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Young Children's Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Young Children's Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Fourth Edition

August 2014 | 264 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Young children’s personal, social and emotional development is of central importance to all those working in the Early Years.


Offering thought-provoking questions and practical suggestions to help readers to reflect on and develop their own practice, this fourth edition of Marion Dowling’s much-loved book has been fully updated to include:

  •  Expanded coverage of key topics including independent thinking, living and learning with others, and dispositions for learning
  • A new chapter on ‘Vulnerable Children and Fragile Families’, with sections on identifying risk, talking to families, and safeguarding and protection
  • Guidance for working with parents in every chapter
  • Updated links to the EYFS and a focus on two year olds.


This is essential reading for all Early Years students and practitioners, and anyone working with or caring for young children.

The Seeds of Confidence and Competence
Confidence and Competence for Learning
Living with Others
Learning with Others
Becoming Independent
Independent Thinkers
Emotional Well-being
Influences on Young Children’s Well-being
Dispositions for Learning
Nurturing Dispositions to Learn
Young Children's Behaviour
Achieving Self- regulated Behaviour
Young Children's Spirituality
Living in the Wider World
Working with Families
Vulnerable Children & Fragile Families

This is an excellent addition to our reading list. The book contains practical and theory based wisdom and offers fantastic examples to improve children's early experiences. The book is useful for parents, students and practitioners and provides useful insight to advise, acknowledge and model effective strategies in the home, in the work place and to facilitate prosocial interactions and behaviours in wider society.

Mrs Annabel Latham
School of Education, Aberystwyth University
July 29, 2021

This is a good resource for the Early Years foundation degree students which is relevant to several modules across two years of studies. The case studies are particularly well structured and useful for developing understanding of the chapter material. However, it would have been even better if the questions at the Reflection Points were differentiated and offer challenges of for the learners with different level of skills. At the end of the chapters there are useful Practical suggestions and summaries that help me as a teachers to summarise the lecture.

Ms Maryna Bentley
Early years Studies, Gloucestershire University
September 13, 2016

This is an excellent text, supporting students to develop a deep understanding of the Prime Area, Personal, Social and Emotional Development. The text highlights effective practice and encourages the reader to reflect on their own practice.

Miss Jackie Sumner
Childhood & Youth Studies, Edge Hill University
September 26, 2016

A key text. Thorough, captivating and thought-provoking.

Mrs Abigail Carolyn Gosling
Education Studies, Bedfordshire University
September 19, 2016

As ever Dowling provides an excellent exploration of PSED for both students and practitioners.

Mrs Abigail Carolyn Gosling
Education Studies, Bedfordshire University
September 19, 2016

This is a thorough yet accessible book which is perfect for promoting a holistic focus. The coverage of subjects beyond the EYFS from dispositions to spirituality to developing independence is excellent, with case studies serving to highlight key issues. Links with classical learning theories are highly supportive while the Practical Suggestions sections offer guidance and reflection relevant to a wide range of experiences.

Mrs Sally Tazewell
Dept of Care and Early Years, Weston College
July 2, 2016

An easy to read resource for all practitioners interested in child development.

Ms Ruth Heffernan
Health and Community Studies, University of Bolton
March 3, 2016

A comprehensive update to this excellent text with useful chapter summaries and activities as well as links to the Teaching Standards (Early Years). The chapter on Young Children's Spirituality remains a classic.

Mr Philip Selbie
Plymouth Institute of Education, University of Plymouth
October 25, 2015

When completing a degree on childhood studies this book is a must. The book can be used for every module on a degree course,

Mrs Yolande Leech
Dept of Early Years, Accrington & Rossendale College
October 6, 2015

A really useful book for my Early Years students as it looks at recent policy & practice, all aspects of PSED and gives practical suggestions, case studies and reflection points.

Miss Charlotte Bishop
Early Years, University Campus Oldham
November 2, 2015

Sample Materials & Chapters

Ch 1. The Seeds of Confidence and Competence

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ISBN: 9781446285893

ISBN: 9781446285886