“It is refreshing to see a book such as this which is both broad in its conceptualization of the field of child research and deep in its focus. The volume's editors are paragons of awareness when it comes to the need for interdisciplinary research and theory to illuminate the lives and experience of children.”

James Garbarino, Loyola University Chicago

“Covers a satisfying and unprecedentedly wide range of research relating to childhood. The contributors include many eminent international scholars of childhood, making the book a valuable resource for child researchers. Child advocates will also find the book to be invaluable in their efforts to improve children's well-being, and to change policies and practices for the better.”

Anne Smith, University of Otago

“A really scintillating collection that will provide a lasting perspective on child studies - stimulating and comprehensive!”

Jonathan Bradshaw, University of York

In keeping with global changes in children's social and legal status, this Handbook includes examination of children as family members, friends, learners, consumers, people of faith, and participants in law and politics. The contributors also discuss the methodological and ethical requirements for research that occurs in natural settings and that enables children themselves to describe their perspective.

The book is divided into three parts: Part I: Setting-Specific Issues in Child Research; Part II: Population-Specific Issues in Child Research; Part III: Methods in Research on Children and Childhood

Parents' Reports About Their Children's Lives

Parents' reports about their children's lives
Marc H.Bornstein


No one can know as well as the attentive parent the subtle and cumulative changes that take place in the world of the child and in his behavior but, on the other hand, no one can distort as convincingly as a loving parent.

— William Kessen, The Child (1965: 117)

There are essentially three main methods for assessing the lives of children – interviewing or testing children themselves, observing and recording them directly, and seeking out people closest to children to report about them. In this chapter, I focus on the third of these methods, describe its advantages and disadvantages, and discuss its validity. In doing so, I draw illustrations principally from parent reports of ...

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