14 SES 10 A, Part 1 Symposium: Positive Parenting : Assessment, Programmes and Evaluation
THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK: Parents’ beliefs forming parenting ethnotheories are an important part of children´s developmental context (Super & Harkness 1986). Parents hold beliefs about children, about themselves as parents, and what ideal care and upbringing of children consists of (e.g. Hirsjärvi & Perälä-Littunen 2001; Harkness & Super 1996). Today it seems that parents have many ways for the actualisation of their childcare and upbringing ideals. But are parents free to choose what they want? The freedom to choose what one considers the best way of functioning is one of the core ideas of the capabilities approach (see e.g. Nussbaum 2000, 14). The capabilities approach is a highly interdisciplinary theory of justice and well-being based on a universalist account of central human functions and capabilities needed for a flourishing life (e.g. Nussbaum 2000). Here the approach is used as a theoretical framework in studying parents’ views of their capabilities of acting (functioning) in accordance to their beliefs of ideal care and upbringing. QUESTIONS & OBJECTIVES: The research questions to be answered in the presentation are the following: 1. What are parents’ ideals concerning childcare and upbringing, including their thoughts of sharing childcare? 2. Are the childcare ideals of those who are not parents themselves different from parents’ childcare ideals? 3. What parents think about their possibilities of acting in accordance to their ideals? METHOD: Data will be gathered with an online survey questionnaire and analysed by descriptive statistics, such as cross tabulation. Some first findings will be reported at the symposium. EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATIONS: Knowledge on how parents themselves think about care and upbringing and what kind of care they would ideally have for their children can be used in planning societal services and state support for families as well as in designing parenting education and family policies.
Hirsjärvi, S. and Perälä-Littunen, S. (2001). Parental beliefs and their role in child-rearing. European Journal of Psychology of Education, XVI (1), 87-116. Nussbaum, M. (2000). Women and Human Development. The Capabilities Approach. Cambridge, Cambridge Univeristy Press. Harkness, S. and Super, C. M. (1996) Introduction. In S. Harkenss & C. M. Super (Eds.) Parents’ cultural beliefs systems. Their origins, expressions, and consequences. New York, Guildford Press, 1 -26. Super,C. M.and Harkness, S. (1986). The developmental niche: A conceptualization at the interface of child and culture. International Journal of Child Development 9, 545-569.
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