This book has been created for students and all individuals who work with children and families (e.g., educators, parents, caregivers, direct support workers, etc.) in diverse contexts. It is imperative to understand how and what factors may influence child outcomes across the lifespan. Therefore, key concepts related to parenting, child-rearing, care-giving, and parenting education are outlined in this textbook to provide historical, theoretical, and practical perspectives across vast settings and developmental domains.
Over the years researchers have found the necessity to develop theories of behavior that are specific to family settings. These theories have been developed by people with a variety of areas of emphasis, from family therapists to gerontologists to child development specialists. In this chapter we will briefly discuss six such theories: Bioecological Model, Family Systems, Functionalism, Conflict Theory, Symbolic Interactionism, and Psychological Perspectives.
Through investigating cross-cultural case studies, this course introduces students to the anthropological study of the social institutions and symbolic meanings of family, gender, and sexuality. We will explores the myriad forms that families and households take and considers their social, emotional, and economic dynamics.