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Foreword

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 September 2009

Aletha C. Huston
Affiliation:
University of Texas, Austin
Marika N. Ripke
Affiliation:
University of Hawaii, Manoa
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Summary

In 1994, the MacArthur Foundation invited fourteen scholars to form an interdisciplinary research network. The network's goal was to advance knowledge about middle childhood, the period from roughly age five to twelve. I think it is a fair characterization that, at the outset, none of us in the network saw ourselves as “middle childhood” scholars. Like many researchers interested in child development, we came to the task with backgrounds in early childhood or adolescence. In principle, we all thought middle childhood mattered, but the belief was buttressed more by theory and personal experience (many of us had children in or just leaving the age range) than it was by empirical research.

The MacArthur Network on Successful Pathways Through Middle Childhood functioned for seven years and generated a lot of good work. But it was not until I read the draft chapters for this volume, three years after the Network ended, that I was sure there were definitive data on the question “does middle childhood matter?” Thank goodness, as richly shown in this volume, it does.

Aletha Huston and her former student and current colleague Marika Ripke have done a great service to developmental science by executing the project that became this book. Having been there at the project's outset, but unconflicted by any substantial involvement, I can certify that the effort took clear thinking, countless hours, and all the intellectual and social skills that the chapter authors ascribe to healthy adults.

Type
Chapter
Information
Developmental Contexts in Middle Childhood
Bridges to Adolescence and Adulthood
, pp. xvii - xx
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2006

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