Although Adult Development and Aging covers complex issues and difficult topics, we use clear, concise, and understandable language. We examined all terms to ensure that their use was essential; otherwise, they were eliminated.
The text is aimed at upper-division undergraduate students. Although it will be helpful if students have completed an introductory psychology or lifespan human development course, the text does not assume this background.
The many pedagogical aids in the fifth edition have been retained and enhanced in the sixth edition.
• Learning Aids in the Chapter Text. Each chapter begins with a chapter outline. At the start of each new section, learning objectives are presented. These objectives are keyed to each primary subsection that follows, and they direct the students’ attention to the main points to be discussed. At the conclusion of each major section are concept checks, one for each primary subsection, which help students spot-check their learning. Key terms are defined in context; the term itself is printed in boldface, with the sentence containing the term’s definition in italic.
• End-of-Chapter Learning Aids. At the end of each chapter are summaries, organized by major sections and primary subsection heads. This approach helps students match the chapter outline with the summary. Numerous review questions, also organized around major sections and primary subsections, are provided to assist students in identifying major points. Integrative questions are included as a way for students to link concepts across sections within and across chapters. Key terms with definitions are listed. Suggestions for additional readings from both the scientific and popular literatures are provided, with estimates of difficulty level based on undergraduates’ evaluations. Key websites are included with brief descriptions of the content of each site.
• Boxes. Three types of boxes are included. Those entitled How Do We Know? draw attention to specific research studies that were discussed briefly in the main body of the text. Details about the study’s design, participants, and outcomes are presented as a way for students to connect the information about these issues in Chapter 1 with specific research throughout the text. Current Controversies boxes raise controversial and provocative issues about topics discussed in the chapter. These boxes get students to think about the implications of research or policy issues and may be used effectively as points of departure for class discussions. Discovering Development boxes give students a way to see developmental principles and concepts in the “real world” as well as some suggestions on how to find others. These boxes provide a starting point for applied projects in either individual or group settings, and help students understand how development is shaped by the interaction of biological, psychological, sociocultural, and life-cycle forces.