Handbook of Parenting - Vol. 1

By Marc H. Bornstein | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Foreword
Edward Zigler
Yale University

Social scientists' interest in parenting has lagged far behind their attention to other aspects of human development. Early in the twentieth century, professional efforts were child focused, progressing from infant schools to nursery schools to child study centers to work like that of Arnold Gesell to chart the entire course of children's physical and social growth. Few professional people noticed parents, an exception being the U. S. Children's Bureau, which published handbooks devoted to the practical aspects of parenting such as feeding, toilet training, and the stern advice that mothers should not play with their infants so they learn regulation and self-sufficiency (Kessen, in press). By the second half of the century, researchers were immersed in discovering ways to increase children's intelligence. Yet the only notice parents (read: mothers) received in the scientific literature was blame for all types of psychopathology and other deviant child outcomes. Then, in 1965, the first Head Start centers opened their doors to economically disadvantaged preschool-age children and invited their mothers in to assume key roles in the children's preschool education. Years later, the importance of fathers in children's lives was discovered.

Eventually, attention to the critical roles parents play in every facet of child development became more and more common in a host of professional disciplines ranging from education to health care to social work. The literature blossomed so quickly that, when Marc Bornstein decided to synthesize it in 1996, the first edition of this Handbook of Parenting filled four thick volumes. The contents amazed and inspired workers, who for the first time realized the breadth of theory and research being conducted in fields far removed from their own. Yet even as readers began to familiarize themselves with this virtual knowledge base on parenting, critics of the view that parents have a profound influence on early development garnered publicity (Bruer, 1999; Harris, 1998). On the heels of and in symbolic rebuttal to such views, this second edition of the Handbook fills five thick volumes.

There are two major reasons why professional interest in parenting has gained such rapid momentum. One was the massive effort by a committee of the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine to evaluate the entire science of early childhood development. The conclusions, published in a book titled From Neurons to Neighborhoods (Shonkoff and Phillips, 2000), focused on the importance of early experiences—particularly early relationships—in every type of developmental task. This authoritative work presented clear proof that early parent–child interactions relate to academic, behavioral, socioemotional, and most other outcomes. The scientists were careful to emphasize that human development is a continuous, lifelong process. Although the earliest years have prominence, all stages of growth are critical and are affected by what occurs within the child and in the child's environment. The committee underscored that, although there is ample scientific evidence that “early environments matter and nurturing relationships are essential, this knowledge

-xiii-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Handbook of Parenting - Vol. 1
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 417

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?