Parenting refers to a number of complex and inter-related ideas and practices. Bradley and Corwyn (1999) have constructed a framework in which parenting is conceptualized as a set of five functions performed by parents. Parents provide their children with:[Page 373]
- Basic physical and psychological sustenance
- Adequate cognitive and social stimulation
- Emotional support
- Appropriate structure
- Surveillance (keeping track of the child and his or her environment in order to protect the child)
Quality of parenting can be assessed by taking into account the extent to which each of these tasks is fulfilled.
There are various and simultaneous contexts that must be included in any serious consideration of parenthood. A parent is nested in an immediate family, a neighborhood, a cultural norm, racial and ethnic currents, immigrant status, social ...