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Parent-Child Relations Context, Research, and Application

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2017-01-04
  • Publisher: Pearson
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This life-span approach to parent-child relations gives students a comprehensive, contemporary look at theories, research, and techniques within historical and cultural contexts. It covers every stage of development, including older parents and their adult children, and uses an inclusive approach that looks at a variety of different family contexts, such as foster families, military families, and families with an LGBTQ member, as well as the influence of culture and ethnicity on family beliefs and behaviors. The first chapter focuses on the history of theoretical and research influences of childrearing to help students understand why parents today hold certain beliefs regarding how to raise children. Theory and research are then interwoven through the book. An early chapter on strategies and techniques also sets the stage for upcoming discussions of parent-child relations.

Written with the student in mind, the book presents numerous examples. Critical thinking questions in every chapter encourage students to stop and consider their views regarding the material, and Spotlight features throughout provide examples of the influence of technology, diversity, and poverty on families. The Enhanced Pearson eText version includes embedded video examples and Test Your Knowledge quizzes with feedback that enable students to check their understanding of the material.


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Author Biography

Phyllis Heath is Professor Emerita, Central Michigan University. Her research focus has included parent-child relations in various contexts and cultures, including indigenous cultures in Mexico and South Africa. Her previous textbooks published by Pearson Education include previous editions of Parent-Child Relations in 2005, 2009 and 2013.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Historical and Theoretical Influences of Childrearing  

Chapter 2: Parenting Patterns and the Impact of Culture and Context  

Chapter 3: Parents and Children in Varied Family Structures  

Chapter 4: Child Socialization Strategies and Techniques  

Chapter 5: Becoming Parents and Parenting Infants and Toddlers  

Chapter 6: Parent—Preschooler Interactions  

Chapter 7: Parents and Their School-Age Children  

Chapter 8: Parent—Adolescent Interactions  

Chapter 9: The Relationships of Young Adults, Their Parents, and Their Children  

Chapter 10: Middle Age and Older Parenthood and Grandparenthood  

Chapter 11: Parenting Children with Special Needs  

Chapter 12: Families at Risk and Families Coping with the Death of a Family Member 


Chapter 1: Historical and Theoretical Influences of Childrearing 1

Autocratic Parenting: A Tradition of Harsh, Strict Childrearing 2

The Hobbesian View: The Willful Child • Puritan Beliefs: The Sinful Child • The Questioning of Autocratic Parenting • The Legacy of G. Stanley Hall: The Child Study Movement • Watson: The Dangers of Parental Affection

Conflicting Theories About Children’s Behavior and Motivations 6

Theories that Emphasized Parental Understanding of Children • Sigmund Freud: A Focus on Children’s Natural Instincts • Attachment Theory: A Focus on Parental Responsiveness • Benjamin Spock: Limits Within the Context of Warmth and Affection • B. F. Skinner: Reinforcement as a Consequence of Appropriate Behavior • The Social Learning Theorists: Imitation and Modeling • Erikson: The Resolution of Psychological Crises • Respecting and Attending to Children’s Enthusiasm for Learning • Maria Montessori: Children Have Absorbent Minds • Caroline Pratt: Children’s Play Is Their Work • Jean Piaget: Children Actively Engage Their Environments • Lev Vygotsky: Parents as Partners in Children’s Learning

The Role of Context in Child Socialization 16

Rudolf Dreikurs’s Social Discipline Theory: Democracy in the Family • Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Model • Parental Ethnotheories: Cultural Ideas Parents Have Regarding Children, Families, and Themselves as Parents • Family Systems Theory • Family Development Theory • The Systemic Family Development Model • The Double ABCX Model of Family Stress and Adaptation

The Importance of the Parental Role 21

Galinsky’s Six Stages of Parenthood • Mothers, Fathers, and Others in the Parenting Role

The Interface Between Parents and the Community 25

Parents, Children, and Technology in the 21st Century 26

Summary 26

Test Your Knowledge 27

Useful Websites 28

Key Terms 28


Chapter 2: Parenting Patterns and the Impact of Culture and Context 29

Child Socialization Patterns of American Parents 30

Authoritative Parents • Authoritarian Parents • Permissive Parents • Indulgent Parents • Indifferent Parents • Overprotective Parents • Parents with Inconsistent Child Socialization Patterns

