Parenting Practices Of Generation

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Parenting Practices of Generation

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Parenting Practices of Generations


Children and adolescents who for various reasons are living without parental care or who are at risk of losing are the most exposed to poverty, discrimination and exclusion factors, which in turn, may make them more vulnerable to abuse, exploitation and neglect. Parenting refers to a dynamic process that is persistently evolves dependent on the communication that occurs between children and parents, as well as between their environments and families.

Additionally, it is vital to think the extensive social context while endeavoring to modify, predict and explain parenting. Parenting practices are a central node in the link between culture and adaptive human development. The parents of each generation have the important task of ensuring continuous enculturation of the next generation; specifically, prepare children well for functioning in physical, economic and psychosocial situations of their own culture.


A study was conducted by Kotchick and Forehand (2002), identified that externalization behavior and parental practices across generation are mixed and to some extent varied. Generation 1 parents are associated with later externalization behavior, and antisocial behavior, along with difficult parenting in comparison to other two generations. The practices of parenting are quite similar in terms of supporting and promoting the intellectual, social, emotional and physical child development till the child reach adulthood (Conger, Wallace, Sun, Simons, McLoyd & Brody, 2002).

However, in terms of parental practices such as child rearing, monitoring, harsh discipline and positive parenting, these generations responded in a different manner. From the above table, it become apparent that child rearing that refers to the whole and complete development of a child by providing good care in terms of social, intellectual, emotional and physical well-being of a child is practiced by Generation 3, while Generation 2 give relative importance to child rearing in comparison to Generation 1, who shows little concern about the child development (Strom,, 2001). Other parental practice refers to monitoring, or keeping an eye on, or scrutinize on the child's activities, which is not adopted or preferred by the Generation 1; however, Generation 2 and Generation 3 adapted this parental practices to some extent and to a high extent, respectively. Likewise, Generation 3 and Generation 2 adapted harsh discipline to control their children, while this practice is rejected by Generation 1, as they perceive harsh discipline will not discipline children, but direct them towards wrong path. On the other hand, positive parental practice is adopted in developing a child, rather than punishing approach because this practice will help children in gaining academic competences, along with self-confidence, but other two generation do not agree with this parental practice as they think that punishing is essential to discipline children (Leventhal & Brooks-Gunn, 2000).

Generation 1: Years children were raised (1990 - till today)

Generation 2: Years (1980 - 1989)

Generation 3: Years (1950 - 1979)

Parenting Practice 1: Child Rearing

To some extent

Relatively high than G1

To high extent

Parenting Practice 2: Monitoring


To some extent


Parenting Practice 3: Harsh Discipline


To some extent

To high extent

Parenting Practice 4: Positive


Lower than G1


There are three contextual factors described by Kotchick and Forehand such as neighborhood/community, family socioeconomic status, and ethnicity/culture context. All these factors have a significant influence on the parenting practices across generations. The contextual factors play a significant role in shaping the process of parenting. Since, the practice of parenting is highly influenced by socio-cultural niche, and the current and past circumstances are the predictors and directors that have a significant influence on the behavior of a child. In the same way, neighborhood or community also have an important impact on the child's behavior. The attitude and behavior of a child has a direct influence on the development of a child; for instance, a child grows up in the deprived poverty he/she might have lower self-esteem and sense deprived in the presence of other peers. Moreover, culture and ethnicity also have an influence on child development, as well as on parental practices. In the environment, the availability of resources that assist the culturally valued competencies development, as well as folk childrearing theories that utter the traditional practices of parental deemed to be successful in promoting culturally valued behavior of a child (Brody, Dorsey, Forehand & Armistead, 2002).

It is very important in understanding contextual factors while addressing the parental practices. The term cohort effect refers to use in social science in order to explain differences in the characteristics of parenting (including the age at onset or the incidence of a characteristic) over time among persons who can be defined by a number of common life experience or shared temporal experience, including exposure year to radiation or year of birth. Furthermore, each generation showed varied results emerge because of context factor, particularly cohort effect on the practices of parenting. The most effected generation because of cohort effect is Generation 1, as they went through drastic shift and change in the parental style, characteristics and practices. Since, this generation experienced the increased migration and globalization that resulted in cultural differences in dynamics of the family, as well as its influence on the development of the child (Furstenberg, 2001).

For instance, authoritarian parenting practice has been usually related with negative parenting and non-responsive, directive and demanding discipline. According to Kotchick and Forehand (2002), for few families of African Americans, parenting practices can have constructive implications depends on contextual factors like neighborhood dwelling. Parents of African Americans living in dangerous localities can use authoritarian parenting practices in keeping their child secure from negative influences of neighborhood.

Usually many American parents work full time and often spend less time with their children. This lack of attention may cause various concerns. While a child is developing he or she needs constant supervision from parents in molding them and making them better citizens. Children who did not receive proper attention from parents often are underachievers in almost all fields of life including education. Due to this when they grow up they are unable to find better jobs and have a quality life. Their financial status in the society is not very strong and their children may have to suffer from poverty. According to the U.S. Census, 26% of the U.S. population were children 18 years of age or younger in 2008. Documenting the scope of the problem faced by children who are poor, the Children's Defense Fund found that in 2008 almost one fifth (19.1%) of those 18 years old or younger lived below the federal poverty threshold; almost 1 in 5 children living in the United States is poor. Additionally, another 6.3 million children under the age of 18 were found to be extremely poor (8.5%, or 1 in 12 children) while another 4.7 million were also living at or below the federal poverty level and under the age of 5 (22.2%, or 2 in 9 children).


It can be apparently concluded that parenting practices over generation has been changed, and each practice has its own advantages and disadvantages on the development of child. Moreover, Kotchick and Forehand identified three contextual factors such as neighborhood/community, family socioeconomic status, and ethnicity/culture context. All these factors have a varied influence on each generation because of varying extent of exposure to these factors. If the U.S. economy is improving, why child poverty in the United America is exploding? If we are economically growing today, why is it that in large U.S. cities such Cleveland and Detroit more than half of children live in poverty? If we are "the greatest economy on earth", why an American child depends on food stamps to eat? Our economy is caught in a long-term decline and is dying slowly but surely. Among those who suffer most from this descent, many are children.


Brody, G. H., Dorsey, S., Forehand, R., & Armistead, L. (2002). Unique and protective contributions of parenting and classroom processes to the adjustment of African-American children living in single-parent families, Child Development, 73, 274-286

Conger, R. D., Wallace, L. E., Sun, Y., Simons, R., McLoyd, V.C., & Brody, G. H. (2002). Economic pressure in African American families: A replication and extension of the family stress model, Developmental Psychology, 38, 179-193

Furstenberg, F. F. (2001). Managing to make it: Afterthoughts. Journal of Family, 22, 150-162

Kotchick, B. A. & Forehand, R. (2002). Putting parenting in perspective: A discussion of the contextual factors that shape parenting practices. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 11(3), 255-269

Leventhal, T. & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2000). The neighborhoods they live in: The effects of neighborhood residence on child and adolescent outcomes. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 309-337

Strom, R. D., Dohrmann, J. N., Strom, P. S., Griswold, D. L., Beckert, T. E., & Strom, S. E. (2001). Maternal guidance of adolescents: An African American perspective. Journal of Family Studies, 7, 189-207

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