Cutting across the several chapters in this book and marking many current articles about development is an interest in translating what we know about development into actions that will benefit children, youth, and families. Of particular interest are actions in the form of policies, regulations or guidelines – actions that affect the demands, difficulties, opportunities, or resources encountered by both individuals and groups. This kind of interest raises questions about what we know – about the way families function and how they influence development. These questions have been a major part of the earlier chapters in this book, taking us well beyond any need to demonstrate further that families do matter. Questions are raised also about the models brought to bear on possible actions. Do we see development, for example, as a steady progression from a pattern established in early childhood or as marked more by fits and starts, digressions and time-outs, recoveries, second chances, and changes in path? Do we regard families as a world apart from what happens “outside” (“havens in a heartless world,” to use one description), or as more interwoven with that “outside world”? Do we see families as functioning well only if there is a conventional structure and total harmony or as containing ample room for varied forms and changing relationships? My emphasis in this chapter will be on models. Models shape the way we view development, the research questions we ask, and the kinds of advice we offer to policy makers.
|Title of host publication||Families Count: Effects on Child and Adolescent Development|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||24|
|ISBN (Print)||0521612292, 9780521847537|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2006|