This text is unique in its pervasive historical orientation and includes extensive discussion of methodological issues and controversies. It deals primarily with social development in children and touches on development in adolescence. The book is divided into four parts. The first deals with historical, theoretical, and methodological issues. It attempts to show how theories have developed in different cultural, economic, and historico-political climates and how this has had an impact on the way questions are formulated and data interpreted. In the second part of the book the authors look at the biological roots of social behavior and its social underpinnings, including a discussion of the early foundations of social behavior, socialization processes, and the influence of the peer group. Part three provides an overview of major content areas in the study of social development, dealing with social cognition, self-control and aggression, altruism and morality, and sex differences and sex roles. Part four is a brief attempt to show how social development research has addressed itself to pressing social problems and the implications of research findings for planning and policy decisions.