• Title: The Encyclopedia of Parenting Theory and Research
  • Author: Charles A. Smith
  • Released: 1999-02-28
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 512
  • ISBN: 0313296995
  • ISBN13: 978-0313296994
  • ASIN: 0313296995
From The market is flooded with parenting howto books, but a volume covering the theories and research related to parenting is long overdue. This encyclopedia, edited by an expert from the School of Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University, offers more than 240 entries on a variety of issues that illuminate the nature of the relationship between parents and children. Arrangement is alphabetical, but nine main categories or clusters are identified: child activity, child outcomes, child states, parent behaviors, parent state or context, external or community factors, system issues, resources, and people. The introduction provides a list of entries grouped into these categories, with no entry appearing more than once. Although it is possible to dispute where any single entry has been listed, the editor states in his preface that the categories are for convenience and have fluid boundaries and considerable overlap.

Entries, of approximately 1,000 words each, were written by more than 160 experts from a wide range of backgrounds including medicine, human development, psychology, education, learning, behavior, and counseling. Some of the individual entries include feminism, Hispanic/Latino parents, mediation, motor development, problem solving, siblings and single parents. The indexing is extensive. A general bibliography containing some of the classics in the field is included at the end of the book. Each contributor's entry contains a list of bibliographic references specific to the individual article. Entries are very well written and act as a good review of the literature and research related to the topic.

The target audience for this encyclopedia includes parents, educators, teachers, researchers, health and mental health professionals, community educators, librarians, and others interested in parentchild relationships. Smith is maintaining a Web site, The WonderWise Parent ([http://ksu.edu/wwparent/]) in anticipation of adding additional terms for a second edition. Overall, this encyclopedia provides a good summary of what is known about parenting and parentchild relationships. Highly recommended for academic libraries and public libraries with community interest in these areas.

Review "An excellent resource for professionals, practitioners, researchers, and parents; highly recommended for academic and public libraries." -- Choice

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