CHDV/FACS 154 (03)
Issues in Parenting - Fall, 2012


Exam Guide #1

Check out the exam handout for general information about exams. Please bring a (clean) blue book and pen or pencil to the exam. No scantron form is needed. Revised 9/19/12.


Introduction/Critical thinking (Ch. 1 & Reading #1)

Definition of parenting

Parenting as a process & multiply determined  – Belsky process model (child characteristics, parent characteristics, social support)

Basic tasks of parenting (safety, etc., Table 1.1)

Changing nature of families and parenting role 

Historical changes in views of children and parenting (e.g., change to industrial society)

limits of "nature vs. nurture" as an determining development

critical thinking - definition and why and how used to make parenting decisions

key areas to consider in evaluating sources of information (e.g.,  authority, objectivity)

Role of scientific study in parenting

science and non-science


Parenting Research Ch. 3

Types of Psychological research (descriptive, correlational, etc.) and limits of these designs

Research approaches (be able to give & identify examples):

   -  Parenting Traits Approach (e.g, parenting style)

   -  Social Learning/Social Cognitive Approach (e.g,, observational learning "bobo doll" study)

   -  Social Cognition Approach (e.g., parental beliefs or attributions - Table 3.3)

   -  Sociological/Social Address Approach (e.g., cultural comparisons of co-sleeping)    

   -  Microanalytic/Process Approach (e.g., studies of interaction quality)

   - Transaction/birdirectional effects (e..g., sequences of interactions/effects over time)

   -  Multivariate/Structural Equation Modeling (mediators and moderators)


Theoretical Approaches to Parenting  – Ch.  2

sources for parenting information (social and political forces, philosophers, psychologists, physicians, religion)

Philosophers Locke and Rousseau's (world) views of children

Watson and G. Stanley Hall's influence on children

Dr. Spock's influence on parenting practice

Developmental theories and parenting (NOTE: You should se able to provide general assumptions of theory, be able to apply it to parenting practice, and provide evaluation (strength/limitation) of each theory)

    - Psychoanalytic (Freud - Psychosexual stages; Erikson -  Psychosocial stages)

    - Learning theory (behaviorism) – types of learning, operant conditioning (reinforcement,

        punishment, negative reinforcement)

    - (Bandura) Social Learning /Cognitive Theory – observational learning, role of cognition

    - Piaget – cognitive-developmental theory, stages

    - Gesell- maturational theory

    - Behavior genetics approach (twin studies, problems with approach)

    - Evolutionary theories

    - Vygotsky –socio-cultural contextualist theory

    - Bronfenbrenner - Bioecological Systems theory, nested systems, importance of context, role of family    

       with direct and indirect influences

Parental Influence & Socialization (Ch. 4 & Brown et al)


unidirectional vs. bidirectional influence

evidence for parental influence

maternal deprivation (Spitz, Harlow's studies)

Baumrind – parenting style (authoritarian. Authoritative, permissive)

Correlational research in support of the parenting style

Attachment - secure attachment predicting adjustment

Strange Situation procedure

Attachment Classifications

ways that parents can influence children (establishing pathways, interpreting experience, modifying speed)

How parents influence peer relationships

limits to parental influence (e.g., genetics, peers)

importance of fathers - links between fathering quality and children's adjustment (Brown et al.)

Major findings of Brown et al (supplementary reading) and how applies to father-child relationships





*One of the following essays will be on the exam

1) Discuss the role that theory plays in influencing parenting practice. Choose two different developmental theories presented in class and/or in the text. State basic assumptions of each theory and explain how these assumptions would translate to different parenting practices. Which theoretical model and resulting parenting practice do you feel best promotes children’s development? (Be sure to support your answer!)

2) What evidence is there that parents actually influence children? Briefly describe research (at least two studies) that demonstrates parenting influence and evaluate that research. What limits are there to parenting influence, i.e., what are some factors that constrain the influence that parents have?



Send problems, comments or suggestions to:

California State University, Sacramento

College of Education

Department of Child Development

Updated: January 20, 2012

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