Reviewed Books & Films

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April 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How Best to Strengthen Couple Relationships for Optimal Child Outcomes?

APA In her review of Strengthening Couple Relationships for Optimal Child Development: Lessons From Research and Intervention edited by Schulz, Pruett, Kerig, and Parke, Sherri Fisher refers to the empirical finding that marriage satisfaction declines after the birth of a child and tends to remain low during the early years of the child's life. The authors of the edited book discuss the implications of couple relationships for parenting and child development, key determinants of couple functioning, and strategies for promoting healthy couple relationships. Given the importance that the quality of couples' relationships has for child development, Fisher ponders the idea of incorporating couples' interventions with childbirth classes. Is this a good strategy? What other approaches might be effective for preparing couples for parenthood and for helping them maintain a strong relationship?

Read the Review
ReviewCouples and Coparents: Research and Intervention Inform Social Policy
By Sherri Fisher
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2010 Vol 55(14)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Is Child's Play Too Important to Ignore?

APA Anthony Pellegrini's book The Role of Play in Human Development makes a strong case for the importance of play in childhood from an evolutionary standpoint (species survival via adaptation of social skills and dominance) and from the standpoint of child development (in the social, emotional, and cognitive domains). Given the compelling case offered in the book, reviewers Sherri McCarthy, Yolanda Mora, and Albertina Aros consider the potential deleterious impact of current trends in public schools of reducing time for unstructured play, such as reducing or eliminating recess, gym class, art and general free-play time, due to budgetary constraints and emphasis on testing.

Given the degree of empirical support for the broad importance of play and policies in schools that constrict play opportunities, the reviewers pose this question: "Are current trends such as increasing incidence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, aggression, and delinquency simply the symptoms of a society that has forgotten how to play?" Further, what is the best approach for incorporating play (back) into children's lives?

Read the Review
ReviewCritical Implications of the Role of Play in Human Development
By Sherri McCarthy, Yolanda Mora, and Albertina Aros
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2010 Vol 55(7)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Impact of Western Thought

APA Dr. Mary Dugan discusses the difficult questions that Trauma Texts raises for academicians. The book "is a collection of provocative and scholarly works" that provide an "in-depth analysis of the evolution and impact of what are known by such terms as life stories, narratives, testimonies, and trauma texts." There is one question that the editors, Gillian Whitlock and Kate Douglas, fail to raise. Discussions of Ethan Watters's book Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche in the popular press suggest that perhaps we should consider the impact of Western notions on life outside of the West. To that end, are books of this type helping to change the way cultures interpret and manage the traumatic events of life that range from natural disasters to war crimes?

Read the Review
ReviewThe Global Experience of Trauma
By Mary Dugan
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2010 Vol 55(14)

Editor of PsycCRITIQUES

Danny Wedding, PhD

Chair of Behavioral Sciences,
College of Medicine,
American University of Antigua

Associate Editors of PsycCRITIQUES

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