Title: Adulthood and Aging
Edited By: Susan Whitbourne and Martin Sliwinski
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2012
Reviewer: Paul Watson, teacher of secondary mathematics and PSHE coordinator
What was it like?
This exceptional collection draws on the most recent demographic data and combines classic research with cutting–edge approaches to provide an invaluable overview of the developmental psychology of the adult years. Covers a wide range of topics within adult development and ageing, from theoretical perspectives to specific content areas. Includes newly commissioned essays from the top researchers in the field and takes a biopsychosocial perspective, covering the biological, psychological and social changes that occur in adulthood.
What were the highlights?
There are well-structured independent sections, each with their own reference list, which allow the reader to be immersed in each section as though reading a separate book. This also enables the reader to be able to pick up this book and start a new section of their choice without having to know about the previous one. Where necessary and appropriate there are clear and informative diagrams and charts to reinforce and support the author’s words.
Strengths & weaknesses:
I really liked the fact that each chapter was around a topic and was split in to sub-sections, each written as an independent piece of work. This works well for me as I like to dip in and out of books and this approach is facilitated by this style of publication. At times I found the going a little bit hard but this was more than made up for by the construction of the individual sections. With the structure like this I was able to jump around the book looking at chapters or sections that took my attention, having a clear conclusion at the end of each, allowing me to reflect on what I had just read and learned. This is no lightweight book, but I was pleased to have the hard back version as it lent itself to being read while being held and was able to support itself. I was impressed with the individual sections and how they read but was left wondering if the book could have been slightly lighter if all of the references were consolidated in to one reference list at the back of the book, as some of these were repeated throughout the book. This would have also made it easier to see how the literature search had used the same author’s work published in different years, possibly indicating change or repetition of ideas.
Who should read it?
I am unsure who would go out and purchase this book that has a RRP of £104:50 but feel that if this was an area of study that you were interested in it would be a great buy. I would however recommend any professional who works in this area to consider booking it out of a library, and possibly purchase a copy for the team.