Completely revised and expanded from four to five volumes, this new
edition of the Handbook of Parenting appears at a time that is
momentous in the history of parenting. Parenting and the family are
today in a greater state of flux, question, and redefinition than
perhaps ever before. We are witnessing the emergence of striking
permutations on the theme of parenting: blended families, lesbian
and gay parents, and teen versus fifties first-time moms and dads.
One cannot but be awed on the biological front by technology that
now not only renders postmenopausal women capable of childbearing,
but also presents us with the possibility of designing babies.
Similarly on the sociological front, single parenthood is a modern
day fact of life, adult child dependency is on the rise, and
parents are ever less certain of their own roles, even in the face
of rising environmental and institutional demands that they take
increasing responsibility for their offspring. The Handbook of
Parenting concerns itself with: *different types of
parents--mothers and fathers, single, adolescent, and adoptive
parents; *basic characteristics of parenting--behaviors, knowledge,
beliefs, and expectations about parenting; *forces that shape
parenting--evolution, genetics, biology, employment, social class,
culture, environment, and history; *problems faced by
parents--handicap, marital difficulties, drug addiction; and
*practical concerns of parenting--how to promote children's health,
foster social adjustment and cognitive competence, and interact
with school, legal, and public officials. Contributors to the
Handbook of Parenting have worked in different ways toward
understanding all these diverse aspects of parenting, and all look
to the most recent research and thinking in the field to shed light
on many topics every parent wonders about. Each chapter addresses a
different but central topic in parenting; each is rooted in current
thinking and theory, as well as classical and modern research in
that topic; each has been written to be read and absorbed in a
single sitting. In addition, each chapter follows a standard
organization, including an introduction to the chapter as a whole,
followed by historical considerations of the topic, a discussion of
central issues and theory, a review of classical and modern
research, forecasts of future directions of theory and research,
and a set of conclusions. Of course, contributors' own convictions
and research are considered, but contributions to this new edition
present all major points of view and central lines of inquiry and
interpret them broadly. The Handbook of Parenting is intended to be
both comprehensive and state of the art. As the expanded scope of
this second edition amply shows, parenting is naturally and closely
allied with many other fields.
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