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‘Parenting studies’ can be understood in two ways: (1) scholarship that attempts to isolate and evaluate the influence of particular parental behaviours on children’s development and (2) scholarship that engages critically with this approach, locating it within a broader analysis of the emergence, from the late 20th century onwards, of ‘parenting’ as a way of conceptualising the role of parents in the socialisation of children. The two are distinguished here as ‘parenting studies’ and ‘parenting culture studies’, respectively. This entry introduces parenting studies and then examines several distinct aspects of parenting culture studies.

Parenting Studies

Researchers in the fields of psychology, neuroscience, epigenetics, anthropology, economics, and public health have sought to identify the influence of parental behaviour on the development of children. Because of the ethical difficulties ...

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