Parenting: Challenges, practices and cultural influences
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
SourceParenting: Challenges, Practices and Cultural Influences
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Over the past few decades a significant amount of empirical and theoretical work has accumulated in the parenting literature. Even though research methods, instruments, analyses, and theoretical constructs have evolved to a great extent, researchers in this field are still debating on important issues in relation to parenting. What are the challenges that parents face in the twenty first century? How did parents' practices change over time and how do parents still choose to rare their children? Is there such a thing as "universal parenting" or do we always have to take into account culturally specific parenting practices and equally specific outcomes? These questions will be at the core of this chapter which aims to bring together current empirical studies and theoretical work utilizing a wide array of parenting literature: from parenting styles and the discussion of the classical authoritarian-authoritative divide, a summary of recent findings in parenting practices such as parental monitoring, behavioral and psychological control, the role of parental involvement, especially in the discussion of a child's adjustment in school, and finally we will analyze the issue of parental knowledge; that is, what parents try to know about their child's socialization choices and what they actually know. In theoretical terms, we will try to bind together the most important parenting constructs and outcomes in a transactional framework of interpretation, arguing that while parents still shape some of their children's development, children also shape their parents behaviour. Based on this framework we argue, in line with other researchers, that the term parenting - which implies a parent to child effects - should be replaced by the term parent-child interactions which allows for a more dynamic and bidirectional interpretation. © 2013 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.