Skip to main content
Michigan State University

Child Development: Overview/Reference Sources

Where to begin.

Child Development

Child Development as a topic of study crosses several disciplinary boundaries. It includes health, psychological well-being, education, and family and community relationships. There is a wealth of information available,  narrowing a topic to avoid being overwhelmed can be challenging.

Library Contacts

Library Contacts

For further assistance with research on topics related to child development contact:

Hailey Mooney

Data Services Librarian
Specialist for Sociology and Social Work
(517) 884-0857
mooneyh@mail.lib.msu.edu

Reference Sources

Background information, initial ideas for further research:

Early Childhood Education: An International Encyclopedia

A four volume set, with too many entries to list here. A sample would include: Autism, Behaviorism, Brain Development, Child Abuse and Neglect, Child Care, Classroom Environments, Culture, Curriculum, Development, Down Syndrome, Families, Gay and Lesbian Parents, Head Start, Immigration, Inclusion, Mathematics, Narrative, Obesity, Play, Readiness, Self-Esteem and Self-Concept, Temperament ...
Location(s): MSU Reference, 1 Center  LB1139.23 .E272 2007
Check Catalog

Encyclopedia of Applied Developmental Science

Contents: Adolescent development -- ADS training and education -- Adult development -- Biographies of applied development scientists -- Child development -- Civic engagement -- Culture and diversity -- Development : promoting interventions -- Developmental assessment -- Developmental disorders -- Developmental processes -- Developmental risks -- Ecology of human development -- Emotional and social development -- Ethics -- Families -- Foundations -- Health -- Historical influences -- Infant development -- Organizations -- Parenting -- Personality development -- Religiosity and spirituality -- Research methodology -- Schools -- Social issues -- Theory -- Universities -- Youth programs.
Location(s): Main Library, 3 East HQ767.84 .E52 2005
Check Catalog

Encyclopedia of Human Development

Provides cross-disciplinary coverage, with contributions from experts in the fields of psychology, education, human development and family studies, and gerontology. Highlights classic studies and theories and provides brief biographies of notable researchers and theorists.  Takes a lifespan approach by including several "anchor essays" that cover specific phases of development such as prenatal, infancy, childhood, adolescence, early and middle adulthood, later adulthood and aging.
Three volumes.
Location(s): Main Library, 3 East HM626 .E53 2006
Check Catalog

Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health

Provides background information on major topics in nursing and allied health including references and illustrations.
(This is an online encyclopedia, with many articles relevant to child development. Click title to access.)

Handbook of Child Psychology

Authoritative four-volume reference spans the entire field of child development. Choice (April 2007) review says "offers less experienced readers a broad understanding of the issues and also routes to particular topics. More advanced scholars can quickly update themselves on an entire field."
"…is an internationally known, classic work spanning 75 years of research." (American Reference Books Annual, March 2007)
Location(s): Main Library, 2 East BF721 .H242 2006
Check Catalog

Handbook of Research on Schools, Schooling, and Human Development

Contents: Introduction; Classroom Contexts; Schools as Social Context for Development; Developmental Effects of School Transitions; Schooling and Educational Equity; School Organization and Educational Policy; School-Based Interventions.
(This is an online handbook. Click title to access.)

Infant Development
Volume 1: Basic Research
Volume 2: Applied and Policy Issues

Presents in-depth coverage of both basic and applied developmental issues during infancy. Features contributions by international researchers and practitioners in the field that reflect current theories and research findings. Includes editor commentary and analysis to synthesize the material and provide further insight. (This is an online handbook. Click title to access.)

International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences

Covers many aspects of child development. The introduction states that the second edition provides an entirely new set of articles incorporating transformative developments in the social sciences. Disciplines covered include economic development, education, psychiatry, psychology, social issues and sociology. (This is an online encyclopedia. Click title to access.)

Oxford handbook of the Development of Play

Examines the development of children's play through a multidisciplinary approach with chapters from scholars in psychology, anthropology, and evolutionary biology. This handbook aims to reset the landscape of developmental science and make a compelling case for the benefits of play.
Location(s): Main Library, 2 East BF717 .O94 2011
Check Catalog

The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Childhood Cognitive Development

Provides state-of-the-art summaries of current research by international specialists in different areas of cognitive development from infancy to the onset of adolescence. Includes chapters on symbolic reasoning, pretend play, spatial development, abnormal cognitive development and current theoretical perspectives . (This is an online handbook. Click title to access.)

The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Childhood Social Development

Contents: Part 1 Historical Overview. Part II Disciplinary Perspectives on Social Development. Part III Ecological Contexts For Social Development. Part IV Child and Contextual Factors in Social Development. Part V Family Context. Part VI Peer group. Part VII Play, cooperation, competition, aggression, bullying. Part VIII Cognition, helping, moral reasoning. Part IX Intervention and Social Development. (This is an online handbook. Click title to access.)

  • Call MSU: (517) 355-1855
  • Visit: msu.edu
  • MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer.
Michigan State University