Project Description

Nurturing Young Minds

Edited by Dr Ramesh Manocha & Gyongyi Horvath
To read the full chapter go to Volume 2, chapter 2, pp. 26-41.


Dr Michael Nagel

 Associate Professor, School of Education at the University of the Sunshine Coast

Dr Michael Nagel is an Associate Professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast, where he teaches and researches in the areas of cognition, human development, behaviour and learning. He is the author of ten books on child development and learning used by teachers and parents in over twenty countries. Dr Nagel has delivered over three hundred workshops and seminars for parents and teachers nationally and internationally. Nominated as Australian Lecturer of the Year each year since 2010, Dr Nagel is a member of the prestigious International Neuropsychological Society, is the Queensland Director of the Australian Council on Children and the Media, and is a feature writer for Jigsaw and the Child series of magazines, which collectively offers parenting advice to more than one million Australian readers.


Humans are social beings. We thrive when relationships are positive, and when they are not we can face myriad physical and psychological challenges. This is true of all people regardless of age but arguably more so during childhood, when the brain is busy maturing and evolving through the interplay of nature and nurture. As such, understanding the links between emotional and social development and relationships is integral to anyone who works with children or who is interested in child development and welfare.

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Aamodt, S & Wang, S, 2011, Welcome to Your Child’s Brain: How the Mind Grows From Conception to College, Bloomsbury, New York.

Bell, MA & Wolfe, CD, 2004, ‘Emotion and cognition: An intricately bound developmental process’, Child Development 75(2), pp 366–370.

Brazelton, TB & Greenspan, SI, 2000, The Irreducible Needs of Children: What Every Child Must Have to Grow, Learn and Flourish, Perseus Publishing, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Crugnola, CR, Tambelli, R, Spinelli, M, Gazzotti, S, Caprin, C & Albizzati, A, 2011, ‘Attachment patterns and emotion regulation strategies in the second year’, Infant Behavior & Development 34(1), pp 136–151.

Damasio, A, 2004, ‘Emotions and feelings: A neurobiological perspective’, in Manstead, ASR, Frijda, N & Fischer, A (Eds), Feelings and Emotions: The Amsterdam Symposium (Studies in Emotion and Social Interaction), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 49–57.

Diamond, M & Hopson, J, 1999, Magic Trees of the Mind: How to Nurture Your Child’s Intelligence, Creativity, and Healthy Emotions from Birth Through Adolescence, Penguin Putnam Inc, New York.

Dowling, M, 2014, Young Children’s Personal, Social and Emotional Development (4th edition), Sage Publications, London.

Eisenberg, N, Valiente, C & Eggum, ND, 2010, ‘Self-regulation and school readiness’, Early Education & Development 21(5), pp 681–698.

Faull, J & McLean-Oliver, J, 2010, Amazing Minds: The Science of Nurturing Your Child’s Developing Mind with Games, Activities and More, Berkley Books, New York. Fox, SE, Levitt, P and Nelson, CA, 2010, ‘How the timing and quality of early experiences influence the development of brain architecture’, Child Development 81(1), pp 28–40.

Goleman, D, 1995, Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ, Bantam Books, New York.

Goleman, D, 2006, Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships, Random House, London.

Hershkowitz, N & Hershkowitz, EC, 2004, A Good Start in Life: Understanding Your Child’s Brain and Behaviour from Birth to Age 6, Dana Press, New York.

Kochanska, G, Coy, KC & Murra, KT, 2001, ‘The development of self-regulation in the first four years of life’, Child Development 72(4), pp 1091–1111.

Manocha, R (Ed), 2017, Growing Happy, Healthy Young Minds: Generation Next, Hachette Australia, Sydney.

Nurturing Young Minds_4th pages.indd 40 6/07/2017 10:24 pm EMOTIONS AND RELATIONSHIPS shape the BRAINs of children 41

Nagel, MC, 2012, In the Beginning: The Brain, Early Development and Learning, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), Camberwell.

Nagel, MC, 2012, Nurturing a Healthy Mind: Doing What Matters Most for Your Child’s Developing Brain, Exisle Publishing, Newcastle.

Nagel, MC, & Scholes, L 2016, Understanding Development and Learning: Implications for Teaching, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2004, Young Children Develop in an Environment of Relationships (Working Paper No. 1), Centre on the Developing Child, Harvard University, Cambridge, p 1.

Raver, CC, 2002, ‘Emotions matter: Making the case for the role of young children’s emotional development for early school readiness’, Social Policy Report 16(3), pp 3–18.

Shonkoff, JP & Phillips, DA (Eds), 2000, From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development, National Academy Press, Washington.

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