Essentials of Human Development: A Life-Span View, 1st Edition

  • Robert V. Kail Purdue University
  • John C. Cavanaugh University of West Florida
  • ISBN-10: 1133943446  |  ISBN-13: 9781133943440
  • 584 Pages
  • © 2014 | Published
  • List Price = $ 148.95
  • For quantity discounts, Contact your Representative
  • For single copy purchases, visit
  • Newer Edition Available



This streamlined, readable account of human development gives you the conceptual foundations that enable you to become an educated and critical interpreter of developmental information. ESSENTIALS OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT: A LIFE-SPAN VIEW also offers an introduction to relevant research and its application to important issues in life-span development. In addition, the book emphasizes the application of human development research across diverse professional settings. If you're pursuing a career related not just to psychology but to education, health, or human sciences--be it as a nurse, physician, educator, psychologist, social worker, or others--this text will show you how human development research can allow you to work more effectively with future patients, students, or clients. Succinct and filled with real-life examples that aid your understanding, it will capture your interest while introducing you to the essential issues, forces, and outcomes that make us who we are. Available with InfoTrac® Student Collections

Features and Benefits

  • Linking Research to Life boxes show how findings from research can be used to improve human development throughout the life span.
  • Spotlight on Research boxes highlight a specific study discussed in the text, helping students understand the science and scope of life-span development.
  • Real People: Applying Human Development boxes illustrate how a development issue is manifested in the life of a real person.
  • Human Development in Action features (in the margins) encourage students to imagine themselves in a specific professional setting and to 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 in the book.
  • Integrated pedagogical features are designed to help students maximize their learning. In addition, key terms appear in colorized boldface type when introduced, making it easier for students to locate them as they study and review.
  • InfoTrac® Student Collections are specialized databases expertly drawn from the Gale Academic One library. Each InfoTrac® Student Collection enhances the student learning experience in the specific course area related to the product. These specialized databases allow access to hundreds of scholarly and popular publications - all reliable sources - including journals, encyclopedias, and academic reports. Learn more and access at:

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 Early 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: Psycho-social, Retirement, Relationship, and Societal Issues.
16. The Final Passage: Dying and Bereavement.

What's New

  • 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 also adopts the biopsychosocial framework to organize and tie themes together.

Alternate Formats

Choose the format that best fits your student's budget and course goals

To customize your learning solution, contact your Learning Consultant for more information.

  • Cengage Advantage Series

    ISBN-10: 1285089685 | ISBN-13: 9781285089683

    List Price = $93.95  | CengageBrain Price = $93.95

Learning Resource Bundles

Choose the textbook packaged with the resources that best meet your course and student needs. Contact your Learning Consultant for more information.

Bundle: Text + Psychology CourseMate Printed Access Card

ISBN-10: 1285471709  | ISBN-13: 9781285471709

List Price = $161.95

Printed Text + CourseMate Instant Access

ISBN-10:  1285716639 | ISBN-13:  9781285716633

List Price = $161.95  | CengageBrain Price = $161.95


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 1285417348 | ISBN-13: 9781285417349)

Simplify testing and assessment with this selection of multiple-choice, true/false, completion, and essay questions.

Instructor's Resource Manual  (ISBN-10: 1285417399 | ISBN-13: 9781285417394)

Streamline and maximize the effectiveness of your course preparation using resources including chapter outlines, lecture topics, student activities, handouts, and more!

PowerLecture with ExamView®  (ISBN-10: 1285417410 | ISBN-13: 9781285417417)

The fastest, easiest way to build powerful, customized media-rich lectures, PowerLecture™ provides a collection of book-specific PowerPoint® lecture and class tools to enhance the educational experience.

CourseMate Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285417445 | ISBN-13: 9781285417448)

List Price = $104.00  | CengageBrain Price = $104.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $104.00

LMS Integrated for CourseMate™, 1 term (6 months) Printed Access Card  (ISBN-10: 1285737954 | ISBN-13: 9781285737959)

List Price = $104.00  | CengageBrain Price = $104.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $78.00

Student Supplements

CourseMate Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285417445 | ISBN-13: 9781285417448)

Cengage Learning's CourseMate brings course concepts to life with interactive learning, study, and exam preparation tools that support the printed textbook. Access an integrated eBook, learning tools including flashcards, quizzes, and more, all designed specifically to work with ESSENTIALS OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT: A LIFE-SPAN VIEW, 1st Edition.

List Price = $104.00  | CengageBrain Price = $104.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $104.00

LMS Integrated for CourseMate™, 1 term (6 months) Printed Access Card  (ISBN-10: 1285737954 | ISBN-13: 9781285737959)

List Price = $104.00  | CengageBrain Price = $104.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $78.00

Meet the Author

Author Bio

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.