Cultural Variations in Parenting Patterns 46

Child Socialization in Non-Western Societies • The Traditional Parenting Pattern in the United States

Other Contextual Influences on Parenting Patterns 53

The Effects of Socioeconomic Status • The Influence of Religiosity • The Influence of Families of Origin • The Effects of Children’s Characteristics • Parenting Styles and Children’s Use of Technology

Summary 60

Test Your Knowledge 61

Useful Websites 61

Key Terms 62


Chapter 3: Parents and Children in Varied Family Structures 63

Families and Adoption 65

Birth Parents and Adoptive Parents • Domestic Transracial and International Transracial Adoptions

Surrogate Parents: Foster Parents and Grandparents 70

Foster Parents and Foster Children • Grandfamilies: Grandparents Rearing Their Grandchildren

Parents and Children Affected by Divorce 76

The Effects of Custody Arrangements • Factors Related to the Postdivorce Adjustment of Children • Parents and Children in Stepfamilies

Adolescent Parents and Their Children 83

Pregnancy and Childbirth • Teenage Fatherhood • The Children of Adolescent Parents • Support for Adolescent Parents and Their Children

Families With a Member Who Is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender 88

Changing Views of Family to Include LGBT People • The Pathways to Parenthood for LGBT Parents • Challenges for Gay and Lesbian Parents and Their Children • Children Who Are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender

Parents and Children in Immigrant Families 94

Acculturation • Language Differences

Parents and Children in Military Families 97

Domestic and International Relocation • The Effects of Deployment on Family Members

Summary 102

Test Your Knowledge 103

Useful Websites 103

Key Terms 104


Chapter 4: Child Socialization Strategies and Techniques 105

Guidance as Prevention of Problems 106

Establishing an Atmosphere of Psychological Safety • Guidance as Encouragement of Children • Four Pluses and a Wish–A Strategy for Motivating Children’s Compliance • The Concept of Belongingness and Children’s Goals of Misbehavior

Effective Parent—Child Communication as a Parenting Strategy 116

Problem Ownership • Active Listening • I-Messages

Guidance as Reinforcement and Modeling 121

Reinforcement of Approved Behavior • Imitation and Modeling

Guidance as Limits, Consequences, and Conflict Resolution 124

The Technique of Induction • Natural and Logical Consequences • Problems Associated with Using Punishment as a Disciplinary Strategy

Resolving Parent—Child Conflict 130

The Advantages of Using the No-Lose Method of Conflict Resolution

Summary 133

Test Your Knowledge 134

Useful Websites 134

Key Terms 135


Chapter 5: Becoming Parents and Parenting Infants and Toddlers 136

Pathways to Parenthood 137

The Decision to Become Parents • Pathways to Parenthood in Contemporary Society • Optimizing the Chances of Having Healthy Babies

Birth and the Transition to Parenthood 144

When Infants Are Born Early and/or Small • The Transition to Parenthood: A Major Developmental Milestone • Changes in Family and Friendship Networks • Caring for Infants and Toddlers in a Coparenting Relationship • Social Support for Parents of Infants and Toddlers

Promoting the Social-Emotional Development of Infants and Toddlers 148

Infant Trust and Attachment • Parental Support of Self-Regulatory Behavior • Parent—Infant Play • Parental Influences on Toddlers’ Autonomy and Exploratory Behavior

Promoting the Cognitive Development of Infants and Toddlers 156

Insights from Piaget • Insights from Vygotsky • Insights from Brain Research • Parents’ Understanding of Infant Perception • Promoting Infant Language Development

Promoting the Physical Development of Infants and Toddlers 160

Meeting Nutritional Needs • Providing Health Care • The Promotion of Fine and Gross Motor Skills

Infant/Toddler Care When Parents Are at Work 164

The Quality of Center-Based Care and Home-Based Care • Infants and Toddlers in Child Care Settings

