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A Dynamic Perspective

Third Edition

January 2020 | 584 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The Third Edition of George W. Holden’s Parenting: A Dynamic Perspective provides a highly accessible and intellectually rich review of what is currently known about parenting. Written from a psychological perspective but with applications to other disciplines, the text discusses a wide range of contemporary issues such as fertility problems, daycare, marital conflict, divorce, gay parents, and family violence. Additionally, Holden includes studies from developing and non-Western countries, as well as recent statistics on such topics as U.S. and world birthrate, birth problems, adolescent pregnancy, child injury, divorce and remarriage, child maltreatment, and certain social policy issues.

About the Author
Chapter 1. Introduction: From Beliefs to Scientific Evidence
Parenting Beliefs Throughout History

Authorities’ Parenting Beliefs Throughout History

Other Sources of Parenting Beliefs

Using Research to Understand Parenting

Chapter Conclusions

Thought Questions

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 Conclusions

Thought Questions

Chapter 3. Approaches to Parenting Research

Comparing Approaches

Chapter Conclusions

Thought Questions

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

Associations Between Parenting and Children’s Outcomes

The Behavioral Genetics Challenge

A Different Perspective on How Parents Matter

Trajectories and Development

Chapter Conclusions

Thought Questions

Chapter 5. Determinants of Parenting
Categories of Determinants

Cultural and Distal Determinants

Contextual Determinants

Stable Characteristics Determinants

Situational Determinants

Interrelations Among Determinants

Chapter Conclusions

Thought Questions

Chapter 6. Becoming a Parent
Getting Pregnant, Staying Pregnant, and Encountering Problems

Labor and Childbirth

The Preterm Baby

Transitioning to Parenthood

Parenting the Newborn

The Problem of Infant Mortality

Ethical Issues

Chapter Conclusions

Thought Questions

Chapter 7. Parenting Infants and Toddlers
Parenting Infants

Parenting Toddlers

Chapter Conclusions

Thought Questions

Chapter 8. Parenting Preschoolers
Parenting a Preschooler

Contemporary Issues

Chapter Conclusions

Thought Questions

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

Parents and External Influences

Chapter Conclusions

Thought Questions

Chapter 10. Parenting Adolescents and Emerging Adults
Developmental Changes in Adolescence

Problems for Adolescents and Their Parents

How Parents Help Teens Navigate Adolescence

Parenting Emerging Adults

Chapter Conclusions

Thought Questions

Chapter 11. Parenting in Non-Traditional Families
Non-Traditional Family Structures

Non-Traditional Parent Characteristics

Non-Traditional Parental Roles or Occupations

Chapter Conclusions

Thought Questions

Chapter 12. Parents at Risk
Parent Characteristics

Child Characteristics

Parent Context

Support for and Resilience in At-Risk Parents

Chapter Conclusions

Thought Questions

Chapter 13. Parenting Across Cultures
Cross-Cultural Comparisons of Parenting

Chapter Conclusions

Thought Questions

Chapter 14. Cultural Diversity in U.S. Parents
Cultural Diversity Among U.S. Parents

Minority Groups

Religion and Parenting

Chapter Conclusions

Thought Questions

Chapter 15. Child Maltreatment: When Parenting Goes Awry
Child Maltreatment Throughout History

The Many Faces of Child Maltreatment

Maltreatment Across Time and Country

Protecting Maltreated Children: Foster Parents

The Costs of Child Maltreatment

Chapter Conclusions

Thought Questions

Chapter 16. Parents and Social Policy
The Changing American Family

The Societal Costs of Family Problems

Social Policy Responses

Controversial Social Policy Ideas

Chapter Conclusions

Thought Questions



Instructor Resource Site

The Instructor Resource Site supports your teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students with:
  • a password-protected site for complete and protected access to all text-specific instructor resources;  
  • test banks that provide a diverse range of ready-to-use options that save you time. You can also easily edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions;
  • editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course;
  • chapter-specific discussion questions to help launch engaging classroom interaction while reinforcing important content; and
  • classroom activities to encourage conversation and interactive learning in the classroom
Key features
  • Over 200 new articles and more than 160 new or updated statistics help illustrate the most current and accurate representation of parenting and the family.
  • A new chapter focuses on diversity in American families. 
  • New and enhanced coverage includes child rearing among Native Americans, military, and multiracial parents; parenting emerging adults; technology, screen time, and parenting; and parent intervention programs including home visitation.
  • Chapter-opening learning outcomes identify for students what they should be able to accomplish after reading each chapter.


  • Coverage of timely topics includes bullying, ADHD and childhood obesity, the role of electronic media in the home, the use of corporal punishment, gay and lesbian families, 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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