Parenting and Family Diversity Issues
Diana Lang, Iowa State University
Copyright Year: 2020
Publisher: Iowa State University
Conditions of Use
The content described in the textbook is very comprehensive. Topics include Key concepts of parenting, parenting theory, family theories, parenting styles, child-rearing strategies (guidance and discipline), child-rearing in a variety of... read more
The content described in the textbook is very comprehensive. Topics include Key concepts of parenting, parenting theory, family theories, parenting styles, child-rearing strategies (guidance and discipline), child-rearing in a variety of contexts, and developmental milestones of children. The content in each of these sections is very thoroughly explained and provides a good foundation for understanding families of today while seeing the historical perspective of where family theory has been. I can see this textbook being used in two different content courses. The first, for an introduction to family theory courses in either psychology or family studies. And, the second, in an early childhood course such as Family and Community Engagement. I would use it in the latter. This textbook covers half of the content for that type of course.
The content is accurate, error-free and unbiased. The authors cite a variety of research theories, theorists, and child development milestones and principles.
All of the content is relevant. I rated it a four as there are other issues that should be addressed if this were to be considered a complete textbook for an early childhood education course on family and community engagement. Other items include ways to engage families and communities, connections between home and school, communication strategies.
The text is written in a clear manner, using current terminology that is pertinent and essential to those in the early childhood field. The parenting theory (historical and theoretical overview) was well written.
The terminology is used consistently throughout the text, and the presentation of the material is structured similarly in all chapters, making it easy to navigate. Some of the sections have bold subheadings or figures/charts. These are helpful to the reader.
The text is easily managed by topic. Each section is distinct. I liked the "Key Takeaway" color-coded box at the bottom of the section. The sections that could be divided if relevant for the course or instructor. The subheadings and overviews at the beginning of each section were also helpful. These were not consistent across every section.
The text was presented in a clear logical fashion. The flow was easy to follow and similar to how the first half of my course is outlined.
The text is easy to read on a screen/computer, and the photos, tables, etc. are clearly displayed. The hyperlinks from the table of contents was very helpful.
The textbook is well-written, with no noticeable grammatical errors.
The text is carefully written almost to the point of being bland. There isn't much (any???) reference to cultural variations and differences in approaches. The first thing that jumped out to me when reading the book is the term "parent" instead of "family" member. Children today are raised in very diverse settings with a variety of caregivers. We tend to use the word family member instead of "parent". Many of the photos in the book are of diverse children/families. The course I teach used to be called "Family and Community partnerships". It was recently changed to be more inclusive and provide a more diverse framework - now titled "Culturally Responsive Family and Community Engagement". This book does not provide the cultural responsiveness component.
Overall, the content of this book will be very useful for instructors teaching about family systems. I find that as a text for Early Childhood education classes (the category I found this book under) it will only be useful as a partial text as this is the content for only half of the class. I will need to supplement with other materials to cover other topics (what family engagement looks like, communication strategies, connecting to home and community, culturally responsive approaches, and building on families' "funds of knowledge".
Table of Contents
- I. Key Concepts
- II. Parenting Theory
- III. Family Theories
- IV. Parenting Styles
- V. Child-Rearing Strategies
- VI. Child-rearing in a Variety of Contexts
- VII. Developmental Milestones
About the Book
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.
About the Contributors
Dr. Lang is an Associate Teaching Professor at Iowa State University who teaches a variety of courses within the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. She is also a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) which is recognized in the U.S. and Canada for Family Life Education professions. Her areas of interest include adoption, parenting, parent-child communications, topic avoidance, individual and family development across the life span, policy, professional orientation and service learning, and human sexuality education. She is the proud parent of two adult children and is the volunteer executive director and founder of a non-profit organization that promotes adoption as a positive parenting option.