Summary 166

Test Your Knowledge 167

Useful Websites 168

Key Terms 168


Chapter 6: Parent—Preschooler Interactions 169

The Parental Role in Promoting Preschoolers’ Social-Emotional Development 170

Early Attachment and Parent—Preschooler Relationships • Promoting the Young Child’s Sense of Initiative • Parental Contributions to Preschoolers’ Self-Esteem • Talking to Young Children About Their Emotions • Promoting Preschoolers’ Self-Reliance • Helping Young Children Discover Their Personal Boundaries

Promoting Young Children’s Cognitive Development 176

Insights from Piaget • Insights from Vygotsky • The Role of Parents in Promoting Language Development

Promoting Preschoolers’ Physical Development 183

Meeting the Nutritional Needs of Preschoolers • Understanding the Brain Development of Young Children • The Promotion of Fine and Gross Motor Skills

The Development of Personal and Family Life Skills 190

Child Care for Preschool Children 191

Quality Child Care Indicators

Challenges and Concerns of Parents of Young Children 192

Sleeping Problems • Sibling Relationships • Aggressive Behaviors • Unsupervised Risk-Taking Behaviors

Summary 198

Test Your Knowledge 200

Useful Websites 200

Key Terms 200


Chapter 7: Parents and Their School-Age Children 201

Promoting School-Age Children’s Social-Emotional Development 202

Parental Influences on Their Children’s Psychosocial Development

Parental Influences on Children’s Social Relationships 204

The Influence of Childrearing Patterns • The Role of Attachment • The Effect of Context • Parental Structuring of Children’s Leisure Time and Peer Group Relations • The Parents’ Role in Children’s Informal Leisure Activities

Promoting School-Age Children’s Cognitive Development 211

Encouraging Children’s Logical Reasoning • The Use of Guided Participation • The Role of Parents in Children’s School Achievement

Promoting the Physical Development of School-Age Children 215

Meeting School-Age Children’s Nutritional Needs • Nutrition and the Growing Problem of Children Being Overweight • Promoting Motor Skills

The Benefits and Challenges of Media 225

The Benefits of Media • The Challenges of Media

Summary 227

Test Your Knowledge 229

Useful Websites 229

Key Terms 229


Chapter 8: Parent—Adolescent Interactions 230

The Role of Parents in Adolescents’ Cognitive Development 231

The Development of the Ability to Use Abstract Reasoning • The Influence of Parents on Academic Achievement

The Role of Parents in Adolescents’ Social-Emotional Development and Social Relationships 234

The Role of Parents in Adolescents’ Conceptions of Self

Adolescent Puberty and Parent—Child Relations 238

Puberty and Adolescent Relationships with Parents

Changes in the Family System and Parent—Adolescent Conflict 240

Disequilibrium in the Family • Parent—Adolescent Conflict

Problems That Adolescents Sometimes Face 244

The Role of Parents in Adolescent Depression • The Role of Parents in Adolescent Problems of Being Overweight • Adolescents Who Are Underweight • The Role of Parents in Adolescent Substance Abuse • The Role of Parents in Adolescent Crime and Delinquency • The Role of Parents in the Early Onset of Sexual Behavior • Adolescent Bullying and Victimization

The Benefits and Challenges of Media and Other Technology 254

The Benefits of Technology for Adolescent Development and Family Dynamics • The Challenges of Media and Technology for Adolescents and Their Families

Summary 257

Test Your Knowledge 259

Useful Websites 259

Key Terms 259


Chapter 9: The Relationships of Young Adults, Their Parents, and Their Children 260

The Role of Parents in Young Adults’ Assumption of Adult Roles 261

The Launching of Young Adults • When Young Adults Establish Separate Residences

The Enduring Bond Between Young Adults and Their Parents 265

The Economic Interdependence of Young Adults and Their Parents

Parenthood and the Social-Emotional Development of Young Adults 267

The Attachment of Young Adults to Their Parents • The Role of Parents in Promoting Young Adults’ Achievement of Intimacy • Parent—Child Relationships and the Achievement of a Sense of Generativity

The Influence of Parent—Child Relationships on Young Adults’ Cognitive Development 276

Parenthood and Higher-Level Reasoning: A Piagetian Perspective • Parenthood and Vygotsky’s Concept of Scaffolding

