Parent-Child Relations An Introduction to Parenting

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  • Edition: 9th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-01-18
  • Publisher: Pearson
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Now in the Ninth Edition, Jerry Bigner’s Parent-Child Relations, the classic resource for child development professionals and parents themselves, has undergone a thorough revision anchored by the vision of the late Dr. Bigner and executed by new co-author, Clara Gerhardt.Maintaining its fundamental structure and unique approach, the text uses family systems and systemic family development theory as a framework to explore how parent-child relations change in tandem with developmental changes occurring with children, adults, and the wider family system. Thoughtful updates and revisions were done to increase the effectiveness and currency of the text.  The text continues to provide strong emphasis on various theoretical and practical models pertaining to parenting.


For decades now, this classic text has prepared countless teachers and practitioners by its proven and practical approach, utilizing family systems and systemic family development theory to explore how parent-child relations change in tandem with developmental changes occurring with children, adults, and the wider family system. The most comprehensive and current resource available to students as they prepare for working with parents and families, and for their roles as parents themselves, this best-selling resource carries on the essential message of its originator, Dr. Jerry Bigner, and will continue to nurture future family scholars and practitioners for years to come.

Author Biography

Jerry J. Bigner, PhD, was a Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Human Development and Family Studies, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO 80523, and retired in 2004 after 36 years of service in higher education. He taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of life-span human development, parent-child relations, theories of human development and family studies, marriage and family relationships, early childhood education, and research methods in human development and family studies. He also completed all course work and practicum requirements in marriage and family therapy and worked towards licensure in this area. His text, Parent-Child Relations, is now in its 9th edition, and he published two texts in life-span human development and family studies. He is the author or co-author of over 50 research articles focusing primarily on parent-child relations as well as relationship and family therapy issues. He was Editor of the Journal of GLBT Family Studies and served on Editorial Board of the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy. He was a research member of the American Family Therapy Academy and was a member of the National Council on Family Relations. Dr. Bigner was a 2005 Centennial Laureate Award recipient of the College of Human Sciences, Florida State University. He also was the 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient of the College of Human Sciences, Florida State University.


Clara Gerhardt, MBA, PhD., is a Professor of Family Studies at Samford University. She is a Clinical Psychologist, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Certified Family Life Educator. Amongst her many publications, she documented the history of family therapy in a book chapter on global perspectives in family therapy. She writes Perspectives, a regular column, for a publication of the National Council on Family Relations. She has held positions as Chair of the Department of Family Studies and Chair of a State Board of Examiners in Psychology. As an Educator, she teaches Parenting, Lifespan Development, and Multicultural Perspectives. As part of her duties as Internship Supervisor, she has mentored Child Life as well as Child Development Education students. Dr. Gerhardt is the product of three continents, has professionally presented on six continents, has visited over sixty countries, and speaks five languages fluently. Her practical training is constantly updated by being a parent and a grandparent.

Table of Contents

PART I Parent—Child Relations in Social Context

CHAPTER 1 The Ecology of Parent—Child Relations

CHAPTER 2 Cultural Perspectives

CHAPTER 3 Theoretical Perspectives on Parent—Child Relations

CHAPTER 4 Parenting Styles and Strategies

PART II The Work of Parenting

CHAPTER 5 The Transition to Parenthood

CHAPTER 6 Pregnancy and Childbirth

CHAPTER 7 Parenting Infants and Toddlers

CHAPTER 8 Parenting Preschoolers

CHAPTER 9 Parenting School-Age Children

CHAPTER 10 Parenting Adolescents and Young Adults

PART III Challenges for Contemporary Parents and Children

CHAPTER 11 Parenting in Single-Parent Family Systems

CHAPTER 12 Parenting in Blended Family Systems

CHAPTER 13 Adolescent Parents CHAPTER 14 Family Formation and Parenting in Same-Sex Couples

CHAPTER 15 Parent–Child Relations in High-Risk Families

CHAPTER 16 Best Practices in Parent–Child Relations

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