Cover image for The encyclopedia of parenting theory and research
Title:
The encyclopedia of parenting theory and research
Author:
Smith, Charles A.
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
x, 501 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780313296994
Format :
Book

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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library HQ755.8 .E523 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
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Summary

Summary

While becoming a parent is relatively easy, parenting is a skill that is learned and improved over a lifetime. This reference book provides a comprehensive summary of what we know about parents and parent-child relationships. Through more than 240 alphabetically arranged entries, the volume synthesizes the present state of research on parenting. Each entry is written by an expert contributor and represents an authoritative view on a particular topic. Entries are related to child activity, child outcomes, child states, parent behaviors, parental situations, external and community concerns, systemic issues, the transition to parenthood, available resources, and various persons who have shaped our knowledge of parenting. The entries draw on information from a wide range of disciplines, including psychology, education, and sociology. Each entry includes a brief bibliography, and the volume closes with a selected list of works for further reading.

The word parent is most often used to refer to a biological relationship with a child. But the word parent, like mother and father, can also invoke acts of caring, nurturing, and protecting. When we say, That child needs a father, we imply that the child needs a relationship with a man capable of fathering. This emphasizes a social and emotional relationship, not merely a biological one. Parenting means assuming responsibility for the long-term care of a child. Becoming a parent is relatively easy. But parenting is a skill that is learned and improved over a lifetime. Moreover, parenting is a skill that becomes more complex in response to the demands of a changing society. Some elements of successful parenting are relatively abstract and seem to remain fairly constant across different generations. But with the rise of new social problems and the proliferation of various threats to the integrity of the nuclear family, the parenting strategies of a generation ago are not necessarily effective today.

Parenting has also received growing amounts of attention from researchers, and what was once considered chiefly an art is now also recognized for being a science. Our knowledge of parenting has increased significantly in the last few decades, and new developments continue to be made daily. This reference book provides a comprehensive summary of what we know about parents and the parent-child relationship. Through more than 240 alphabetically arranged entries, the volume synthesizes the present state of research on parenting. Each entry is written by an expert contributor and provides an authoritative overview of a particular topic. Entries are related to child activity, child outcomes, child states, parent behaviors, parental situations, external and community factors, systemic concerns, the transition to parenthood, available resources, and a number of persons who have added to our knowledge of the field. The entries draw on a wide range of disciplines, including psychology, education, and sociology. Each entry closes with a brief bibliography, and the volume concludes with a selected list of works for further reading.


Author Notes

CHARLES A. SMITH is Professor of Human Development in the School of Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University. He is the author of several books and has been chair of the Parenting Subcommittee of the Interagency Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, and president of the Kansas Governor's Commission on Education for Parenthood.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The market is flooded with parenting howto books, but a volume covering the theories and research related to parenting is long overdue. This encyclopedia, edited by an expert from the School of Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University, offers more than 240 entries on a variety of issues that illuminate the nature of the relationship between parents and children. Arrangement is alphabetical, but nine main categories or clusters are identified: child activity, child outcomes, child states, parent behaviors, parent state or context, external or community factors, system issues, resources, and people. The introduction provides a list of entries grouped into these categories, with no entry appearing more than once. Although it is possible to dispute where any single entry has been listed, the editor states in his preface that the categories are for convenience and have fluid boundaries and considerable overlap. Entries, of approximately 1,000 words each, were written by more than 160 experts from a wide range of backgrounds including medicine, human development, psychology, education, learning, behavior, and counseling. Some of the individual entries include feminism, Hispanic/Latino parents, mediation, motor development, problem solving, siblings and single parents. The indexing is extensive. A general bibliography containing some of the classics in the field is included at the end of the book. Each contributor's entry contains a list of bibliographic references specific to the individual article. Entries are very well written and act as a good review of the literature and research related to the topic. The target audience for this encyclopedia includes parents, educators, teachers, researchers, health and mental health professionals, community educators, librarians, and others interested in parentchild relationships. Smith is maintaining a Web site, The WonderWise Parent ([http://ksu.edu/wwparent/]) in anticipation of adding additional terms for a second edition. Overall, this encyclopedia provides a good summary of what is known about parenting and parentchild relationships. Highly recommended for academic libraries and public libraries with community interest in these areas.


Choice Review

Smith covers a wide range of timely parenting topics, including current parent research and theory, offering more than 240 entries and 500 pages of definitions and terminology. His encyclopedia has an easy-to-use format and contains references at the end of each entry. Contributed by experts in parenting, these entries by design consist of concise summaries (1,000 words or less) of the most pertinent research. The book is arranged by nine broad categories, with topics listed alphabetically under each. A three-page chart explains the nine categories and acts as a table of contents. The categories range from "Parent Behaviors" through "Child Outcomes" to "Resources" and "People." Topics include, e.g., bullying, television violence, stepparenting, runaway children, playground skills, and distancing strategies. The book contains interesting if somewhat nontraditional terminology, such as "racial identity," "triangulation," "resiliency in children," and "self-fulfilling prophecy," and some biographical information about such experts as Alfred Adler, S. F. Skinner, and Fred Rogers. An excellent resource for professionals, practitioners, researchers, and parents; highly recommended for academic and public libraries. M. E. Leverence Governors State University


Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
The Encyclopedia
Selected Bibliography
Index

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