Key Issues in Childhood and Youth studies presents an informed and critical commentary on a range of key issues related to children and childhood, from birth to eighteen years. Challenging current orthodoxies within the adult world on the nature of childhood, it is an essential text for students of childhood and youth studies as well as those studying relevant professional qualifications in social work, teaching and health. Exploring ideas from the historical development of childhood to the demonising of youth, it is divided into five clearly defined sections, each with their own editorial introduction which highlights the key themes. The sections focus on: * The concept and creation of childhood * Child development * Ideas of risk, protection and childhood * The politics of childhood * International perspectives on childhood. This invaluable textbook provides an overview of childhood and youth studies and encourages students to think about the issues discussed and to develop their own ideas. Each chapter contains student activities, key concept boxes, recommended further reading and a reflection exercise.