You are here


A Dynamic Perspective

Second Edition
Additional resources:

October 2014 | 560 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Written from a psychological perspective while integrating cross-disciplinary viewpoints, this fully updated Second Edition takes a parent-centered approach to exploring topics such as the reasons behind parental behavior, the effect parents and children have on one another, and social policy's ability to help families. Including the latest statistics on family functioning and with coverage of contemporary issues, George Holden’s Parenting conveys the process of parenting in all its complexities. 

About the Author
Part I: Understanding Parents and Child Rearing
Chapter 1: Introduction: From Beliefs to Evidence
Parenting Beliefs Throughout History

Authorities' Parenting Beliefs Throughout History

Other Sources of Parenting Beliefs

Using Research to Understand Parenting

Chapter 2: Theoretical Perspectives on Parenting
Introduction to Theory

Classical Theories

Biological, Genetic, and Environmental Influences

Social Learning and Social Theories

Family Systems Theory

Other Emotion-Based Theories

Developmental Stage Theories

Chapter 3: Approaches to Parenting Research

Comparing Approaches

Chapter 4: How Important Are Parents?
Historical Evidence About Parental Influence

Associations Between Parenting and Children’s Outcomes

The Behavioral Genetics Challenge

A New Perspective on How Parents Matter

Trajectories and Development

Chapter 5: Determinants of Parenting
Categories of Determinants

Cultural and Distal Determinants

Contextual Determinants

Stable Characteristics Determinants

Situational Determinants

Interrelations Among Determinants

Part II: Parenting and Development
Chapter 6: Becoming a Parent
Deciding to Have a Child

Getting Pregnant, Staying Pregnant, and Encountering Problems

Labor and Childbirth

The Preterm Newborn

Transitioning to Parenthood

Parenting the Newborn

The Problem of Infant Mortality

Ethical Issues

Chapter 7: Parenting Infants and Toddlers
Parenting Infants

Parenting Toddlers

Chapter 8: Parenting Preschoolers
Parenting a Preschooler

Contemporary Issues

Chapter 9: Parenting During the Middle Childhood Years
Parents and Within-Family Interactions

Parents and External Influences

Chapter 10: Parenting Adolescents
Developmental Changes in Adolescence

Problems for Adolescents and Their Parents

How Parents Help Teens Navigate Adolescence

Part III: Contemporary Issues
Chapter 11: Parenting in Nontraditional Families
Single Parents

Adolescent Mothers

ART Families

Adoptive Parents

Gay and Lesbian Parents

Blended/Stepparent Parents

Grandparents as Parents

Foster Parents

Parenting Emergent Adults

Chapter 12: Parents at Risk
Economic Factors

Parent Context

Chapter 13: Cultural Influences on Parenting
Parenting in Different Countries

Cultural Diversity Among North American Parents

Religion and Parenting

Chapter 14: Child Maltreatment: When Parenting Goes Awry
Child Maltreatment Throughout History

The Many Faces of Child Maltreatment

Child Maltreatment Across Time and Country

Protecting Maltreated Children: Foster Parents

The Costs of Child Maltreatment

Chapter 15: Social Policy Issues
The Changing American Family

The Societal Costs of Family Problems

Social Policy Responses

Controversial Social Policy Ideas

Appendix: Journals That Frequently Publish Studies Pertaining to Parenting
Author Index
Subject Index


Instructor Teaching Site

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

  • A Microsoft® Word® test bank is available containing multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter. The test bank provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • A Respondus electronic test bank is available and can be used on PCs. The test bank contains multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter and provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding. Respondus is also compatible with many popular learning management systems so you can easily get your test questions into your online course.
  • Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course.
  • Lively and stimulating ideas for class activities that can be used in class to reinforce active learning. The activities apply to individual or group projects.
  • Chapter-specific discussion questions help launch classroom interaction by prompting students to engage with the material and by reinforcing important content. 
  • Web resources are included for further research and insights.

Comprehensive and in depth guide to broad areas of parenting. Incredibly valuable book for students and tutors alike.

Sarah Holmes
Childhood & Youth Studies, Liverpool Hope University
September 4, 2017

Readable, yet thorough.

Ms Lynnette Nickleberry
Community Human Svcs Dept, Suny Empire State Clg-Saratoga
July 25, 2016

This book presents a contemporary view of parenting. A very good read

Ms Ruth Heffernan
Health and Community Studies, University of Bolton
March 3, 2016

A very broad explanation with pertinent key focus of the effects of and for parents.
Easy to pinpoint theory, data and research from the contents breakdown. Every aspect of research in the book is referenced and further explored. A lovely book, easy to read. A great resource for me and my students to help with their studies.

Ms Lisa M Bradley
Applied Social Science (Lancaster), University of Cumbria
September 30, 2015

This book would support our students to grasp the fundamentals of the theoretical perspectives on parenting. It fits in well with the key learning outcomes for this module and I will be recommending that the library invests in copies as well as notifying our University bookshop.

Mrs Natasha Bye-Brooks
Interprofessional Studies, Winchester University
June 2, 2015

This book has been invaluable to the course being taught. Learners have purchased this book from their local book sellers and amazon online.
The information contained in the books covers up to level 5 and is fantastic.

Mrs Karen Cooke
childhood studies, North Manchester Community College
May 13, 2015

Waiting for course change and likely to adopt for next year if course says close to current content. Book is very complete and helpful.

Professor Doug Coatsworth
Human Dvmt Family Studies Dept, Colorado State Univ-Ft Collins
February 14, 2015

The second edition has brought attention to the subject parents at risk, it has given a deeper understanding to the issues such as violence, mental illness and parents with children who have special needs. Using the up to date research on key topics has definitely given individuals more of an insight to such problematic issues that are detrimental to parenting therefore making this a book an essential read for students and tutors.

Miss Ella Malton
Department of Health & Social Studies, Grimsby Institute of HE & FE
January 29, 2015

A critical and useful text for examining best practice in service provision, particularly in education.

Ms Tapo Chimbganda
Children, Young People and Families, Leeds Trinity University
January 21, 2015
Key features



  • A new Chapter 8 is dedicated to the issues associated with parenting children of preschool age.
  • A new Chapter 12 deals with issues of socioeconomic stress, violence and abuse, mental illness, and parenting children with special needs. 
  • Hundreds of new and recent references have been added, along with updated statistics about families.
  • New topics, including bullying, have been added, and many topics, including ADHD and childhood obesity, are discussed in greater detail.

KEY FEATURES:          


  • The author explores a wide range of contemporary issues, including fertility problems, the role of electronic media in the home, the use of corporal punishment, gay and lesbian families, immigrants, and foster parenting.
  • Selected studies and recent statistics from developing and non-Western countries provide a global view of parenting.
  • In-depth coverage of topics, often absent or superficially covered in other texts, such as co-parenting, evolutionary views, human behavioral genetics, and religious influences, provides readers with a broad understanding of parenting.
  • Important clinical psychological issues are covered, such as child maltreatment, family violence, behavior problems, the role of pathology in the family, and how intervention programs can influence parents.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 7

Chapter 11

Preview this book

Select a Purchasing Option

Electronic version
Prices from
*180 day rental

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.