Resources on Normal and Abnormal Childhood Development?
February 9, 2014 8:21 AM   Subscribe

Looking for resources for a well-educated layperson on the following topics. I'm trying to figure out if the childhood psychological/psychosocial development for a person who had early signs of sexual knowledge (age 2, already expressing complete sentences) but who expressed verbal interest only later (age 5) was normal/abnormal and if parenting or just precociousness/agency had anything to do with anything that might be considered normal/abnormal about that development path. I'm out of my depth here in research and would appreciate your help.

I would prefer resources available on the web but would be willing to get resources from the library too.

Here's a list of the topics I'm looking for pointers to:
- General childhood developmental milestones
- Normal childhood sexual development and sexual knowledge in the U.S. esp. during the 1970s and 1980s
- Contemporary understanding of normal and abnormal psychosocial development
- Cognitive therapy-specific protocols for patients with abnormal/precocious/sexually precocious childhoods
- Adjustment to normal therapeutic protocol (if any) for early mental or emotional developers
- Pointers to related topics within the childhood and sexual development fields
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you're a well-educated layperson looking to diagnose whether or not a child is developing normally or not or if they've been sexually abused or not, I think you're treading into some very dangerous waters.

Don't do that.

However, some of the standard educator textbooks about child development are:

Child Development by Laura Berk (Berk has several good books, actually)
Development Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach by Barbara and Philip Newman
Theories of Childhood: An Introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget & Vygotsky
David Sousa's How the Brain Learns

But again, I can't tell by the wording of your question if you know a child and you have suspicions of abuse. If that's your question, then none of these books apply and you should help the child as best you can.

Getting a layperson's education about childhood development for the purpose of diagnosis will not help and could cause a lot of trouble.
posted by kinetic at 8:52 AM on February 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

[Stepping in here just to forestall other worries along these lines, the OP is not diagnosing a child.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:57 AM on February 9, 2014

One thing to consider is that for very young children, they experience what that see as if it is happening to them personally. If they witness sexual behavior, it is as if they were involved even if they weren't touched or so on.
posted by autoclavicle at 10:20 PM on March 14, 2014

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