The Determinants of Parental Competence

Toward a Contextual Theory
  • Jay Belsky
  • Elliot Robins
  • Wendy Gamble
Part of the Genesis of Behavior book series (GOBE, volume 4)


In most analyses of parental competence, assumptions regarding what constitutes good and poor parenting are usually left implicit. As a consequence, consideration of this much discussed and investigated topic frequently stimulates heated debate. In: this chapter, we hope to avoid such emotionally charged argument by approaching this focal area in much the same way that evolutionary biologists address those specific areas of inquiry that pique their interest, that is, by focusing on the concept of adaptation. More precisely, for the purposes of this chapter, competent parenting is defined as that style of child rearing that enables the developing person to acquire the capacities required for dealing effectively with the ecological niches that she or he will inhabit during childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.


Child Development Parenting Practice Personal Resource Authoritative Parent Marital Adjustment 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jay Belsky
    • 1
  • Elliot Robins
    • 1
  • Wendy Gamble
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Human DevelopmentPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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