chapter  23
16 Pages

Parental Conceptions of Early Development and Developmental Stimulation: Colette Sabatier

One of the most striking trends in developmental psychology is the rapidly growing research interest in parental representations of child education and child development. Parental knowledge is now considered an important aspect of adult social cognition that we must take into account in order to understand the process of child development and its variations among different subgroups (Goodnow & Collins, 1990; Miller, 1988; Sigel, 1985). Many terms have been used to describe cognition about parenting. Some refer to "ideas" (Goodnow, Cashmore, Cotton, & Knight, 1984), others to "parental beliefs" (Sigel, 1985), or "naive theories" (Ninio, 1979). There have been efforts to clarify the concept of parents' ideas or beliefs, to classify research according to their focusing aspect of parent social cognition (content or quality), and to identify the origins of these representations (Goodnow & Collins, 1990; Palacios, 1990).