Raising ChildrenEmerging Needs, Modern Risks, and Social Responses

Raising ChildrenEmerging Needs, Modern Risks, and Social Responses

Jill Duerr Berrick and Neil Gilbert

Print publication date: 2009

ISBN: 9780195310122

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Abstract

Over the last half a century, technological and medical advances, shifting patterns of employment, the loosening of marital bonds, changing social norms, and the women's rights movement have dramatically altered the landscape of family life. On this new terrain, parents struggle with balancing the demands of work and child care responsibilities, selecting the right schools, and sorting through a bewildering array of medical and psychological nostrums. At the same time, public officials are under increasing pressure to formulate policies that assist parents to meet the challenges of childrearing in contemporary society. This book looks at the troubling concerns of childrearing in modern family life, and raises provocative questions about the benefits and hazards of policy alternatives designed to alleviate these issues. It frames the emerging needs and new risks that impact child rearing, addressing controversial issues such as the roles of schools and government in promoting children's health, the facts and the myths about Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the family dynamics of balancing work and childcare, and allocating responsibility for care and support of children when family life breaks down. The book analyzes a range of state interventions to assist parents in dealing with these issues. Although these interventions are sometimes seen as a substitute for parental authority, the book explains how they can be framed as efforts to empower parents.