Dr. Kupzyk teamed on the work with her mentor from Kansas University, Lynn Marotz, Ph.D.
"We taught a course on parenting, and she always wanted to write a text on parenting. She has written a few other books, and the opportunity just kind of arose with the publisher," Dr. Kupzyk said.
Although the book is primarily for academic use, parents and teachers can benefit from reading it as well, she added.
"The bulk of it is really about development, so each chapter that focuses on an age group -- toddler, preschoolers, early adolescence, adult children," Dr. Kupzyk said. "We talk about their growth during that time, developmental concerns that come up, and we have tips for parents and teachers to problem solve the challenges, with scenarios and timely topics incorporated in it."
Such "hot topics" included the focus on academics in early childhood programs, overinvolved parents, toilet training, cosmetic surgery in adolescents and other relevant issues. Dr. Kupzyk said these issues could be updated easily for future editions.
Dr. Marotz took the lead on the growth portions of the text, while Dr. Kupzyk wrote about how to facilitate cognitive, social and emotional forms of development.
The idea for the book germinated in the class the duo taught at KU, Dr. Kupzyk said, when most materials they could find were too general or missing information they wanted to include in the class.
Beginning in the summer of 2015, they wrote about two chapters a month for nine months.
"It was really helpful to have Dr. Marotz as a collaborator for this project," Dr. Kupzyk said. "Now that I have gone through the process, I feel more confident to pursue other projects."
The book will be marketed not only to those in education, but the medical field as well.
"I think it's a good resource," she said. "It's not merely academic." Dr. Kupzyk said holding the finished book felt "surreal."
"To actually see it all together really kind of validated the effort," she said.
Keith Allen, Ph.D., director of the psychology deaprtment, praised Dr. Kupzyk's work.
"The publication of a book like this, with an emphasis on a developmental perspective, is important because it helps both parents and providers alike to have more realistic expectations for children," Dr. Allen said. "In addition, it is nice evidence that MMI is attracting talented young clinical-scholars like Dr. Kupzyk to its faculty. We are proud of her accomplishment."