Third Force Psychology and Child Psychology: A Convergence of Horizons

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Though some authors have argued that the goals of third force psychology are intrinsically harmonious with those of child psychology, humanistic or human science perspectives are rarely represented in child developmental texts, courses, and programs. This is particularly notable at the undergraduate level. A major reason for the relative underrepresentation of third force perspectives in the area of child development is that the large-scale debates inherent to this field have not been conducive to third force thinking. At the same time, contemporary child developmental thinking has evolved considerably within recent years, and the issues that have traditionally kept humanism at a distance from child psychology have changed. In this article, I argue that the nature of these changes is such that the area of child developmental theory is now evidencing opportunities for third force psychology to become a more recognized contributor to the study of child development.

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