Parental Development

Parental Development

Parental Development

Parental Development

Synopsis

This volume seeks to identify and define the parameters of a relatively new problem area -- parental development. Drawing on the grand developmental theories of Sigmund Freud, Lawrence Kohlberg, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, Heinz Werner, and their descendants, this book has the potential to generate an area of common concern for those interested in either child/adolescent or adult development through the novel application of developmental principles and considerations to the ecological context of parenting. To that end, this volume brings together theory and research from the subfields of adult and child/adolescent development.

Chapter authors place the problem area of parental development in theoretical context and examine selected psychological part-processes implicated by focusing on cognitive and psychosocial development. The authors then deal with a range of issues that are perhaps less traditional and/or more in line with the complex character of everyday life. That is, they utilize either relatively novel comparison groups or treat parents at later stages of development rather than those in young adulthood as is often the case. Finally, the authors uncover both similarities and differences among their theoretical perspectives with an eye toward delineating some possible future research directions.

Excerpt

Jack Demick
Krisanne Bursik
Rosemarie Dibiase

Suffolk University

The chapters in this volume, although exploratory in nature, seek to identify and to define the parameters of a relatively new problem area-- parental development. Drawing on the grand developmental theories of Sigmund Freud (1953), Lawrence Kohlberg (1969), Jean Piaget (1967), Lev Vygotsky (1978), Heinz Werner (1957), and their descendants, this volume has the potential to generate an area of common concern for those interested in either child/adolescent or adult development. All of these chapters, with the exception of the final integrative piece by Demick (chapter 13), were presented at the conference on which this and a related volume (Demick & Miller, 1993) were based. Toward orienting the reader, our general organizational framework is followed by a brief synopsis of the various chapters.

On the most general level, the chapters on parental development are ordered from least to most complex. That is, the chapters in Part I (chapters 1-2) set the stage by placing the problem area of parental development in theoretical context. Although these chapters provide specific overarching frameworks for considering the complexities involved in the general problem area, they also reflect two larger definitions of development currently employed in the field. The first chapter views development in terms of increasingly higher, more integrated levels of functioning (Werner, 1957; Werner & Kaplan, 1956); as such, development is seen as a mode of analysis applicable to any psychological phenomenon rather than the study of particular age groups (e.g. . . .

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