The Parallel Role Development of Young Adults and Their Parents: The Role of Filial Maturity 280

Dimensions of Filial Maturity

Summary 283

Test Your Knowledge 285

Useful Websites 285

Key Terms 285


Chapter 10: Middle-Age and Older Parenthood and Grandparenthood 286

The Influence of Role Transitions on the Relationships of Middle-Aged Adults and Their Adult Children 287

The Effects of Adult Children’s Normative Transitions • The Effects of Adult Children’s Non-Normative Social Status Transitions • The Effects of Middle-Age Parents’ Social Status Transitions

The Influence of Role Transitions on the Relationships of Older and Middle-Age Adults 291

The Effects of Older Adults’ Normative Role Transitions on the Relationships with Their Children and Grandchildren

The Influence of Intergenerational Relationships on Older Persons’ Psychological Development 293

Parent—Child Relations and Older Adults’ Sense of Integrity • Grandparenthood, Personhood, and the Life Course • Grandparent Caregivers in the United States • Grandparent—Grandchildren Relationships: A Global Perspective

The Able Elderly in the Family Context 299

The Relationships of Older Adults and Their Children

The Relationships of Aging Parents with Adult Children 304

When Older Parents Become Chronically Ill and/or Frail • The Challenges Associated With Providing Care for Elderly Parents • Families and Assisted Living

Summary 310

Test Your Knowledge 311

Useful Websites 311

Key Terms 311


Chapter 11: Parent—Child Relationships in Families Where Children or Parents Have Special Needs 312

Parenting Children Who Have Exceptionalities 313

The Importance of Person-First Language • Parental Reactions to Having a Child With a Disability • The Role of Parents of Children With Exceptionalities • The Challenges of Parenting Children With Exceptionalities • Support for Parents Caring for a Child With a Disability • Parental Advocates for Their Children With Exceptionalities

Parenting Children Who Have Cognitive Deficits, Autism, or Adhd 318

Parenting Children With Cognitive Impairments • Parenting the Child With Autism • Parenting Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Parenting Children with Exceptionalities Related to Learning 323

Children With Learning Disabilities • Parenting Children Who Are Gifted

Parenting Children with Sensory Impairments 326

Parenting Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired • Parenting Children Who Are Hearing Impaired

Parenting Children with Physical Disabilities or Chronic Illnesses 330

Parenting Children With Physical Impairments • Parenting Children With Chronic Illnesses • The Effects of a Child’s Chronic Illness on Parental Stress and Family Relationships

When Parents Have Exceptionalities or Disabilities 334

Parents With ADHD • When a Parent Has a Sensory Impairment • When the Parent Has a Physical Disability

Summary 338

Test Your Knowledge 339

Useful Websites 340

Key Terms 340


Chapter 12: Families at Risk and Families Coping with the Death of a Family Member 341

Historical and Contemporary Responses to Child Maltreatment In the United States 342

The History of Child Maltreatment in the United States • Factors Related to Child Maltreatment • The Effects of Maltreatment on Children’s Lives • Interventions for Parental Maltreatment of Children

Children’s Exposure to Interparental Violence 349

The Effects of Interparental Violence on Children’s Development • Interventions for Domestic Violence

The Effects of Parental Alcoholism 352

The Dynamics in Families Affected by Parental Alcoholism • Adapting to the Dynamics of a Family Affected by Parental Alcohol Abuse • The Effects of Parental Alcoholism on the Lives of Children • Adult Children of Alcoholic Parents • Families in Recovery

Coping with the Untimely Death of a Family Member 357

The Death of a Parent During Childhood or Adolescence • The Death of a Sibling During Childhood or Adolescence • Comforting Grieving Children and Adolescents • The Grief of Parents When Their Child Dies • Helping Parents Cope with the Death of a Child

The Death of an Older Parent or Grandparent 361

The Death of an Older Parent • The Death of a Grandparent • The Legacy That Older Persons Leave for Their Adult Children and Their Grandchildren

Summary 363

Test Your Knowledge 365

Useful Websites 365

Key Terms 365



Four Nationally Recognized Parenting Programs 366

Glossary 371

References 375

Author Index 420

Subject Index 440


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