How we change over time - who we love, what work we do, how we die - is shaped both by internal, and external influences. This book explores the important subject of human growth and development by combining the social context of how people live with their personal ways of thinking and being. The result is a greater understanding of why people are who they are. Taking a psychosocial approach to exploring human growth and development, this book: • Provides an insightful exploration of the human life course by looking at significant life stages and key themes (such as parenting, ill-health and violence). • Draws on both contemporary and classic research in the fields of psychology and sociology, to deliver an in-depth analysis of issues about self and society. • Moves beyond traditional, limiting approaches to understanding people's lives toward an interdisciplinary, psychosocial approach. Whether you are studying on a Social Work, Nursing or related Health or Social Care degree, or taking a course in the newly emerging field of Psychosocial Studies, this book is a clear and ground-breaking contribution to the understanding of human growth and development.