual perceives human development and life in general. Many students of human development will pursue a future in fields related to human service, including social work, education, nursing, counseling, various areas of psychology, and program administration. Some are already parents, many will become parents in the future; considerable practical advice about parenting is also included for this reason. We believe that most students by far have a unique and potentially irresistible curiosity about how childhood, adolescence, and adulthood work. This text encourages that curiosity through its emphasis on diversity.Human Developmentpresents people as they are in the context of culture and subculture, both within the United States and beyond. Rather than generalize from any one group of people, it makes a special effort to explain how developmental phenomena apply or relate to a wide range of peoples. The contemporary case studies and research efforts incorporated in the text reflect this variety. Hopefully, students will find themselves in the pages of this text, regardless of background, and yet at the same time escape the confines of ethnocentrism. Chronological Organization In the field of human development there is always the question of whether to organize developmental research and theory by topical chapters, such as bio-, logical, cognitive, language, social, and personality development, or to present child and adult development as it happens chronologically, emphasizing the holistic interrelationships.Human Developmenttakes the latter approach and presents child and adult development primarily in chapters devoted to each of the traditional age divisions: the prenatal period, infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, and young, middle, and older adulthood. The text opens with two chapters on perspectives on human development and its study, one on the interaction of heredity and environment, and one on prenatalCraig, Grace J. is the author of 'Human Development', published 2001 under ISBN 9780130334411 and ISBN 0130334413.