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The Youngest Minds: Parenting and Genes in the Development of Intellect and Emotion

Barnet, Ann B., and Barnet, Richard J.

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ISBN 10: 0684815370 / ISBN 13: 9780684815374
Published by Simon & Schuster, New York, 1998
Condition: Very good Hardcover
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

25 cm, 352 pages. Illus., notes, references, index, minor soiling to DJ. Inscribed and signed by both authors. How children learn language, establish emotional ties, gain control of their emotions, and embrace moral values. The authors discuss research and theory about the effects of early experience on the physiology of the brain. Bookseller Inventory # 37980

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Youngest Minds: Parenting and Genes in ...

Publisher: Simon & Schuster, New York

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very good

Dust Jacket Condition: very good

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Printing.

About this title


Drawing on insights from recent advances in neuroscience and psychological research, The Youngest Minds offers a new look at how children learn language, establish emotional ties, gain control of their own emotions, and embrace moral values. The authors discuss recent research and theory about the effects of early experience on the physiology of the brain. They show how a child's genetic inheritance and experiences interact at many different levels. The capacities for language, emotional development, and moral understanding are inborn, but they are fine-tuned by human relationships that influence the landscape of the brain. The Youngest Minds explains how parents and other caregivers support the intertwined processes of language, intellectual, and emotional development with the experiences they provide for a baby. Through daily interactions, infants establish ways of responding that will influence them all their lives. The preschool years are critical in the lives of children because their brains are developing more rapidly than at any other time in life. In these years, children are especially dependent on parents and other primary caregivers to meet their needs for love, security, stimulation, and challenge. The Barnets describe how children learn to control their anger, consider the feelings of others, assimilate the standards of acceptable behavior in their family and culture, and develop moral sensibilities. Using studies that follow groups of children over many years, the authors explain how an accumulation of risks in early years can lead to serious trouble in adult life. But they also present research demonstrating that many children overcome great odds. The Youngest Minds outlines the essential characteristics of a good caregiving environment. Whether a child is cared for at home or at a day care center, certain conditions need to be met. Because of many changes in our society over the last few decades, families are finding it harder to provide the unstressful but challenging environment that much scientific evidence indicates babies need. The authors conclude with a look at who is taking care of America's young children and offer some ideas for improving the quality of their care.


The Youngest Minds is a surprisingly readable mixture of science review, advice manual, and consciousness-raising book, which should be at the top of every expectant parent's reading list. Child neurologist Ann B. Barnet and her husband, Richard, explore the world of the very young with the aim of providing an overview of early development in such areas as language, emotional attachment, and socialization. Dr. Barnet puts her expertise to good use in lucid explanations of the biology of brain growth, and both she and her husband draw on their experience as parents and grandparents to put this scientific material in a practical perspective. They also express concern for children worldwide who are suffering from less-than-optimal social and economic conditions and consequently are missing out on their full potential. Chapters include "How the Brain Takes Shape"; "Pathways of Language"; "Empathy, Conscience, and Moral Development"; and Caring for Children.

So should you read to your newborn? What's going on in an infant's brain? How does language develop? What can we do to foster emotional attachment? The Barnets provide guidance rather than answers, just as any good scientist (or grandparent) would. Whether read as a science text, a parenting guide, or a plea for children's well-being, The Youngest Minds will satisfy the curious, caring parent. --Rob Lightner

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Founded and operated by trained historians, Ground Zero Books, Ltd., serves the book collector, the scholar, and institutions. We focus on the individual, and pride ourselves on our personal service. Please contact us with your wants, as we have many books not yet listed in our database.

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