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Handbook of Dynamics in Parent-Child Relations

Handbook of Dynamics in Parent-Child Relations

Edited by:

December 2002 | 492 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

"This is a truly exceptional collection of contributions on the dynamics of family relationships. The authors not only provide thoughtful state-of-the-art reviews of relevant bodies of literature and methods, but also grapple with thorny conceptual issues and present novel theoretical insights. In doing so, they demonstrate the tremendous progress in thinking about families in the past decade or two and provide guideposts for future theory and research on parent-child relationships."

- Nancy Eisenberg, Regents' Professor of Psychology, Arizona State University


"This forward looking volume will be invaluable to all concerned with parent-child relationships. With chapters written by leading researchers in the field, it focuses on process, and on the agency of both parent and child. The approach is therefore dialectical, changes in either partner continuously leading to change in the other. A must for teachers, researchers and graduate students."

 - Robert A. Hinde, St. John's College, Cambridge, United Kingdom


Handbook of Dynamics in Parent-Child Relations provides an innovative, interdisciplinary perspective on theory, research, and methodology of dynamic processes in parent-child relations. Edited by distinguished scholar Leon Kuczynski, this accessible volume is divided into six parts. Part I concerns dyadic processes in parent-child relationships and provides the conceptual grounding for the volume as a whole. Parts II and III examine the agency of the child and the agency of the parent, respectively. Part IV considers dynamics in the parent-child dyad as they are mediated by or impact on various lifespan, cultural, and ecological contexts. Part V addresses the methodological implications of adopting a dynamic process view of parent-child relations. Part VI weighs future directions for theory, research, and practice.


An eminent group of scholars and researchers present a comprehensive exploration of parent-child relationships that includes

    • the nature of change in parent-child interactions;
    • cognitive, behavior, and relational processes that govern parent-child relationships;
    • what makes such interactions and relationships "work" the way they do;
    • the dynamics of parent-child relations, including bidirectional influence and human agency;
    • quantitative and qualitative methodology in the context of theory verification and discovery.


Handbook of Dynamics in Parent-Child Relations focuses on process rather than outcomes, bi-directional influence rather than parent effects or child effects, and parents and children as agents and actors rather than as static traits or variables. This concern with dynamics represents an emerging research perspective that complements a long-standing alternative tradition primarily concerned with the products of parenting.


Interdisciplinary in scope, Handbook of Dynamics in Parent-Child Relations will appeal to academics, professionals, graduate students, and senior-level undergraduates involved with Developmental Psychology, Family Science, Human Ecology, and Family Sociology.



Leon Kuczynski
Preface: Introduction and Overview
Leon Kuczynski
Ch. 1. Beyond Bidirectionality: Bilateral Conceptual Frameworks for Studying Dynamics in Paren-Child Relations
Daphne B. Bugental, Deborah H. Olster, & Gabriela A. Martorell (all of the University of California, Santa Barbara)
Ch. 2. A Developmental Neuroscience Perspective on the Dynamics of Parenting
W. Andrew Collins (University of Minnesota) & Stephanie D. Madsen (Western Maryland College)
Ch. 3. Developmental Change in Parenting Interactions
Susan Lollis (University of Guelph)
Ch. 4. Conceptualizing the Influence of Past & Future in Present Parent-Child Relationships
E. Mark Cummings & Alice C. Schermerhorn (both of University of Notre Dame)
Ch. 5. A Developmental Perspective on Children as Agents in the Family
Virginia Morrow (London School of Economics & Political Science)
Ch. 6. Perspectives on Children's Agency Within Families: A View from the Sociology of Childhood
Donald Kent & Debra Pepler (both of York University)
Ch. 7. The Aggressive Child as Agent in Coercive Family Processes
Thomas G. O'Connor (Institute of Psychiatry, London)
Ch. 8. Behavioral Genetics Contributions to Understanding Dynamic Processes in Parent-Child Relationships
Theodore Dix & Sylvia H. Branca (both of University of Texas at Austin)
Ch. 9. Parenting as a Goal-Regulation Process
George W. Holden & Carol Kozak Hawk (both of University of Texas at Austin)
Ch. 10. Meta-Parenting in the Journey of Child Rearing: A Cognitive Mechanism for Change
Joan E. Grusec (University of Toronto) & Judy Ungerer (Macquarie University, Sydney)
Ch. 11. Effective Socialization as Problem-Solving & the Role of Parenting Cognitions
Carolyn Byrne (University of Ontario Institute of Technology)
Ch. 12. Parental Agency & Mental Health: Proaction & Construction in Families with a Depressed Parent
Ross D. Parke, Colleen M. Killian, Jessica Dennis, Mary L. Flyr, David J. McDowell, Sandra D. Simpkins, Mina Kim & Margaret Wild
Chap. 13. Managing the External Environment: The Parent & Child as Active Agents in the System
Gisela Trommsdorff (University of Konstanz)) & Hans-Joachim Kornadt (University of the Saarland)
Chap. 14. Parent-Child Relationships in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Rob Palkovitz, Loren D. Marks, & David W. Appleby (all of University of Delaware), & Erin Kramer Holmes (University of Texas at Austin)
Chap. 15. Parenting & Adult Development: Contexts, Processes & Products of Intergenerational Relationships
Joan E. Norris (University of Guelph), Michael W. Pratt (Wilfrid Laurier University), & Stephanie L. Kuiack (University of Guelph)
Chap. 16. Parent-Child Relations in Adulthood: An Intergenerational Family Systems Perspective
William L. Cook (Maine Medical Center)
Chap. 17. Quantitative Methods for Deductive (Theory-Testing) Research on Parent-Child Dynamics
Leon Kuczynski & Kerry Daly (both of University of Guelph)
Chap. 18. Qualitative Methods as Inductive (Theory-Generating) Research: Psychological & Sociological Approaches
Timothy A. Cavell (University of Arkansas) & Paul S. Strand (Washington State University)
Chap. 19. Parent-Based Interventions for Aggressive Children: Adapting to a Bilateral Lens
Leon Kuczynski, Susan Lollis, & Yuiko Takei (all of University of Guelph)
Chap. 20. Reconstructing Common Sense: Metaphors of Bidirectionality in Parent-Child Relations
Eleanor Maccoby (Stanford University)
Chap. 21. Epilogue: Dynamic Viewpoints on Parent-Child Relations: Their Implications for the Socialization Process
Key features
  • The editor opens the book with chapters offering an integrative framework and distinguished Stanford professor Eleanor Maccoby provides an epilogue to further pull the various chapters together.
  • Each chapter is written by an expert on his/her assigned topic and focuses on conceptualization and review, not the reporting of new empirical data. Authors were encouraged to present their ideas clearly and to make linkages either to theory or application of a dynamic perspective on parent-child relations.
  • An innovative focus on dynamics of parent-child relations includes bi-directional influence, human agency, and the parent-child relationships as a dynamic context for parent-child social interactions.
  • An interdisciplinary focus and selection of authors shows the scope and appeal of this approach across developmental psychology, cross-cultural psychology, biology (behavioral genetics), and family sociology.

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ISBN: 9780761923640

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