Contexts of child rearing: Problems and prospects

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Abstract

Contends that, as yet, child psychology remains a science of development-out-of-context. More is known about children than about the environments in which they live or the ecological conditions that foster psychological growth. On the basis of the limited knowledge available, 4 propositions are offered specifying environmental properties presumed critical to human development. In addition to certain patterns of activity and interpersonal relations occurring within the settings containing the growing child, such conditions include the existence of supportive links between settings--especially between home, school, and work place. The progressive erosion of such links in contemporary American society is seen as contributing to the disorganization of families, schools, and other childrearing settings with consequent disruption of the socialization processes essential to the development of cognitive competence and socially constructive behavior. Research designs for testing the validity of this analysis are suggested. They include experimental strategies for increasing the participation of children and adults in each other's worlds. (29 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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