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A Dynamic Perspective

Fourth Edition

September 2024 | 560 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
George Holden and Amanda Harrist embrace the idea that parenting is a dynamic process: children affect parents just as much as parents affect children. A multi-level, ecological approach to parenting and childrearing allows a full range of parenting styles, covering topics from co-parenting, evolutionary views, human behavioral genetics, to religious influences, and addressing challenges to be encountered across parenting courses, such as family violence, behavior problems, and the role of pathology in the family. The completely updated Parenting: A Dynamic Process, Fourth Edition presents research in a way that is accessible and interesting but also accurate, current, and intellectually rich. Although written from a psychological perspective, views and applications from other disciplines - including sociology, criminology, anthropology, and pediatrics - are also discussed where appropriate. The text discusses contemporary issues, such as fertility problems, daycare, marital conflict, whether or not to use physical punishment, divorce, remarriage and step-parents, LBGTQ parents, the effects of poverty, risks and benefits of media use among children, and family violence. Additionally, Holden and Harrist include selected studies from developing and non-Western countries as well as recent statistics on such topics as US & world birthrate, birth problems, adolescent pregnancy, child injury, divorce and remarriage, child maltreatment, and certain social policy issues.

PART ONE. Setting the Stage
1. Introduction
2. Theoretical Perspectives on Parenting
3. Determinants of Parenting
4. Becoming a Parent
5. Parenting Infants and Toddlers
6. Parenting Preschoolers
7. Parenting During the Middle Childhood Years
8. Parenting Adolescents
Part Three. Parenting Today
9. Parenting Adult Children
10. Parenting in its Contemporary Forms
11. Parents at Risk
12. Parenting Across Cultures
13. Cultural Diversity in U.S. Parents
14. Child Maltreatment: When Parenting Goes Awry
15. Parents and Social Policy


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Test Bank
Key features
  • A new chapter on Parenting Adult Children expands the text to cover parenting throughout the lifespan. 
  • New co-author Amanda Harrist brings a fresh perspective and expertise in human development and family sciences to the fourth edition. 
  • Over 300 new articles and new or updated statistics help illustrate the most current and accurate representation of parenting and the family.
  • New coverage of contemporary topics like parental burnout and parenting through the COVID-19 crisis.


  • Coverage of timely topics includes bullying, ADHD and childhood obesity, the role of electronic media in the home, the use of corporal punishment, LGBTQ parents, immigrants, and foster parenting
  • Selected studies and statistics from developing and non-Western countries help provide a global view of parenting.
  • In-depth coverage of topics often absent or superficially covered in other texts, including co-parenting, evolutionary views, human behavioral genetics, and religious influences, provides readers with a broader understanding of parenting.
  • Coverage of important clinical psychological issues include child maltreatment, family violence, behavior problems, the role of pathology in the family, and how intervention programs can influence parents.
  • Chapter conclusions and thought questions allow students to review and reflect on chapter content to reinforce learning.

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